“Any formal discourse in speech or writing” is a generalized definition for both, thesis and dissertation. Some scholars also have a standpoint about thesis vs dissertation i.e. “there is no difference between thesis and dissertation”. However, it is not just enough for us to conclude that thesis vs dissertation is same.

Scholars may possess the standpoint of no difference between thesis and dissertation, but there exists differences between the two that let us to compare thesis vs dissertation. In general, thesis is required by Master’s students to earn their degree while dissertation is the necessity for doctorate students to earn a PhD.

Following distinction between thesis and dissertation will give you a better idea about why people distinguish thesis and dissertation:

a) A dissertation is based on the original research whereas thesis needs you to rely on the information i.e. already available to you.

b) A thesis does not require students to spend too much time on it; however, dissertation takes too much time from students to get completed.

c) You need to conduct hypothesis in a thesis based on the research work while you need to infer conclusion in a dissertation through the new discoveries about your subject matter.

d) Data collection in thesis is based on hypothetical analysis of contents while you need to perform the original research to gather data for dissertation in support of your theory and arguments.

e) Thesis serves as the cornerstone for students to earn scholarships. In contrast to thesis, dissertation only serves an academic purpose to the students.

f) Primary arguments are the main focus of students in a thesis while students rely on their background research work in a dissertation.

g) Thesis is like an academic paper while dissertation is like an academic book.

h) Addition of novel findings will support your dissertation while you research work will aid you in the thesis.


Hopefully; points listed above are some guidelines for you to help you out in the distinction between a thesis and dissertation. In some countries, students write a dissertation to earn their Master’s degree and they write a thesis to earn a PhD; therefore, the points listed above will reverse for those countries. In short, you just need to remember these basic differences in comparison of thesis vs dissertation.

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