February 4, 2023 support
Dissertation vs Thesis - Comparison

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It can be difficult to understand the differences between a dissertation and a thesis. A dissertation is typically longer and more comprehensive than a thesis, but both require in-depth exploration of an original idea or topic. A Thesis tends to be shorter, and more focused on offering solutions or arguments related to a specific problem, whereas dissertations offer broader overviews and new insights into existing knowledge.

The debate is endless, therefore our academic writing experts from Write My Essay are here to settle this dispute once and for all. In this article, our team of experts has shared their insights about the main differences between a thesis and a dissertation. Keep reading to know everything!

What is a Thesis?

A thesis is an original research project that addresses an existing problem or creates new knowledge. The document should demonstrate a highly specialized understanding of the topic, as well as in-depth research into relevant literature and other resources. 

A thesis is generally shorter than a dissertation averaging somewhere between 75 to 125 pages in length. Thesis documents focus on offering solutions or arguments related to a specific problem. Student authors often write a thesis as part of their undergraduate or master’s program requirements; however, some doctoral students may also need to complete one for their degree program.

What is a Dissertation?

A dissertation is typically longer than a thesis. The average length of a dissertation ranges from 100 to 300 pages and requires extensive exploration of an original idea or concept. Where these offer succinct answers to questions with clear formulas that may be applied in real-world settings. 

Dissertations provide broader overviews of existing knowledge while presenting new insights into those topics. As such, most doctoral students must complete one in partial fulfillment of their degree program requirements.

Basic Thesis and Dissertation Differences

Writing a thesis or dissertation can be a daunting task for any graduate student. Many students struggle to understand the difference between a thesis and a dissertation and end up inadvertently mixing the two when writing their papers. Let's explore the ten main differences between a dissertation and a thesis to help you determine which one is right for you.
The Average Length
Thesis documents are generally shorter than dissertations; they usually range between 75-125 pages while dissertations tend to run closer to 100-300 pages.
Main Purpose
A thesis is written to address an existing issue, while a dissertation focuses on creating new knowledge. A thesis carries out a detailed debate and discussion on an existing issue but a dissertation carries an in-depth detailed analysis of a new issue.
The Overall Scope
The thesis usually has a narrow focus and makes an argument about solving a specific issue. On the other hand, dissertations take on more comprehensive investigations that explore new ideas or concepts within a given field of study.
Academic Level/Standard
Most undergraduate and master’s degree programs require students complete at least one thesis paper; whereas doctoral programs require students to submit at least one dissertation document before graduating from their degree program.
Intended Audience
The audience for a thesis typically consists of university committee members or faculty; dissertations are read by more people including peers, colleagues, professionals, and academics outside the graduate’s department or field of study.
Research Methodologies
Both documents require different approaches when it comes to structuring their data, formulating research approaches, making conclusions, and citing sources properly. However, the methodology employed in writing each may differ depending on the aims of each project.
The Writing Style
While both documents use formal language, dissertations often incorporate personal accounts that add insight without undermining academic objectivity; this style would not be appropriate in a thesis paper given its narrow scope.
Editing Support Structure
Most universities offer to edit support services dedicated to helping writers craft well-structured papers backed by accurate sources, but usually, only those working on their dissertations have access to those services due to their more comprehensive nature.
Credibility & Publication Potential
Dissertations generally provide a broader overview of the issue that is being discussed covering multiple topics within each document while incorporating original ideas. These ideas may contribute significantly towards expanding existing knowledge within given fields.

Structural Differences Between a Thesis and a Dissertation

The primary structural differences between a thesis and a dissertation are length, focus, and original contribution. A thesis is usually shorter, usually between 25-50 pages in length, and focuses on one primary research question. A dissertation is typically much longer than a thesis and can range from 50 to 500 pages or more depending on the degree program. Additionally, a dissertation requires an original contribution to knowledge either in terms of methodology or data collected for analysis and discussion purposes.

Location-Based Differences Between a Thesis and a Dissertation

Location-based differences between a thesis and a dissertation can be significant depending on the type of degree program. Generally speaking, for Master’s level degrees, including MBA programs, the thesis is conducted within the home country or region where the degree program is offered. For example, if you are enrolled in an MBA program in Germany, you may need to submit your thesis within the country of Germany. For Doctoral degree programs, however, there is typically no such requirement. Depending on the institution offering the doctoral program and its location, a student can conduct their dissertation research either locally or internationally. In some cases, students may even have to travel abroad to fully complete their dissertation requirements.

