What Is The Difference Between Thesis And Dissertation?

What Is The Difference Between Thesis And Dissertation?

If you think about obtaining a degree, it is required to write a thesis or a dissertation. These two terms are frequently interchanged; some schools tend to misuse them. However, it’s not correct. There are some similarities between these notions, but we should bear in mind some core differences between these two notions. Let’s clarify these two terms to those who are confused about them.

There are some similarities between these two notions.

  • assigned to graduate students;
  • profound papers, which involve a thorough investigation;
  • written at the end of the last study year;
  • individual researches, not group projects;
  • have a similar structure and format: introduction, literary review, main body, conclusion, reference list, and appendix;
  • require writing a proposal before creating a final paper. The proposal aims to introduce the main goal of the research to the readers.

That’s why some people may misuse these terms, but it is incorrect. The main difference is in the degree they are required for. The thesis is necessary for the master’s degree. The dissertation is required for doctoral degrees. However, several master’s or Ph.D. programs don’t require writing any thesis or dissertation.

Aim of Study

The thesis aims at checking the student’s competence in his field of study. It is comparatively simple research conducted to prove a student has enough expertise to prove his point of view in a particular sphere.

On the other hand, the dissertation includes conducting more difficult research. Its purpose is to research in a relatively new field. It requires a more thorough investigation in some sphere. The student has to deal with the subject which hasn’t been researched before. There should be more research originality than in the thesis.


A thesis statement means just a point of how you are going to explain your further argument in your investigation. On the other hand, the dissertation is more complicated. It requires the hypothesis, which is more. A student needs to determine the main expectations of his research further on see whether they are fulfilled or not.


A thesis needs to include 100 pages minimum; a dissertation is a much longer document, as it requires more background and investigation information. It should contain at least twice as many as in the thesis.

Thesis vs Dissertation: Differences in Europe and the United States

Each country has some specifics concerning thesis and dissertation writing. Let’s have a closer look at how dissertations are written in Europe and the USA.

In Europe, the thesis is an original research paper to obtain a Ph.D. degree. In the USA, it helps to earn a master’s degree and is considered preliminary research.

Dissertation in Europe is a part of a master’s degree, which involves an extensive research project. In the USA, it is defined as original research to obtain a doctorate.

Tips To Write A Dissertation

Here are a few pieces of advice you should take into account to write a successful master’s or Ph.D. dissertation:

  1. Set the purpose. The aim of the research should be clearly defined and have a practical application.
  2. Start beforehand. It will significantly improve the quality of your work. Begin with analyzing the existing researches in the field 6 months before you start writing.
  3. Choose a topic. You can talk to your scientific advisor, monitor the latest researches to see what the scientists are interested in. Add some originality, don’t simply copy the others’ ideas.
  4. Read constantly. Review the already written text every day. This way, you will monitor what the overall look of your dissertation is like. You will reveal ideas that need changing easily and adjust them to the main idea.
  5. Build a proper reference list. A bibliography is a complicated and time-consuming part of completing any paper. Trying to build it in the last turn seems a bad idea. Take notes and create a bibliography draft simultaneously with the writing process. Then group the references and format them according to the reference style requirements.
  6. Write a dissertation. Don’t postpone the biggest part of work till the last weeks before the defense. Write your paper little by little. Ask for feedback from your scientific advisor. Some parts may be flawless, and some may seem bland. Re-read them, and you’ll see what to correct.

If you follow these pieces of advice, the quality of your dissertation may be significantly improve. Boost your writing to a higher level, and your dissertation will stand out.

Tips To Write A Thesis

A short guide for preparation. A master’s thesis is a long scholarly paper the students should complete to earn a master’s degree. It aims at summing up the knowledge earned during the master’s program. It includes analyzing the works of other authors and creating their own analytical ideas. The thesis research is shorter and more narrowly specified. However, there exist some non-thesis master programs. We suggest students some pieces of advice to succeed in completing this paper:

  1. Choosing the appropriate topic is the first but tricky part. There is some space for creativity. If you feel a lack of ideas or hesitate between a few variants, it would be better to consult your advisor. Choose the topic you are interested in and have some space for creativity and innovativeness.
  2. In general, maintaining a good relationship with your thesis advisor can contribute to your successful paper. Some of your writing may be criticized, but you should accept the criticism and suggestions graciously.
  3. Making a brief outline is going to simplify your task. It gives you a better view of where you are going in your investigation. Outline displays the structure, which allows you to approximately divide the required page number between the thesis parts so that the content looked better. It will also help you balance the time and see how much time you need for a particular part.
  4. Stay aware of your defense date. This will let you save enough time for editing and proofreading your thesis. The main part of writing should be done before that time. It will be beneficial both for the quality and your stress condition.
  5. Take care of your health. Writing a thesis is a time-consuming and stressful process. The first thing each student should bear in mind is not to overload with writing. Your mental and physical health is the only thing that matters. Enough sleep, good nutrition, and rest are an integral part of the master’s thesis preparation. Don’t toil; just do your best without harming your health.

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