What is a Dissertation and a Thesis?

July 22, 2020 by No Comments

Dissertation and Thesis: Where Does the Difference Lie?

It is quite likely that you have come across both terms. If you are like most people, you might have asked yourself where the difference lies. It should then come as a relief to know that a dissertation and a thesis are essentially synonyms. They both capture the final paper written at the need of one's studies in college. Suffice it to say, both names can be used interchangeably, depending on which you come from.

A thesis is undoubtedly one of the most intimidating requirements in a student's academic life. It is one of the lengthiest assignments and one of the most demanding in terms of time and effort. Consequently, one can easily lose track and struggle on where to start and how to progress. In this article, we shall look to outline the process, offering a simple framework on how to proceed with a thesis.

Typically, a thesis consists of the following sections: the abstract, introduction, body, and conclusion. The format might vary depending on the particular field or institution. However, its structure is consistent across all academic platforms. It follows then that the structure should be formulated and handled chronologically.

Nevertheless, an effective method to handle a thesis is to develop and write all other sections first. After which you can then add an abstract, introduction, and conclusion. From this, you can formulate the latter sections and tie everything into a harmonious piece of writing. Moreover, you will ultimately save on time resourcefully while also ensuring your thesis has all the necessary elements.

Main Elements of a Thesis

A standard thesis should contain each of the following sections.

  • Title Page: Contains relevant information that includes, such as title, your name, and the name of the institution too.
  • Acknowledgments: This section is set apart to express gratitude to people and parties contributing to writing the dissertation.
  • Abstract: A summary of your dissertation. Ideally, you should write it after you are done with all the other body sections.
  • Table of Contents: This shows all sections; chapter and subheadings with their corresponding page numbers.
  • Glossary: An alphabetical list that defines and expounds any specialized terms and abbreviations used in the thesis.
  • Theoretical Framework: This section handles a systematic argument that establishes and further justifies the purpose and relevance of your research.
  • Methodology: In this section, you elaborate on the tools and techniques you will apply in the research and their justification.
  • Discussion: For this section, you are required to provide an interpretation of the findings from your research. This should also include any limitations encountered.
  • Conclusion: Finally, this section provides an elaborate answer to the dissertation’s problem statement. Usually, it includes reflections and recommendations for the objective.
  • Reference list and Appendices: This is an acknowledgment of all external sources cited in the thesis. The citations should strictly be done according to the relevant referencing style provided in the guidelines.

These sections, summed up together systematically, constitute a remarkable thesis.

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