Dissertation Vs Thesis: A Guide To Learn The Difference Between Thesis And Dissertation


When you are busy with your hectic routine and want to get done with your dissertation writing, you would probably go and search for an online dissertation writing and thesis writing or even a good academic writing services. If you are a student of an undergraduate program, you might find it hard to distinguish between a dissertation vs thesis. If you are a graduate and pursuing a PhD meaning you are in pursuit of higher education, then you might have some idea about what a thesis is and how much it is different from a dissertation. Still, these two are much different from each other; therefore you need to have good knowledge about them. In this article, we will make a brief comparison on the dissertation vs thesis, so keep reading.

First of all, let us see what the Internet tells us about what is a dissertation and what is a thesis;

A thesis is:

“A proposition stated or put forward for consideration, especially one to be discussed and proved or to be maintained against objections” - Dictionary.com

“A dissertation embodying results of original research and especially substantiating a specific view especially: one written by a candidate for an academic degree” - Merriam-Webster

“The paper you have to write in order get a master's degree” - Urban Dictionary

We define dissertation as follows:

“A written essay, treatise, or thesis, especially one written by a candidate for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.” - Dictionary.com

“An extended usually written treatment of a subject specifically: one submitted for a doctorate.” - Merriam-Webster

One main difference that may be highlighted based on the dissertation vs thesis analysis is that a thesis is often written for a master's degree, whereas a dissertation meaning is a requirement for the completion of your Ph.D. Hence a thesis is affiliated with a higher degree than a dissertation and serves as a part of the degree.

The two also vary in their purpose; a thesis highlights a new area of research to showcase your knowledge about a subject or field, whereas a dissertation is used to introduce new knowledge and theories in a subject field. The thesis is supposed to prove the knowledge that you have gained throughout your time in the program. On the other hand, a dissertation is supposed to bring new topics and expand the subject with your contribution.

Typically, there is also a structural difference when we compare a dissertation with a thesis; a thesis is much more like a research paper, where a topic is researched, and information gathered is analyzed and assessed. Critically analyzing the information gathered, and the method through which research is carried out showcases the individual comprehension and their ability to analyze the provided information. This is the first step in research. A thesis requires that a hypothesis be set at the beginning of the process, and then data gathered is analyzed to prove or disprove the hypothesis.

Even a dissertation is based on primarily done research and literature, but it is only utilized as supporting evidence, the main emphasis is on the work you have done on your own. In a dissertation, there is a unique hypothesis that is to be proven or disproven by mostly the author's work. It is supposed to add to the broader subject, also about the narrower topic. A dissertation requires that all claims made be backed by research; all statements should be based on evidence. This evidence should primarily come from one's own research, and also from other sources.

While reviewing a dissertation vs thesis, word count is a major difference that distinguishes a dissertation from a thesis. A master's thesis is often more than 100 pages, but a dissertation is longer because of the amount of evidence needed to support the claims made, it could be more than 200 pages.

Dissertation vs Thesis: General Differences

Definition of Scope

Conducting and executing a thesis requires research and data collection, often through primary resources, which means that the student must conduct surveys and interviews for data collection. A dissertation vs thesis does not require the execution of primary sources of data collection; it can be done on the data already available to the author, such as published papers, books, and articles. It may well be an analysis of a pre-existing literary piece. However, the information that is being presented within the dissertation must be new while being thoroughly supported by evidence. On the other hand, a thesis vs dissertation has a broader scope, the topic varies in its depth, but a dissertation is narrower in scope, focusing on the nitty-gritty details of one small thing. Later on, we will discuss dissertation vs thesis in depth.

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Data Collection

As mentioned previously, there are many differences in how data is collected for a dissertation vs thesis. Primary sources are mostly used by thesis writers, and data can be collected through any method, including surveys, interviews, and even extraction of data from other sources. A writer can choose to collect date from work that has already been done. For a thesis, the method of obtaining and collecting information needs to be presented to the committee who may decide which methods are appropriate; however, different universities and colleges have different requirements.

