Comparing a Thesis and a Dissertation 

Most doctoral or masters students have to write a research paper in their respective fields to have a chance of graduating. Therefore, it demands students to have excellent ability to do deep research, analysis, and writing in whatever academic program one pursues. But what does it all entail? Should you write a dissertation or a thesis?

Most students never know the difference between these closely related papers, until they get required to write one. Because of this, it becomes crucial to note the similarities and differences between the two, so that you will write the correct paper accordingly.

Comparisons between a Thesis and a Dissertation


  • Both a thesis and a dissertation intend to achieve the same outcome for most programs, and it becomes common to note an interchangeable use of these words in colleges or schools.
  • Both papers have stipulations that students have to adhere to, such as timelines and defense. Otherwise, they can end up doing the same thing time and again until they get it right.  
  • A thesis and a dissertation requires students to pick research topics and develop a complicated working procedure in a skill demonstration of their knowledge level throughout their study program.
  • Similarity in the format and structure for both a thesis and a dissertation 
  • All dissertations and theses require learners to develop a proposal before they can write the final paper. Such a venture allows the student to introduce the key concept and purpose of the final write up.  
  • In both instances, students have to defend the dissertation or thesis for qualification purposes concerning a degree.
  • Both dissertations and theses require originality, where students must ensure no copyright infringement. 


With all the similarities involved between a thesis and a dissertation, there exist differences as well. It includes:

  • Thesis guarantees a master qualification while a dissertation gives way to a doctorate qualification, especially in the USA.
  • Dissertations have a longer length compared to a thesis, which contains about a hundred pages. 
  • Dissertations require students to analyze the already existing literature, while a thesis needs students to start the research from scratch. 
  • Dissertations require a hypothesis, while a thesis needs a thesis statement. A statement simply states your approach in proving your study argument, while a hypothesis defines and describes your study expectations.
  • Students have to conduct extensive work when developing a dissertation compared to the work involved in doing a thesis. 
  • In most cases, writing your dissertation can prove more complicated than a thesis while in college. A dissertation requires numerous questions in creating and developing excellent research work. 

A thesis and a dissertation often have a set of rules when it comes to writing, though you also have to become knowledgeable in the field you have decided to pursue. However, you can always check for online thesis and dissertation samples to become more acquainted with the structure, format, and other rules. 


Most excellent dissertations and theses prove complicated when it comes to writing. However, understanding the differences between the two proves a brilliant spot to start at in understanding the various requirements in developing an excellent paper. So good luck with your research and writing efforts if tackling either of the papers.

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