Difference Between a Thesis and Dissertation

Definition of Dissertation | Dissertation and Thesis (2023)

Nowadays, the dissertation has grown to a bigger span, whether the purpose is academic or other. Most people search for understanding the definition of dissertation on the internet. Some of them need clarification on the idea. A dissertation does not mean anything complicated or jumbled up. It is straightforward with the idea of research and exploration. A major portion of college universities let their students proceed with dissertation files. Thus, the students gain marks that help them acquire a good place and result. However, knowing the details related to the dissertation will grow our knowledge. So, here we are going to explain a dissertation as you have never assumed before.

What is a dissertation?

Do many people frequently ask what a dissertation is? If we define a dissertation, it would be easier to say that it is a kind of academic research that you gather from external sources. A dissertation is a large form of writing that is mainly asked while pursuing higher studies like Graduation, post graduations, PhD, and so on. It requires complete research on any particular topic or matter and explained analysis regarding this. It is something that you need to conduct from a broad angle for mainly your academic purposes. You must maintain all the guidelines your department has instructed you to follow and thus submit it within the perfect finishing.

We can also find the definition of dissertation in some reputed dictionaries. The Dictionary of Cambridge defines the term ‘Dissertation’ as “A long piece of writing on a particular subject, especially one that is done in order to receive a degree at college or university.” The word dissertation has arrived from the Latin ‘Dissertatio’. It is a kind of thesis that your school, college or universities ask from you as an assignment. Typically, a dissertation allows the students to find the relevant answers to their questions or propositions accordingly. The main focus of these kinds of projects is to examine the students’ independent research skills while pursuing degrees. Although being a student, you might get some partial help from your tutors, the major part of the assignment is independent and controlled by you.

A dissertation is something that requires students’ hard work, knowledge and merit to be more efficient. The more dedication you will give to your project, it will bounce back with good rewards, and that is exactly what you expect from your dissertation project. However, here we find two types of dissertations for you.

Empirical dissertation:

Empirical dissertations are something which involves collecting data. For example, we can talk about a psychology degree. It means practising with exact professionalism and ethical guidelines when gathering data from the public. Empirical dissertations are something that includes natural and life science-based subjects. It might be entirely laboratory-focused assignment studies.

Non-empirical dissertation:

A non-empirical dissertation meaning is something different. It is basically depending on existing and gathered information and arguments in the work of others. It requires a good amount of research, and that is why you may have to put yourself busy with studies and research words always. Here you need to show your uniqueness with your assignment. In this type of a dissertation, you need to make sure that you do not include what others say but critically analyze the work to explore the practical angles.

How to write a dissertation ? 

Well, to write a dissertation, you must maintain a basic structure. The structure depends on various facts like a topic, approach, research, etc. Discipline is a big thing while working on a dissertation assignment. It is like a long essay or a long-term thesis that is elaborated with the entire document. You need to proceed with categorizing the chapters one by one. There you may include the argued prospectus along with your personal analysis that you are placing depending on the correct information received by the entire research. However, we find some specific knowledge about the hard science and social science dissertations. Typically, these works include a review of containing research, a section of methodology, a complete analysis of your original research, and a fair presentation of the results from your studies. These parts must be presented in different chapters accordingly. Here we are preparing a demo preferred structure you can follow while doing your dissertation.