How to Write a Dissertation VS How to Write a Thesis

Here are some professional tips to remember when you are writing your thesis vs when you are writing your dissertation. Both of these academic documents have their unique needs that need to be fulfilled to get an A+ grade on your thesis or dissertation.


  • Typically longer than a thesis, ranging from 50 to 500+ pages
  • Explores multiple facets of an issue rather than one specific research focus
  • Requires an original contribution to knowledge in terms of methodology or data collected for analysis and discussion purposes
  • May need to be conducted abroad, if required by the institution/degree program


  • Generally shorter and more focused research paper, around 10-15 pages long
  • Written as part of a graduate degrees program such as a Master’s or Doctorate program
  • Presents an argument and collects evidence to defend that argument
  • Can be completed within the home country/region where the degree program is offered

How to Write a Dissertation?

Have a Clear Goal

It’s important to have a clear goal of what you want your dissertation to accomplish. What questions are you hoping to answer? What do you want your research to uncover? Knowing the purpose of your dissertation will give you direction and help keep you on track.

Develop a Plan

Once you know the goal of your dissertation, it’s time to develop a plan on how you’re going to achieve it. Will there be any interviews or surveys involved? What timelines do you need for each step? Make sure that your plan is flexible enough that it can accommodate any changes that may come up during the research process.

Do Your Research

The most important part of writing a successful dissertation is conducting thorough research into the topic at hand. Gather as much reliable data as possible from sources such as peer-reviewed journals, relevant books, and even online forums where experts in the field converse about topics related to yours.

Design Your Process Carefully

No two dissertations are alike so when designing your research process make sure that it fits with the topic at hand and meets all criteria set out by your institution or degree program. Be careful not to overlook any of the details while designing this process; double-check requirements, review deadlines, and clearly understand guidelines before beginning work on your project.

How to Write a Thesis?

Have a Clear Goal

Having a clear goal in mind for your thesis is crucial. What type of research do you need to complete? What questions are you hoping to answer? Knowing what you want to accomplish with your project will make it easier for you to keep on track and produce quality work.

Develop Research Questions

The next step is to develop specific research questions that will guide your project. Think about what topics within the given subject matter need further investigation, and form your research questions accordingly.  Make sure they are testable and directly correlate to the goals of your thesis project.

Do Your Research

Once you have identified your research questions, it’s time to conduct a thorough study of the topic at hand. Consult peer-reviewed journals, relevant books, and online forums where experts in the field converse about topics related to yours. Reliable data is key for creating an effective thesis paper; be sure to select reliable sources for references and back up any claims made throughout the process with evidence from these sources.

Plan Your Paper Outline

Once you have gathered all of the necessary information, it’s important to create an outline of how everything will fit together within the paper itself. Having an organized structure beforehand makes it easier when it comes time for writing, drafting, and editing sections of your paper later on in the process.

Writing a successful dissertation or thesis is not an easy task, but with the right knowledge and determination, anything is achievable. Both dissertations and theses include research, analysis, and writing; however, each one requires you to focus on different aspects of your work. When deciding between the two formats, do your research to understand what is expected from you by both your institution and degree program to create the most effective and professional paper for your studies. If you want our experts to do your thesis or dissertation for you then place your order right now. Rest assured that you will get a high-quality plagiarism-free custom dissertation and thesis delivered to your inbox in the time that you choose while placing your order.


Is thesis and dissertation the same?

No, the thesis and dissertation are not the same. Both of these academic papers have some key differences. Keep on reading to know the 10 key differences between a thesis and a dissertation.

Is a dissertation harder than a thesis?

No, a dissertation is not harder than a thesis, and vice versa. The level of difficulty depends on your understanding of the document that you are going to prepare. A dissertation is longer than a thesis but not more difficult.

What comes first in a thesis or dissertation?

A thesis comes first because a thesis is required for a master’s degree and a dissertation is required for a Doctoral degree aka a PhD. 

Which is a higher thesis or dissertation?

A dissertation is higher than a thesis based on the academic level. A thesis is required for a master’s degree and a dissertation is required for a Doctoral degree aka a Ph.D. 

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