What does thesis and dissertation have in common?

By Priya Chetty on March 7, 2012

The word thesis and dissertation appears to be familiar to the students who have taken up a Master’s degree or are into PhD program. Initially the familiarity of the words may make a fake confidence in the minds of the students unless and until they have to set their tables to put effort to jot the data down, only then the famous and well known dissertation will suddenly appear to be a fathom and ominous part of the researcher’s career. For the beginners there will pop up numerous questions as to what is the major difference between a Thesis and a Dissertation? What kind of research must be done? What are the requirements? What are the differences in structures and data? What exactly is required to defend a thesis or a dissertation?

The Oxford English Dictionary defines a dissertation as “a long essay, especially one written for an university degree or diploma” and a thesis as “a long essay or dissertation involving personal research, written as part of an university degree.”

From the above definition it can be concluded that a thesis appears to be more complicated than writing a dissertation, because a thesis contains a dissertation in it. According to John D. Cone and Sharon L. Foster in their book   “Dissertations and Theses from Start to Finish.”, “there is no clear distinction between the terms”. But as per Universities the thesis have been distinguished from the dissertation by stating the work done to obtain a Master’s Degree as a thesis and the work completed for a Doctoral Degree to be termed as Dissertation.

Certain similarities between thesis and dissertations are:

  1. A specific problem, topic or statements is given in the designation
  2. Approval from the faculty for topic, statement problem and research methodology
  3. Wide-ranging literature review of the topic.
  4. Time bounds (Mostly from one and half year to three years).
  5. Adhere to the University format
  6. A long final product (Minimum 25 to 100 pages)
  7. Requires a supervisors assistance and guidance

Submitting the final report through the review from the Board.


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