Difference between dissertation, essay, thesis, and a report
June 22, 2020

Difference between a Dissertation and a Thesis


Once you enter a university, you suddenly start hearing words like a dissertation, essay, report, and thesis, etc. These words fascinate newbies and often petrify them once they get to know that they will have to compose one of these at different points of time in their university. These are all different forms of academic writings that you will write in your academic career from time to time.

It seems quite troublesome to understand the theme of these documents at first, but a sincere effort can make you adept in mastering the art of writing.  Prior to jumping on to crafting an academic document, you must understand the difference between a report and an essay, as well as a dissertation and a thesis. A lot of students are guilty of merging the structures of different kinds of academic documents.

There are a number of similarities in both dissertations and a thesis as both require a pragmatic approach to deal with a specified topic. Both dissertations and thesis require the use of formal language, for example, if you are a science student, then you are expected to follow a scientific writing guideline. Both types of manuscripts are required as partial fulfillment of a university degree. You are required to draft the analysis and conclusion of the proposed study. Arrangement wise both dissertation and thesis hold abundant resemblances as these documents include the following chapters in sequence.

  • Title
  • Acknowledgment
  • Abstract
  • Table of contents
  • List of figures
  • List of tables
  • Introduction
  • Review of literature
  • Methodology
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Appendices

As all these chapters remain the same in both kinds of documents, the fundamental difference arises at the level of the degree program you are writing. A dissertation is a very detailed study of an existing problem or a new topic in a very specific field, catering to a lot of research material. The dissertation is written at the end of a doctoral study. The research methodology is explained with greater detail, and no stones are left unturned. It is a scholarly written document that is built upon the previous studies; it implies that you have done extensive work in researching the available literature and added your input in solving the problem required explicitly at a doctoral level.

The thesis resembles an extended academic essay; it is generally a smaller study focused on a particular subject or topic describing the research methodologies and findings. The thesis is a requirement for the fulfillment of a master's degree. It is a smaller document as compared to the dissertation and is usually concluded in 1000 pages. The thesis indicates that newer and original research is involved. The thesis can be written at an undergraduate level, whereas a dissertation is specific to a doctoral degree.

These are the significant aspects that separate a thesis from the dissertation. Both documents are an epitome of a higher skill set in a narrower field and depict the passion of a researcher for a particular topic.  Similarly, there are some resemblances and differences between a report and an essay. Writing can be a tiring job for aspiring researchers, along with lab or fieldwork. The overwhelming work can be split with the help of dissertation writing services, letting you focus more on research work.