Type of Degree

A thesis is required to pass a master`s degree, while a dissertation is required to complete a doctorate degree. Some master`s programs only require a research paper to be submitted after the completion of course work, while some ask for a thesis. While doing a doctorate degree, it is mandatory to submit a dissertation.

Structural Difference

A thesis vs dissertation is something like a research paper just like the one you do in your high school, college, or undergraduate course. You find a topic and then conduct research on it, proving the claims to be right or wrong. While doing a thesis, you critically utilize your ability to think, analyze the data that is given, and extract your results from it. The basic point of undertaking a thesis is to test the student's abilities to think critically and extract information on a given topic. In a thesis, you collect information on the subject that you will pursue while doing your dissertation. On the other hand, a dissertation vs thesis is done using a large number of previous research papers where the extracted information is supporting your hypothesis. Unlike expanding on the given topic, you have to conclude it on your findings. In a thesis, you write an open-ended conclusion so that you may expand it and prove your hypothesis in the dissertation.

Paper Length

Another major comparison of thesis vs dissertation and dissertation vs thesis is that of the length. A master's thesis can be as long as a hundred pages, while a dissertation is much bigger in terms of length, as well as research. In both cases, the faculty member or your supervisor has the right to decide whether it should be 50 pages or 100. A doctoral dissertation can be 2 or most probably 3 times the length of any thesis. Every doctoral dissertation starts with a proposal and sometimes the thesis that was submitted in the master's, and serves as a dissertation itself. Let us dive into a detailed overview of what a dissertation and a thesis are and develop a deep understanding of their differences and similarities.

What is a Dissertation

Sometimes we call it a thesis and sometimes a dissertation. We just leave that for a while, as we will discuss the differences both in dissertation vs thesis and thesis vs dissertation section. So, what is a dissertation? According to academic experts, a dissertation is a research paper that is written on a large scale with a broader perspective. This paper aims to test the research and analytical skills of the student. It is also a well-known fact that a dissertation is done as a final assignment by Ph.D. students. At least this is the case in the United States. Many students find it lengthiest and the most difficult task, but on the other hand, it enhances the research skills and prepares a student for further studies. It also helps a student in developing a good, logical sense of academic and general research. If we compare a thesis vs dissertation, they are most likely the same in terms of process. Which means the process for undertaking a thesis or a dissertation is the same. Both need to submit a proposal, and both have to defend the final findings in front of a jury consisting of facility professors.

Types of Dissertation

So far, we have clarified the concept of “what is a dissertation”. Let us now move on to discuss some of the major types of dissertations. Students writing a dissertation have the choice of attempting it in the first or third person. As far as the data is concerned a dissertation must portray some major points which are as follows;

  • Research problem
  • Research questions
  • Research Methodology
  • Literature Review
  • Findings
  • Conclusion and recommendations

The type of dissertation mainly depends on what course is being studied and what are the particular requirements. Basically, a dissertation is divided into two types, which are as follows.

Empirical Study

This type of dissertation involves data scraping and data collection from primary sources. Or we can say this study is conducted using primary data extracted from the sample population using survey forms, questioners, interviews, and so on. This type of research is done mostly in life sciences and natural sciences subjects.

Non-Empirical Study

As of now, we may have some idea about what is a non-empirical study. It is the type of dissertation which utilizes the data already present in libraries. For instance, a student conducting research on some disease and doing non-empirical research, he/she will be collecting data from the research paper already written and published on the subject. These types of dissertations are also called desk studies or secondary data studies.

Dissertation Structure

If we compare a dissertation vs thesis or a thesis vs dissertation, there is not much difference in the structure of both papers. Although the only difference they have is the number of words or number of pages.

