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dissertation vs research proposal

Doctoral handbook

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  • Dissertation Proposal

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Proposal Overview and Format

Proposal committee, proposal hearing or meeting.

  • Printing Credit for Use in School of Education Labs

Students are urged to begin thinking about a dissertation topic early in their degree program. Concentrated work on a dissertation proposal normally begins after successful completion of the Second-Year Review, which often includes a “mini” proposal, an extended literature review, or a theoretical essay, plus advancement to doctoral candidacy. In defining a dissertation topic, the student collaborates with their faculty advisor or dissertation advisor (if one is selected) in the choice of a topic for the dissertation.

The dissertation proposal is a comprehensive statement on the extent and nature of the student’s dissertation research interests. Students submit a draft of the proposal to their dissertation advisor between the end of the seventh and middle of the ninth quarters. The student must provide a written copy of the proposal to the faculty committee no later than two weeks prior to the date of the proposal hearing. Committee members could require an earlier deadline (e.g., four weeks before the hearing).

The major components of the proposal are as follows, with some variations across Areas and disciplines:

  • A detailed statement of the problem that is to be studied and the context within which it is to be seen. This should include a justification of the importance of the problem on both theoretical and educational grounds.
  • A thorough review of the literature pertinent to the research problem. This review should provide proof that the relevant literature in the field has been thoroughly researched. Good research is cumulative; it builds on the thoughts, findings, and mistakes of others.
  • its general explanatory interest
  • the overall theoretical framework within which this interest is to be pursued
  • the model or hypotheses to be tested or the research questions to be answered
  • a discussion of the conceptual and operational properties of the variables
  • an overview of strategies for collecting appropriate evidence (sampling, instrumentation, data collection, data reduction, data analysis)
  • a discussion of how the evidence is to be interpreted (This aspect of the proposal will be somewhat different in fields such as history and philosophy of education.)
  • If applicable, students should complete a request for approval of research with human subjects, using the Human Subjects Review Form ( http://humansubjects.stanford.edu/ ). Except for pilot work, the University requires the approval of the Administrative Panel on Human Subjects in Behavioral Science Research before any data can be collected from human subjects.

Registration (i.e., enrollment) is required for any quarter during which a degree requirement is completed, including the dissertation proposal. Refer to the Registration or Enrollment for Milestone Completion section for more details.

As students progress through the program, their interests may change. There is no commitment on the part of the student’s advisor to automatically serve as the dissertation chair. Based on the student’s interests and the dissertation topic, many students approach other GSE professors to serve as the dissertation advisor, if appropriate.

A dissertation proposal committee is comprised of three academic council faculty members, one of whom will serve as the major dissertation advisor. Whether or not the student’s general program advisor serves on the dissertation proposal committee and later the reading committee will depend on the relevance of that faculty member’s expertise to the topic of the dissertation, and their availability. There is no requirement that a program advisor serve, although very often they do. Members of the dissertation proposal committee may be drawn from other area committees within the GSE, from other departments in the University, or from emeriti faculty. At least one person serving on the proposal committee must be from the student’s area committee (CTE, DAPS, SHIPS). All three members must be on the Academic Council; if the student desires the expertise of a non-Academic Council member, it may be possible to petition. After the hearing, a memorandum listing the changes to be made will be written and submitted with the signed proposal cover sheet and a copy of the proposal itself to the Doctoral Programs Officer.

Review and approval of the dissertation proposal occurs normally during the third year. The proposal hearing seeks to review the quality and feasibility of the proposal. The Second-Year Review and the Proposal Hearing are separate milestones and may not occur as part of the same hearing or meeting.

The student and the dissertation advisor are responsible for scheduling a formal meeting or hearing to review the proposal; the student and proposal committee convene for this evaluative period. Normally, all must be present at the meeting either in person or via conference phone call.

At the end of this meeting, the dissertation proposal committee members should sign the Cover Sheet for Dissertation Proposal and indicate their approval or rejection of the proposal. This signed form should be submitted to the Doctoral Programs Officer. If the student is required to make revisions, an addendum is required with the written approval of each member of the committee stating that the proposal has been revised to their satisfaction.

After submitting the Proposal Hearing material to the Doctoral Programs Officer, the student should make arrangements with three faculty members to serve on their Dissertation Reading Committee. The Doctoral Dissertation Reading Committee form should be completed and given to the Doctoral Programs Officer to enter in the University student records system. Note: The proposal hearing committee and the reading committee do not have to be the same three faculty members. Normally, the proposal hearing precedes the designation of a Dissertation Reading Committee, and faculty on either committee may differ (except for the primary dissertation advisor). However, some students may advance to Terminal Graduate Registration (TGR) status before completing their dissertation proposal hearing if they have established a dissertation reading committee. In these cases, it is acceptable for the student to form a reading committee prior to the dissertation proposal hearing. The reading committee then serves as the proposal committee.

