The terms thesis and dissertation are often confused and many students think that these are synonyms. You will be amazed to know that even in the official documents and university brochures these words are often mentioned incorrectly. Both are different types of writing with different purpose.

What is a Dissertation?

A dissertation is a final year project and is a form of assessment that is very different from any other assessments that a university requires from the student in an academic year. In a dissertation, the responsibility of learning lies with the student and he has to present his findings on a particular subject and also discuss the outcome of the study.

Dissertation writing and thesis writing are both, specialised writing tasks. Students need to follow proper steps to write them correctly. Understanding the difference between the two is vital to spearhead any of the two tasks. The definition of dissertations according to the universities in the UK, it is a specialised form of writing that involves an extensive reading and an independent research at the undergraduate or the postgraduate level.

It is understandable why a thesis can be confused with the dissertation, both of them require a lengthy study and an in-depth subject analysis. We will focus on the specific differences later in the article.

What is a Thesis?

A thesis, stating in simple words is a long essay that a student presents for the procurement of his or her degree after an extensive personal research on the subject. A thesis is the result of the student’s personal research and not the literary books.


The definition of dissertation in the UK and the world is a little different. In the UK a dissertation is asked also at the graduate level but in the rest of the world, a dissertation is generally required at the PhD level. Following are some of the features of dissertation:

  • It is based on critical thinking rather than experimental data.
  • A dissertation is based on analysis and the concepts on that subject.
  • A dissertation explains the learning experience of the student in the process of acquiring the knowledge and not just the literature facts that are stated in the books.
  • A dissertation must be formal and free of grammatical errors, additionally, it must not contain contractions, irrelevant jargons, slangs, etc.


  • It is a hypothesis or conjecture of a particular subject.
  • Excluding the UK, a thesis is submitted at the end of one’s masters degree.
  • A thesis is based on the primary argument, which you try to prove.
  • In a thesis, original research has to be conducted.

Some Words or Phrases to Avoid in a Dissertation

A dissertation requires for it to be very formal and specific. Many words or phrases are not entertained in a dissertation. Students make mistakes by using these kind of words; adverbs like mostly, which is sometimes over exhausted by the student; jokes, it is a very big error as jokes cannot be a part of a formal document; avoid words like good, bad, nice, terrible, stupid, etc. as a scientific journal does not include moral judgement, avoid all the words or phrases that make a judgement. Use words and phrases that convey the precise and exact meaning and using casual words are a complete no.

Major Points That Differentiates a Dissertation From a Thesis

  • The first and the major difference between a thesis and a dissertation is that a thesis has to be submitted at the end of the master’s degree, whereas a dissertation has to be submitted during the doctoral study.
  • Both are different in purpose also, a dissertation is the contribution of new knowledge, a thesis is the presentation of the knowledge that you have acquired during the academic curriculum.
  • The resemblance of a thesis is more like a research paper, in a dissertation most of the information is your contribution.

Both these format of academic writing are required for the purpose of academic assessment, though they are different in the format and also the objective, they both are of paramount importance and serve a vital purpose in the academic arena. They are both designed to impart a particular learning experience on the initiator. After this article, it must be clear to you that there is a huge difference between a thesis and a dissertation except for the UK where the two are quite opposite in some features. We at EssayCorp provide all the assistance you need with your thesis and dissertations, come seek our help as we are a leading assignment help providers in the US, UK and Australia.

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