A dissertation consists of 5 chapters, basically. These chapters involve every kind of data researched from the inception to completion of the paper. These chapters are as follows;

Chapter 1: Introduction > Background> Research Question Chapter 2: Methodology> Data Collection Chapter 3: Literature Review Chapter 4: Data Analysis> Results Chapter 5: Conclusion and Discussions

These are the basic chapters that are being written under a dissertation format. This format is followed by almost every university in the world. With a slight change in subheadings, this format is followed by almost every institute. If you are doing a dissertation, you should contact your supervisor and ask about the format requirements. Some institutes follow these formats very strictly, while others give the liberty of doing some changes in subheadings.

Skills to Write a Dissertation

Dissertation vs thesis is technically difficult when it comes to planning and writing. After carefully reading the basic text and analyzing the topic, you need to plan your text before anything. Think about the possibilities of arguments and only choose the one you can really talk about. Sometimes the idea sounds great, but only afterward do you find that you can't talk about it.

You should know how to start with a good introduction. A good introduction should have the quality to get hooked in the mind of your supervisor. It should have a good overview of what you intend to deliver in the rest of the paper.

You can clearly see in any dissertation sample that the introduction is the starting point. What you present in the introduction and the format you use must be strictly followed in upcoming chapters. A good introduction works as a guideline for your arguments that you are about to present in the development section, and it will direct your approach.

Furthermore, you should know how to develop an argument and arrive at a conclusion at the end. This is a very important point when writing a dissertation vs thesis. The first paragraph of the introduction must contain the first arguments. To make sure that you are not going to get off-topic, introduce the phrasal topic that lists the chosen argument, and develop it.

How Long is a Dissertation?

This is considered as a major difference when comparing a dissertation vs thesis. Considering the fact that dissertations are written on a variety of subjects in a variety of lengths. It doesn't matter if you are writing it for your M.Phil. Or your Ph.D., you should strictly follow your supervisor or university administration. Normally a dissertation is written from 100 pages up to 300 pages. This is how long a dissertation is, but this solely depends on what your university regulations are about. If you are writing to publish it in a journal, you should follow the rules mentioned in the journal for publishing.

Writing a dissertation can be easy for anyone, as long as they want to strive for it. There are no magic spells or practical formulas for learning to write a dissertation. It is a job that depends heavily on the effort of the person interested in learning.

For this purpose, some practical tips can be given to help, but nothing replaces the need and passion to research and write. The act of writing must be natural. In addition, reading and updating information also contributes greatly to the quality of the text written. How long is a dissertation? This must be a prime question you should ask your supervisor before getting started. Or you can also review a dissertation sample.

Dissertation Sample

Dissertation Defense

This is the final stage of your dissertation, where you present your research to a board of facility professors. They will keenly study each and every aspect of your dissertation and, in the end, will invite you to defend your dissertation in a live session. When going for the dissertation defense, be sure to take a copy of the dissertation with the same layout as the copy sent to the board. This is a necessary step, as you will be asked about specific points in the text and will need to read them during the dissertation defense, to support your arguments or clarify doubts. Dissertation vs thesis defense is relatively tough, so try to answer the arguments according to what was presented in the paper.

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During the dissertation defense, always remember to connect the gaps left by the work with future research recommendations that you may have in mind. The board knows that your goal is not to exhaust all the questions related to the topic of your dissertation. But it is important to clarify how you conceive the future research steps in the topic to demonstrate that you have mastery over it.

When faced with a question in the dissertation defense that you don't know how to answer, don't panic; this is normal and even expected. Considering the fact that you are the student, and they are the professors, and they have conducted several pieces of research already, so it is very easy for them to point out gaps in your paper. In these cases, acknowledge your ignorance and, if possible, try to reframe and answer the question from a perspective that is familiar to you, justifying your methodological choice.

What is a thesis

A thesis vs dissertation, if compared, is not much different from each other. A thesis is a typed work of an average length that varies between one hundred and two hundred pages, where the student addresses a problem concerning the studies in which he wants to obtain the degree. In the academic world, the student presents this work to a jury of supervisors, where through an elaborative process, the work is evaluated on certain perimeters. Consider any thesis examples, and you will find the same.