The proposal and reading committee forms and related instructions are on the GSE website, under current students>forms.

Printing Credit for Use in GSE Labs

Upon completion of their doctoral dissertation proposal, GSE students are eligible for a $300 printing credit redeemable in any of the GSE computer labs where students are normally charged for print jobs. Only one $300 credit per student will be issued, but it is usable throughout the remainder of her or his doctoral program until the balance is exhausted. The print credit can be used only at the printers in Cubberley basement and CERAS, and cannot be used toward copying.

After submitting the signed dissertation proposal cover sheet to the Doctoral Programs Officer indicating approval (see above), students can submit a HELP SU ticket online at helpsu.stanford.edu to request the credit. When submitting the help ticket, the following should be selected from the drop-down menus for HELP SU:

Request Category :  Computer, Handhelds (PDAs), Printers, Servers Request Type :  Printer Operating System : (whatever system is used by the student, e.g., Windows XP.)

The help ticket will be routed to the GSE's IT Group for processing; they will in turn notify the student via email when the credit is available.

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Handbook Contents

  • Timetable for the Doctoral Degree
  • Degree Requirements
  • Registration or Enrollment for Milestone Completion
  • The Graduate Study Program
  • Student Virtual and Teleconference Participation in Hearings
  • First Year (3rd Quarter) Review
  • Second Year (6th Quarter) Review
  • Committee Composition for First- and Second-Year Reviews
  • Advancement to Candidacy
  • Academic Program Revision
  • Dissertation Content
  • Dissertation Reading Committee
  • University Oral Examination
  • Submitting the Dissertation
  • Registration and Student Statuses
  • Graduate Financial Support
  • GSE Courses
  • Curriculum Studies and Teacher Education (CTE)
  • Developmental and Psychological Sciences (DAPS)
  • Learning Sciences and Technology Design (LSTD)
  • Race, Inequality, and Language in Education (RILE)
  • Social Sciences, Humanities, and Interdisciplinary Policy Studies in Education (SHIPS)
  • Contact Information
  • Stanford University Honor Code
  • Stanford University Fundamental Standard
  • Doctoral Programs Degree Progress Checklist
  • GSE Open Access Policies

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  • Dissertation

What Is a Dissertation? | Guide, Examples, & Template

Structure of a Dissertation

A dissertation is a long-form piece of academic writing based on original research conducted by you. It is usually submitted as the final step in order to finish a PhD program.

Your dissertation is probably the longest piece of writing you’ve ever completed. It requires solid research, writing, and analysis skills, and it can be intimidating to know where to begin.

Your department likely has guidelines related to how your dissertation should be structured. When in doubt, consult with your supervisor.

You can also download our full dissertation template in the format of your choice below. The template includes a ready-made table of contents with notes on what to include in each chapter, easily adaptable to your department’s requirements.

Download Word template Download Google Docs template

  • In the US, a dissertation generally refers to the collection of research you conducted to obtain a PhD.
  • In other countries (such as the UK), a dissertation often refers to the research you conduct to obtain your bachelor’s or master’s degree.

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Table of contents

Dissertation committee and prospectus process, how to write and structure a dissertation, acknowledgements or preface, list of figures and tables, list of abbreviations, introduction, literature review, methodology, reference list, proofreading and editing, defending your dissertation, free checklist and lecture slides.

When you’ve finished your coursework, as well as any comprehensive exams or other requirements, you advance to “ABD” (All But Dissertation) status. This means you’ve completed everything except your dissertation.

Prior to starting to write, you must form your committee and write your prospectus or proposal . Your committee comprises your adviser and a few other faculty members. They can be from your own department, or, if your work is more interdisciplinary, from other departments. Your committee will guide you through the dissertation process, and ultimately decide whether you pass your dissertation defense and receive your PhD.

Your prospectus is a formal document presented to your committee, usually orally in a defense, outlining your research aims and objectives and showing why your topic is relevant . After passing your prospectus defense, you’re ready to start your research and writing.

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The structure of your dissertation depends on a variety of factors, such as your discipline, topic, and approach. Dissertations in the humanities are often structured more like a long essay , building an overall argument to support a central thesis , with chapters organized around different themes or case studies.

However, hard science and social science dissertations typically include a review of existing works, a methodology section, an analysis of your original research, and a presentation of your results , presented in different chapters.

Dissertation examples

We’ve compiled a list of dissertation examples to help you get started.