  • Title page: This is the very first page of your project, which contains the name of the dissertation, your name and study details. Your college name and details are also supposed to be there on the very front page.
  • Preface or Acknowledgement: The acknowledgement portion is not mandatory in every dissertation file. Here you have to thank the people who have helped you and encouraged you during the project. Here you can include the name of supervisors, tutors, friends, family and other members who played a remarkable role in this assignment.
  • Summary: The name gives you a meaning nearly. Here you have to mention the summarised part of the entire dissertation with a minimum of words. You may mention the definition of dissertation that you are presenting. It should preferably be 150 to 350 words to summarise the entire project. The reader may get a rough idea about your project through this part.
  • Menu or List of contents: In this portion, you are supposed to mention all of your projects and chapters one by one mentioning the page number or page marks. Do not forget to include all the major parts of your dissertation, including the appendices and slides. This table contents will help the readers to find any specific part of the assignment easily.
  • List of Abbreviations: Although it is not mandatory but nice to include a list of abbreviations if you have used them in your dissertation. Similarly, it will help the reader to find them or understand them easily.
  • Glossary: In addition to your abbreviation part, if you think that you have used a bunch of unfamiliar terms and words that should be specified, you should go for a Glossary part. Often, we have seen a reader misunderstand the terms, which is how the entire presentation goes in vain. So, preferably it is mentionable in the dissertation program.
  • Introduction: We all know what introduction means. You have to spread the primary essence of your research work here with some crispy but catchy paragraphs so that it builds suspense among the readers. Thus, the value of your assignment may increase. Here you need to mention the basic research topic, the questions on which your entire research stands, and the outline of the flow that is yet to come in the next parts.
  • Literature review: A constitutional part of your entire research is a Literature review. This will help readers to get a thorough understanding of your academic work that exists in the dissertation. You can start by finding relevant resources and analyzing them with a critical perspective. You should draw a connection among the sources that will increase the relevance of your research. You can also include a part here named theoretical framework and add the analysis of the concept, and key theories, that frame your project.
  • Methodology: The methodology chapter describes how you have gone through your research, leading the readers to critically assess its credibility. Your methodology section should place an accurate report about your deeds. It may also convince your reader that nothing but this was the best way to present the answers through the program.
  • Results: The chapter on the result should highlight what the methodology portion has discovered. It can be the answers that have come through the research. It should be specified and up to the mark. Build a connection between the asked question and the answers and give it a positive angle. You can also use tables, graphs, figures, etc., only if it makes a similar sense to your answers and results. Ultimately, your reader must understand what you are trying to say.
  • Discussion or Analysis: The discussion section will throw an opportunity to you to build a strong statement supporting your research. Interpret the results properly, and discuss whether the research matched your predictions or expectations and how efficiently they will fit with your project. Explain what your research means and how it matters.
  • Conclusion: Through this conclusion section, you must reply in short to the questions that you are asked. You have to let the readers understand the central part of the argument and build a strong base with a view of how your project can make an impact on the field. There are some kinds of dissertations where we get to see this conclusion part as a shorter section. On the contrary, there are also some programs where the conclusion portion takes the last and final phase. However, leaving your readers with a clear idea and answer they were looking for in your assignment is essential.
  • Reference list: It is appreciable to mention a reference list in your dissertation. You need to mention all the references from where you have taken the knowledge and all the detailed information, whether it is any website link, book, or anything else.
  • Appendices: You must include such information in support of your answer that makes it bold and indomitable. For that purpose, adding any interview or survey question-answer along with your dissertation may build a strong base in favour of your perspective.
  • Proofreading or editing: Editing is a basic creativity that is important to present a well-organized presentation. Do not avoid going through the proofreading before finalizing your dissertation. An unedited or wrong-written article may change the definition of dissertation you are introducing.
  • Defending your dissertation: This optional part plays a vital role in dissertations. Defending the facts and analysis you made will put your project with such an adamant that it will get a different establishment. But you need to mention the references while defending your statements or research.
  • Free checklist and lecture slide: As you have completed your dissertation assignment, you can simply add a checklist making sure that you do not have any part to include in favour of your study.

Maintaining this structure may increase the quality of your dissertation project. You are suggested to follow the steps one by one with exact and particular detailing that supports your point of view.

Dissertation examples:

For example, we can mention the topic ‘Exploring Income Volatility and Financial Health Among Middle-Income Households’, where the project’s main theme is income volatility and declining financial safety among middle-income households. Here, you need to do detailed research on the basis of economics that supports your topic and how the circumstances are growing beyond the capacities of middle-class and lower-middle-class households. You may add graphs or figures and survey sheets along with your dissertation. Analysis and discussion, staying on your viewpoint and trying to leave an impact. Do not forget to maintain the above-mentioned structure, as it will improve the quality of representation.

Difference Between a Thesis and Dissertation:

Although the thesis and dissertation are quite close to each other, the basic difference is still visible. Here we are mentioning the two major differences.

  1. The primary difference between a thesis and a dissertation is the period when they are asked of you. A thesis is presented mostly when you are going through a master’s program, whereas a dissertation is asked of you while doing a PhD.
  • An idea of a thesis is made through all the learnt and existing information, while the target of a dissertation project is to present a unique theme and defend it with the basis of other practical and theoretical results.

Difference Between an Essay and Dissertation:

The difference between a dissertation and an essay is quite easy to look at. It is something that can be discriminated against easily.

  1. An essay is something that does not need any specified defence or support beyond its information. In fact, we can see mostly essays are shorter than dissertations.
  • An essay typically does not require an individual point of view that the writer can include. It needs only the information that we can find through other sources. On the other hand, the main feature of a dissertation is to add your own point of view and establish it with a solid base.

Bottom line: 

The definition of dissertation might be clear to you throughout this entire article. It is an integral part of academics and studies. Therefore, whenever you are asked for such dissertations to submit, be well-researched, explore a maximum of the minor and major parts that are available relating to your questions and topic and establish a strong presence.

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