Attributes of a Good Thesis


Research projects are formulated in a certain way. A thesis vs dissertation is structured in a slightly different way. They are headed with a title that clearly and precisely denotes the problem to be treated, the name of the person carrying out the project, the degree, the position, and the address of the researcher or researchers (what is known as the organization chart) is attached.


After the title, we proceed to make a summary that contains the central points of the research plan, with the indication of methods, discussions, and results. This section is usually done at the end of the work (although it is placed at the beginning).


It is important that the object of study is justified; it must be answered at this point why it is necessary to analyze a certain problem, which can be novel or presented in a novel way. It is central to leave a mark on why an exhaustive investigation should be carried out on the work axis.

Theoretical framework

It is about defining the themes and authors. It represents the formal scheme of the organization. In a thesis vs dissertation, don't forget to think about what elements are to be used to configure the basic coordinates of the project before getting started.


The analysis to be carried out is mentioned in this part. The perspective of literary research is not the same as that of a historical one. Possibly, in the first case, users will be made of semiotic and structural resources. The methodology responds precisely to "how" the work will be done, while the plan, for example, involves the elaboration of content rather than forms. You can also download some thesis examples from google scholar and review how the methodology section is done.

Bibliographic references

This section presents the list of referenced books and those that may be consulted later. The bibliography is always a more or less accurate indication of the kind of readings made.

What is a Thesis Paper?

If you're looking for the answer to, 'what is a thesis paper?' here it is. A thesis paper is something that is done under the fulfillment of a final degree program. A thesis paper is a comprehensive document detailing all the aspects of research done on a particular subject. Furthermore, a thesis paper is given to the students to explore their research skills in particular. A thesis can be done at the end of graduation, or it can also be done at the end of a Ph.D. degree. Basically, a thesis paper is something that showcases the research skills of the student in a particular subject. It involves extensive data research, data mining, and also involves complex methodologies. While writing a thesis, students can choose a specific way of research, which is called 'methodology of research' in academics. Quantitative and qualitative are the two basic types of methodologies.

What is a Thesis Statement?

A good thesis statement holds the importance of a thesis itself. It should make your readers believe what you believe and what are your intentions of this research. It must not go beyond 2 sentences, and that too should not be much longer. You should know where to place your thesis statement. If you are writing a thesis, it should come under a new heading in the 2nd chapter. The same goes for the dissertation. In case you are writing an essay, you should better look for an appropriate spot in your introduction paragraph. A well-defined thesis statement guarantees well-defined research, and, in many cases, the research is rejected by the supervising staff in the first stage just because of a poor thesis statement.

Thesis Statement Formula

There are many ways to write a thesis statement, but the most effective thesis statement formula is the 5-step thesis statement formula that we are going to disclose here. In this method, there are 5 steps that must be followed in order to get the best thesis statement.

Step 1

. The Thesis Question: you have to make your research idea into a question first. This is how you will be able to create the research question and purpose of your research.

Step 2

. Brainstorm the Answers: In this step, you have to find the answers to the question you developed in the first step. This is how you will define the solution to the proposed problem. You can also take help from Google in case you are stuck.

Step 3

. Pick the right thesis answer: choose the best of the answers from your brainstorming session. Make sure all of them are pointing towards the solution of your research question or problem. You can choose only one solution, or you can choose multiple solutions, whatever suits your research.

Step 4

. Create a Road map: Now go back and see what you have come up with. You have a research question, and you have a solution for it. Now it's time to combine both and create a road map on how you will conduct your research.

How to Write a Strong Thesis Statement

Although we have elaborated on all the essentials on how to write a thesis statement yet again, we will elaborate few steps on how you should create a strong thesis statement, which also validates your thesis and support your argument. In thesis vs dissertation, a strong thesis statement has some core attributes which you must include while writing your thesis statement. First of all, the thesis statement should follow your research problem, and it must address all the aspects involved. This is what a thesis statement is all about, and this is how it is written. Following that, the statement should have a concise method of your research, and this way, you will address the problem. In the end, you should close your statement with a proposed solution or recommendation.

