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Dissertation Vs Thesis: An Unbiased Comparison

In most academic disciplines, students must complete either a dissertation or thesis as a requirement towards earning an advanced degree. There are some basic differences between the two that can affect which students decide to work on – if they even have such a choice. We reached out hundreds of graduate students and identified the characteristics that define the debate between a thesis vs dissertation: 8 basic differences.

Project Length and Scope

The major difference between dissertation and thesis writing comes down to the length and scope. A dissertation can be as long as a book and can take numerous years to complete while dealing specifically and in-depth with a singular topic. A thesis, however, can usually be completed within six or fewer months. And while it too deals with a specific subject, students working on theses are dealing with other school responsibilities and the level of depth into study areas are generally thought of as less than expert.

Data Collection Method

Dissertation and theses database free resources provide you with an opportunity to consider different research approaches to determine precisely the kind of study you need to conduct to thoroughly explore your topic and answer all necessary questions. If you are unfamiliar with these databases then you are advised to get help from a reference librarian. Most universities have access to national databases which you can browse for free. You can use these databases to build a list of sources to back up your research study. Databases will also help you figure out what you need to do in order to “push the envelope” in a sense and take your study in new directions.

Program Requirements

A recent educational study shoes that less than 5% of Americans hold a master’s degree in their area of expertise. This should not be too much of a surprise as more people are deciding against earning an advance degree and choosing to start working professionally as early as possible. Some disciplines answer the dissertation vs master’s thesis debate for you by requiring you to complete one or the other in order to graduate. Check with the department to learn if there are specific program requirements.

Required Time to Finish

Lastly, the time spent working on a dissertation and theses from start to finish varies greatly. The latter are usually completed within a few months and can be done concurrently with other academic projects. A dissertation, however, can sometimes take several years to complete and most often are the sole research work a student conducts at a given time.

Thorough research must be done in order to complete each of the documents and sometimes the discipline students dedicate themselves to determine the kind of project they need to delve into. Before making a choice it is recommended students search a dissertation and thesis database to learn about the kind of projects that have been done prior to their research studies. Reviewing others’ works will help in the decision making process and guide students towards the kind of project that is most suited for their intended work.

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