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Dissertation, What is it?

When contemplating the realities of University, the one thing that most doctoral students think about is the dissertation paper. This is a comprehensive paper needed to graduate. Besides, it’s also possible that you wonder what the difference between a dissertation and a thesis is. While this is something that requires a lot of effort and commitment, it’s impressive that you’re thinking ahead.

booklet with dissertation written on it

Thesis and dissertation are two different terms with almost similar purposes. Even though they have distinct differences, these two words are utilized compatibly and frequently confused. They both feature the same structure since they have an introduction, appendix, body, bibliography, literary review, and conclusion, though not in that order. Other than this, there are no other similarities between these two papers. Read on as we delve into more about the dissertation and the differences between dissertation and thesis.

Here wo go;

So, what exactly is a dissertation?

This is a research paper typically finished as part of a postgraduate or undergraduate degree. Usually, this paper lets students reveal their findings in relation to a query or proposal that they choose. The project’s primary purpose is to put the research skills that the students have gained during the time they’ve spent in the University to the test. Furthermore, it is an evaluation that has a significant bearing on their final grade.

Even though lecturers usually guide students, this project is primarily independent. For many students, this will be the most challenging and longest assignment during their university studies, but it is also vital. It would help if you did your research for months and visit the library more often to study.

On the other hand, it could be rewarding, especially if you’re ardent about the topic you chose. For this reason, it would be best if you selected a topic you’re genuinely passionate about.


Types of dissertation

The kind of dissertation you work on will depend on the course you’re studying. Here are the two categories of dissertation

1. Empirical dissertations

These are dissertations that comprise collecting information from people, especially if you’re studying psychology. This translates to practicing ethical and professional policies when collecting information from your sources. Empirical dissertations for courses that involve life science may include or be ultimately about lab work.

2. Non-empirical dissertations

On the other hand, non-empirical dissertations involve collecting existing information and arguments in other people’s work. This mostly means spending a lot of time in the library doing research. In this kind of a dissertation, it is necessary to ensure you’re not simply elaborating what other people are saying but analyzing the work deeply and delving into its practical applications.


Difference between dissertation and thesis

The major difference between these two papers is when they are finished. A thesis is a paper that signifies the end of your master’s study, while a dissertation takes place during doctoral study. Besides, the dissertation and thesis are relatively different in their objective.

Typically, a thesis is an assemblage of research that shows you know a lot about the course you have been studying. A dissertation is the chance to add fresh knowledge and practices in the field you’ve been studying throughout your doctorate program.

Structural differences of thesis:

  1. A thesis is similar to the types of research papers undergraduates are usually assigned. You research a given topic, then assess and comment about the compiled data and how it is associated with the specific subject at hand. The thesis’s principal aim is to test your critical thinking and the ability to discuss the given topic exhaustively and intelligently.
  2. Moreover, with a thesis, you’re typically given a chance to deeper explore a specific subject that’s critical to an area you’d want to pursue after graduation. A dissertation, however, needs you to use other people’s research to guide you through creating and proving a distinctive hypothesis, concept, or theory.
  3. Another difference between these two papers is the length. A thesis is supposed to have not less than 100 pages, possibly more than that. On the other hand, a dissertation is expected to be much longer since it includes a lot of research data, together with all the information about your proposal and how this information was arrived at.
  4. A dissertation is hugely complex and detailed. It will most probably be two to three times the number of pages of a thesis. Besides, for your dissertation, you’re guided by an adviser who will help you out when you’re stuck and help find handy resources that guarantee your work is impeccable.

How long is a dissertation?

Like most academic aspects, a dissertation’s length is relatively complex, and it depends on the field being studied. What`s more, it depends on multiple factors such as the kind of analysis, research area, and discipline. In general, the standard length of a dissertation is from 100 to 300 pages. Even though it is essential to consider several contributing aspects, it is critical to be well-informed about the elements that can impact the document’s length.

Dissertation length according to discipline

Quantitative dissertations

Doctoral students studying an academic course that depends on quantitative research such as human behavior analysis or other related studies are usually expected to present shorter documents. Subjects such as biology, chemistry, and a few social sciences rely on a statistical analysis of the main research.

For this reason, they abide by the method-based applications and studies that follow a straight and clear path. In the same way, researchers in studies such as health sciences, economics, psychology, and business may present dissertations with less than 150 pages.

Qualitative dissertations

As for academic disciplines that utilize qualitative research to increase the body’s content, the situation is very different. Studies such as history, which typically consume a lot of your time due to the lengthy procedure for finishing the dissertation, and getting your Ph.D. are known to give dissertations with more than 300 pages, frequently reaching 400 pages or even more.

They are different since they are a collection of tertiary and secondary material, images, documents, and many references recognizing the hundreds of books you’ve studied and consulted when you were doing your research.

While this dissertation might look exhausting, many advantages come with presenting lengthier dissertations. The advantage of writing long dissertations is that they frequently give more than enough research for numerous conference papers and journal articles.

Instead of having a single subject to publish, writers who finalize dissertations in subjects like literature, anthropology, art history, and theology will have a number of articles and conference presentations ready to be published.

In this highly driven job market, especially with tenure track positions, it’s better for the students to be prepared early in life to begin publishing.

Creative dissertation

This is another unfamiliar factor to consider when contemplating the length of dissertation papers. Even though it is small, a progressive number of subjects are providing scholars with these options in various creative studies.

Creative dissertations are what you could describe as a hybrid replica of original, innovative research presented as a critical theoretical introduction. This dissertation is growing in popularity, especially among essayists, fiction writers, and poets who have already made a name for themselves within academic fields. Creative dissertations are usually Manuscripts with approximately 200 pages.


Dissertation length summary

So, how long should a dissertation be? As seen, length varies, but it is essential that you also think about how long you need to write it. Typically, people assume that a dissertation paper is one document written at the same time.

This is certainly not true. The chapters in a dissertation, particularly in qualitative research, usually begin as final papers during academic seminars. Usually, this is a chance for the students to consider a suitable topic before starting their research. Go for one that you’re passionate about and would commit enough to provide a book-length project.

When thinking about your dissertation paper’s length, it is essential to consider all the portions of this paper that are not your main argument. For instance, dissertations require a literature review; a review of the available publications utilized to demonstrate an opening in peer-reviewed scholarship, which your dissertation will preferably cover.

Additionally, there is plenty of information that adds to this document’s page count, such as;

  • Index
  • Title Page
  • Appendix
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • Abstract

When you do your research adequately at the end of the day, it will all add up.


Bottom Line

Lastly, though it is obvious, it is not a good idea to pay a third-party writer to do your dissertation or thesis for you. Additionally, it would help if you did not cheat in any other way. While this might be tempting considering all the work you have to put into your research, it is not worth it. A dissertation project is an opportunity to put your research skills to the test.

On the other hand, requesting assistance from a friend, supervisor, or family member is okay. They can help you go through your paper to ensure it is okay. Your supervisor is supposed to guide you in case you get stuck, therefore do not be shy to ask for help.

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