Home / Blog / What is the Difference Between a Thesis and Dissertation? Everything you Need to Know.

Did you think of the long hours spent researching and writing, or the dreaded task of defending your thesis in front of a room full of academics? The good news is that you aren't alone. Most students find themselves in a similar position when it comes to understanding the differences between a thesis and a dissertation. This article will explain the difference between a thesis and a dissertation so that you can get clarity on your assignment or research paper.

Let's find out!

What is a Thesis?

Let's start with the basics in order to better comprehend the difference between a thesis and a dissertation. Generally speaking, a thesis presents the conclusions of study carried out on a particular subject as part of a student's research for their undergraduate or graduate degree. A student may have to write a thesis for their bachelor's, master's, or even doctorate degree. Research methodology, data analysis, discussions, and conclusions are all parts of a thesis.

Writing a thesis can be challenging since it necessitates extensive research into a particular subject matter and the ability to coherently integrate your thoughts into a written document. Also, you must be able to convince your audience of your findings through persuasive writing and well-thought-out arguments.

What is a Dissertation?

A dissertation is often a substantial academic work that explores a particular topic or area of study in depth. It is typically written in the form of an essay and may be necessary for master's and doctoral degrees, depending on the program. You can argue a point, discuss a viewpoint, or try to address a problem.

Normally, a dissertation consists of multiple components, all of which must be completed before the dissertation can be approved by the school. These comprises:

  • Purpose Statement
  • Research Methodology
  • Findings
  • Conclusions

The statement of purpose explains why you are undertaking the research and what you hope to accomplish with your results. Methods discussed within a dissertation abstract must be carefully researched and analyzed in order to provide evidence to support each part of your argument. Research results detail what you found during your studies, while the conclusion discusses how this supports or denies your hypothesis or case study hypothesis.

By completing all these parts successfully, students will be able to demonstrate their understanding and comprehension of their chosen field, ultimately leading them to achieve their degree qualifications.

Do You Have to Write a Thesis for a Master’s Degree?

The terse response to this is: it depends. For graduate students pursuing a Master's degree, a thesis or dissertation may be necessary at various universities and schools. But there are also places that don't require it—at these institutions, you can get a Master's without writing a thesis.

The main differences between a thesis and a dissertation are purpose and scope. A thesis is meant to show research mastery and should demonstrate what you have learned in your program. Dissertations, on the other hand, are more concentrated on creating unique contributions to their field of study. When writing a dissertation, it's critical to consider how your work will impact the entire world.

Thesis Vs Dissertation

The Difference Between a Ph.D. Thesis and Dissertation

You now have a good knowledge of how a thesis and a dissertation differ from one another. But what about a dissertation or thesis for a PhD? A master's thesis or dissertation is much shorter and more condensed than a doctoral thesis or dissertation. By comparison, PhD dissertations normally take three to five years to complete. The investigation and data collecting will be far more extensive than in a master's thesis, and the data analysis techniques will likewise be more sophisticated.

A master's dissertation may offer a broad review of the topic from several perspectives, but a doctoral dissertation must demonstrate the author's original contribution to the field. The PhD dissertation should also contain a comprehensive discussion and in-depth review of scholarly literature on the topic.

What is the Difference Between a Thesis and a Dissertation?

While the main differences between a thesis and a dissertation have been elucidated above, the most significant ones have been further elaborated for you as follows:


Dissertations and theses differ primarily in length. A standard dissertation consists of anywhere from 10,000 to 25,000 words while a thesis is typically around 100 pages in length. This huge difference in length indicates that the scope and depth of research undertaken can vary greatly between the two written works.

Degree Level

Another significant difference between a dissertation and a thesis is the degree to which it's produced for. Unlike a thesis, which can be written at any level - Bachelor's, Master's, or PhD - a dissertation is typically written at postgraduate level.


The purpose of a thesis is to answer a question or to support an assertion, while the purpose of a dissertation is to examine data and present findings. The common components of dissertation are:

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Literature Review
  • Methodology
  • Results/Findings
  • Discussion/Conclusions
  • Bibliography/Reference

Whereas the components of thesis are:

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Literature Review
  • Theory
  • Conclusion

Whatever type of work you're writing — be it a PhD thesis or dissertation — having clarity on the primary differences between these two documents helps in producing an effective final product that reflects your hard work and dedication!

Tips for Writing an Effective Dissertation Abstract

A powerful dissertation abstract is one of several things you may do to differentiate your dissertation from those of your rivals. The following advice will help you write a powerful dissertation abstract:

Tips for writing an effective dissertation abstract.

Keep it Short and to the Point

Try to keep your dissertation abstract to one or two paragraphs in order to keep it succinct. Your aim should be to convey your paper's primary ideas without delving into excessive detail. Get to the point without using jargon or needlessly complex language.

Focus on the Research Question and Results

The research subject you are examining and any conclusions that are related to it should be the major focus of your dissertation abstract. Instead of giving a summary of everything in your work, be sure to concentrate on the most crucial parts, such as the main results or conclusions. In short, it should state what is being done, why is it being done, how it is being done, where it is being done and what was the outcome and how that changes things for the better or worse.

Summarize Your Work Accurately

Make sure your paper's abstract appropriately summarizes the material you covered in the main text when composing it. Don't add any new material or arguments in the abstract that weren't already presented in the paper. Instead, clearly and succinctly summarize the key themes of your research findings.

Include specific information about your research topic in your abstract to increase its impact. Avoid using language that is too wide or ambiguous and that doesn't sufficiently illuminate your study. Instead, make an effort to incorporate pertinent and detailed material that helps readers understand the topic of your research and the findings.

You can make sure that readers will understand your work and that it is appropriately represented by investing the time and effort necessary to write a strong abstract.  If you encounter any difficulty, we at Nerdpapers are more than happy to help you out.


In conclusion, it's critical to recognize the differences between a thesis and a dissertation if you're thinking about getting a higher degree. You may make sure that you adhere to all the requirements for your research work by carefully examining the program's specifications. Their respective target audiences and purposes serve as the main dividing lines between the two. A thesis is the last prerequisite for a graduate degree based on research and serves to demonstrate the student's understanding of a subject. A dissertation, on the other hand, dives more deeply into a particular theory or research subject. Whatever the subject, a thesis or dissertation can offer insightful information to both academics and students. The final writing and formatting selections you make will be influenced by the sort of document you are working on.

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