Thesis Statement Examples

In a thesis vs dissertation, there is no such difference when writing a thesis statement. This is what we have been through the process involved in writing a good thesis statement for your thesis. Now let's see how we put it through the same process and check some thesis statement examples that fulfill all the requirements.


: Importance of CSR in the telecommunication sector, a qualitative study on telecommunication companies in North Africa.

In this example, we can see the core research topic, the research methodology, and, in the end, we see the possible outcome.

Dissertation vs Thesis Similarities and Differences

Dissertation vs Thesis: Similarities

Dissertation vs Thesis: Differences

Thesis vs. Dissertation: Europe

If you are graduating from any university, you need to submit a thesis or a dissertation as part of your final assessment. Both papers are not much different, as we have already discussed in this article. Both thesis and dissertation writers are required to defend their work in front of a committee, which in return, mark these papers with the assessment. Assessment is basically focused on the idea of how much a student is capable of conducting research. How well he or she is informed on the subject. These are the major points to consider when comparing dissertation vs thesis.

What is the Difference Between Dissertation and Thesis?

In Europe, professors retain a much bigger distinction between a thesis and a dissertation. They define a dissertation as a thesis that is done for a Ph.D., or it is more likely to be called a Doctoral Thesis. There is no much difference between their structures or layouts, but they are named opposite as compared to the U.S. In Europe, a dissertation is done for the fulfillment of postgraduate studies.

Since old times, thesis and dissertations have evolved very much. They require extensive research and literature study. Examiners pay more attention to how the paper has been structured and how it has been cited. However, the main focus is on the outcome of the research done. In this regard, there is no difference whether a thesis or a dissertation is written in the USA or Europe. In both regions, they are assessed on the basis of their outcome.

Thesis vs. Dissertation: USA

In the U.S., a thesis is written for the fulfillment of a graduation degree, and a dissertation is written as a final research project for the doctoral program. A thesis written in the USA is shorter than the dissertation, as compared to what is done in Europe, whereas a dissertation is full-scale research done to acquire a Ph.D. degree.

In the USA, master's and doctoral programs have different guidelines that vary from university to university, and also between their departments. Master's degrees in the U.S. generally offer different plans, in which the student must pass the required course work first and then is given a choice between writing and defending a thesis or a dissertation. In the USA, doctoral students are subjected to three major assessments: candidacy, comprehensive, and thesis defense.

Students take the application exam (candidacy) in September, in which they are evaluated in a written and oral test. There are three days with written tests, lasting four hours for each of the topics. The oral exam will be carried out by a board formed by professors from the department and will last 30 minutes for each topic. The objective of the written exam is to check if the student has proficiency in the fundamental tools to conduct research, while in the oral exam; the board can analyze the student's line of reasoning and approach when solving a problem.

Dissertation vs Thesis: What it Takes to Pass

Writing a thesis is the opportunity to develop an idea of your interests that you never had during your studies. Fortunately, there is always a way to avoid the torture involved in writing a thesis. There are some tips you should follow so that writing a thesis or a dissertation becomes a learning endeavor instead of a hectic task.

A dissertation vs thesis is much more complex in its composition, so choose a topic that you like very much, no matter how crazy it seems to others. If you have a way to justify and develop it, you will not find any difficulty in finishing the project. Performing a thesis does not have to be a difficult task after all the years you have already studied. Think of it as your entrance to a new stage of life, where you are getting yourself ready to see every scientific phenomenon differently. If you are still thinking of writing it, these tips will help you in solving your doubts regarding this process. Although, if you have already started to develop it, it is worth considering that you follow any of these points to make your work more manageable.

