Do PhD students do thesis or dissertation?

While most universities will let you go over the word count if you have to, this comes with a caveat: you need to have a very compelling reason for doing so. In addition, your supervisor will need to endorse your application. This is to acknowledge that they have looked into your case and agree that it will be absolutely necessary to exceed the word limit to avoid unnecessary damage to your work.

This means that while it is possible to submit a thesis of 100,000 words or more, your research project is unlikely to require it.

Differences in content and structure

So what is the difference between writing a thesis and writing a thesis?

Now that you know the definitions of thesis and dissertation, let’s dive into some obvious ways the structure differs from other key features.

Thesis vs. Thesis: Similarities

  1. The thesis and dissertation are considered a final project and are required for graduation in their respective programs.
  2. Your thesis and dissertation require a deep and precise understanding of the research problem.
  3. Both types of academic writing should address specific research questions.
  4. Academic writing skills are as essential for a thesis as for the dissertation.
  5. Ethical practices should be followed when coordinating and documenting research data.
  6. Plagiarism is not accepted either.
  7. Both require analytical skills to back up the results.
  8. The thesis and dissertation require rigorous editing and critical proofreading before submission.

In Europe, the original distinction between a thesis and a thesis has been largely maintained. A doctoral dissertation is targeted original research undertaken to obtain a doctorate. A thesis is part of a larger postdoctoral research project.

Structural differences between thesis and dissertation

Structurally, there are many differences between the two written analyses.

  • A thesis is at least 100 pages
  • A thesis is 2 to 3 times the length of a thesis
  • A thesis develops and analyzes already existing research
  • The subject of a thesis is mainly attributed to the student as author

Duration and structure

The duration and structure of theses and briefs vary by program; however, most dissertations are much shorter than dissertations. Students seeking a master’s degree typically complete a thesis project in a full semester and this is the only course they take. Doctoral students spend years doing their research so they can write, edit, and cite a research paper of up to 400 pages. In some schools, a doctoral student’s entire course of study may be referred to as their thesis. The duration and structure also depend on the field of study. Science graduates write less because they have more hands-on experience; students in liberal arts and humanities programs write longer articles with more in-depth analysis.

Regardless of how schools use the terms thesis and dissertation, the goal remains the same for both projects: doctoral dissertations and master’s-level dissertations require extensive research to demonstrate that the students have sufficient knowledge in their field. A thesis generally requires less external research because the project reflects the ideas and conclusions of the student. Dissertations last several years and may require hundreds of external sources.

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