Thesis VS Dissertation – What’s the difference?

Need to make your point – but how – Thesis or Dissertation?

Although both may seem similar to the untrained mind, writing a thesis is rather different to writing a dissertation. They are both often used by the academic world to prove something that may or may not already have been proven and at times the paper is just written to strengthen an argument.

However, every now and then we unearth a new discovery or come across someone challenging what we have always believed and accepted as absolute truth. This re-examination of the facts is what makes for a great thesis or dissertation reading.

The points of a dissertation

  • Most often written during the completion of a university degree, a dissertation is all about stating the facts that have already been found and using them to prove your point.
  • There is no need to redo the research, but is should be laid out.
  • The perfect dissertation is written by combining your own formed opinions and supporting them with the already proven results carefully placed in a long formal paper that often argues more than one objective, resulting in multiple answers.
  • Where possible, students are encouraged to come up with a new conclusion to the topic than what they have read and evaluated, even though the facts never change.

Thesis qualities

  • A thesis, on the other hand, is a little more complex and usually only done by higher academics that are pursuing a master’s degree or some kind of high level medical career.
  • It is used more for those that already know what has been proven, but want to challenge the facts and come up with their own theories or disprove the current ones.
  • Some clever minds have been known to ask a question that has never been asked before and the resulting answers to these new questions are what theses are all about. With a thesis, you conduct your own research and normally only have one primary objective to prove.
  • If the thesis and new found proof is strong enough, it is possible to challenge the current facts. Or, if the results compliment the current theory, they can add the new finding to the existing evidence on the topic.

Format of each one

The format of the two are also a little different:

  • Due to the complexity of a thesis detailing new research and findings, students are encouraged to provide a summary at the end to finalise the argument.
  • With a dissertation, because you are simply using current facts to support your opinion, the simplicity and history on the topic allows the reader to put the details together for themselves, and the article will flow in a logical manner.