Students take the application exam (candidacy) in September, in which they are evaluated in a written and oral test. There are three days with written tests, lasting four hours for each of the topics. The oral exam will be carried out by a board formed by professors from the department and will last 30 minutes for each topic. The objective of the written exam is to check if the student has proficiency in the fundamental tools to conduct research, while in the oral exam; the board can analyze the student's line of reasoning and approach when solving a problem.

  • A dissertation vs thesis can become a source of future consultation. Many carry out their thesis with the fear that no one will read it or cite it in the future. To avoid such perceptions, choose a new topic that not many have written about. Although it will be a bit difficult to research, it will surely get cited by many, once published. This will make it more likely that your thesis will serve as a source of consultation for future generations.
  • Writing a dissertation vs thesis is much lengthier, so start writing as soon as possible; don't waste your class hours, your homework, and your weekend plans. When you finish your degree and get a job, it will be even more complicated to find time in your day to move forward.
  • Do not be frustrated if your advisor returns all drafts full of notes and corrections, correct your mistakes, and think of it as constructive feedback because a dissertation vs thesis is, in fact, more difficult to undertake.
  • If you are doing a bachelor's thesis, always remember that not to get excited while doing the most ambitious project in history. To be successful, a well-developed research work is enough. If you still have some plans to do big research, do it in sections. The research done in bachelors can serve as a proposal for your master's research.
  • Make sure you are citing the correct sources; it is often preferable to use books and published articles instead of researching on the Internet. Always check your information before submitting it; remember that plagiarism can immediately withdraw you from the degree program as per the integrity code of academics.
  • It is not enough to find a good advisor, get help from experts in the field, too, so that they can guide you professionally. You can also contact your seniors in case you find it hard to discuss it with your supervisor.
  • In a dissertation vs thesis, you need a good supervisor or advisor, be it your professor or any senior student. Look for an advisor who feels the same passion as you for the topic you are developing, so they can share their ideas. It will be easier for you to find a style for your thesis. Make sure your supervisor or mentor is the person who gets you going in all circumstances.
  • To write your final work, you should not lose your social life. It is possible to have enough time to have fun with your friends if you write at least two pages a day and after a few weeks you will realize everything you have already written. Consistency is the key to success.
  • Review and distribute your time so you can research and write without pressure because if you try to do it all at the same time, it will be very difficult for you to make progress. Ideally, you should make a schedule for all your thesis-related activities.


Before we can conclude this article, we would like you to know, that while there are differences between a thesis and a dissertation, there are also many similarities, for example, both are means of completing a degree of education. So, they are both meant to close a very long and tiring chapter of one's life. Whether a dissertation or thesis, in any case, assignment writing services will always be ready to help you out with either. However, you will also need other things through these trying times, such as the support of your family and friends, and a constant source of motivation.

In this article, we have conducted a brief comparison between a thesis vs dissertation and dissertation vs thesis. We have so for indicated minor differences between both in terms of requirements, format, and degree program they are done for. In many universities, the format and style of a thesis and the dissertation are the same. However, in terms of scope, both are different. A thesis vs dissertation is a broader topic, but a dissertation vs thesis is a narrow topic that we are closing with a conclusion. Moreover, the thesis requires the collection of original information, whereas, for a dissertation, it is mostly the author who has to write their own thoughts and support them with other published data.

Both the dissertation and the thesis could be one of the hardest things a student has to do. Somehow a dissertation vs thesis is not much of a comparison in a literal sense. Staying up through nights and working tirelessly through the days; there will probably be a time where you will only drink tea or coffee so that you can get your work completed on time. Everything you learn while writing your thesis or dissertation will stay with you for the rest of your life. Your sources of motivation will depend on you. Make no mistake that you will not need one, because there will be days when you will consider giving all up and moving to a new country and starting a new life.

Dissertations and thesis can both cause anxiety and depression in students, but the effort you put in it and the results you get will make it all worth it. When you get to add “Dr.” before your name or write masters in your resume, you will feel a sense of pride. Therefore, you need a good dedication and a motivation for what you want to become.