  • Example dissertation #1: Heat, Wildfire and Energy Demand: An Examination of Residential Buildings and Community Equity (a dissertation by C. A. Antonopoulos about the impact of extreme heat and wildfire on residential buildings and occupant exposure risks).
  • Example dissertation #2: Exploring Income Volatility and Financial Health Among Middle-Income Households (a dissertation by M. Addo about income volatility and declining economic security among middle-income households).
  • Example dissertation #3: The Use of Mindfulness Meditation to Increase the Efficacy of Mirror Visual Feedback for Reducing Phantom Limb Pain in Amputees (a dissertation by N. S. Mills about the effect of mindfulness-based interventions on the relationship between mirror visual feedback and the pain level in amputees with phantom limb pain).

The very first page of your document contains your dissertation title, your name, department, institution, degree program, and submission date. Sometimes it also includes your student number, your supervisor’s name, and the university’s logo.

Read more about title pages

The acknowledgements section is usually optional and gives space for you to thank everyone who helped you in writing your dissertation. This might include your supervisors, participants in your research, and friends or family who supported you. In some cases, your acknowledgements are part of a preface.

Read more about acknowledgements Read more about prefaces

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dissertation vs research proposal

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The abstract is a short summary of your dissertation, usually about 150 to 300 words long. Though this may seem very short, it’s one of the most important parts of your dissertation, because it introduces your work to your audience.

Your abstract should:

  • State your main topic and the aims of your research
  • Describe your methods
  • Summarize your main results
  • State your conclusions

Read more about abstracts

The table of contents lists all of your chapters, along with corresponding subheadings and page numbers. This gives your reader an overview of your structure and helps them easily navigate your document.

Remember to include all main parts of your dissertation in your table of contents, even the appendices. It’s easy to generate a table automatically in Word if you used heading styles. Generally speaking, you only include level 2 and level 3 headings, not every subheading you included in your finished work.

Read more about tables of contents

While not usually mandatory, it’s nice to include a list of figures and tables to help guide your reader if you have used a lot of these in your dissertation. It’s easy to generate one of these in Word using the Insert Caption feature.

Read more about lists of figures and tables

Similarly, if you have used a lot of abbreviations (especially industry-specific ones) in your dissertation, you can include them in an alphabetized list of abbreviations so that the reader can easily look up their meanings.

Read more about lists of abbreviations

In addition to the list of abbreviations, if you find yourself using a lot of highly specialized terms that you worry will not be familiar to your reader, consider including a glossary. Here, alphabetize the terms and include a brief description or definition.

Read more about glossaries

The introduction serves to set up your dissertation’s topic, purpose, and relevance. It tells the reader what to expect in the rest of your dissertation. The introduction should:

  • Establish your research topic , giving the background information needed to contextualize your work
  • Narrow down the focus and define the scope of your research
  • Discuss the state of existing research on the topic, showing your work’s relevance to a broader problem or debate
  • Clearly state your research questions and objectives
  • Outline the flow of the rest of your work

Everything in the introduction should be clear, engaging, and relevant. By the end, the reader should understand the what, why, and how of your research.

Read more about introductions

A formative part of your research is your literature review . This helps you gain a thorough understanding of the academic work that already exists on your topic.

Literature reviews encompass:

  • Finding relevant sources (e.g., books and journal articles)
  • Assessing the credibility of your sources
  • Critically analyzing and evaluating each source
  • Drawing connections between them (e.g., themes, patterns, conflicts, or gaps) to strengthen your overall point

A literature review is not merely a summary of existing sources. Your literature review should have a coherent structure and argument that leads to a clear justification for your own research. It may aim to:

  • Address a gap in the literature or build on existing knowledge
  • Take a new theoretical or methodological approach to your topic
  • Propose a solution to an unresolved problem or advance one side of a theoretical debate

Read more about literature reviews

Theoretical framework

Your literature review can often form the basis for your theoretical framework. Here, you define and analyze the key theories, concepts, and models that frame your research.

Read more about theoretical frameworks

Your methodology chapter describes how you conducted your research, allowing your reader to critically assess its credibility. Your methodology section should accurately report what you did, as well as convince your reader that this was the best way to answer your research question.

A methodology section should generally include:

  • The overall research approach ( quantitative vs. qualitative ) and research methods (e.g., a longitudinal study )
  • Your data collection methods (e.g., interviews or a controlled experiment )
  • Details of where, when, and with whom the research took place
  • Any tools and materials you used (e.g., computer programs, lab equipment)
  • Your data analysis methods (e.g., statistical analysis , discourse analysis )
  • An evaluation or justification of your methods

Read more about methodology sections

Your results section should highlight what your methodology discovered. You can structure this section around sub-questions, hypotheses , or themes, but avoid including any subjective or speculative interpretation here.

Your results section should:

  • Concisely state each relevant result together with relevant descriptive statistics (e.g., mean , standard deviation ) and inferential statistics (e.g., test statistics , p values )
  • Briefly state how the result relates to the question or whether the hypothesis was supported
  • Report all results that are relevant to your research questions , including any that did not meet your expectations.

Additional data (including raw numbers, full questionnaires, or interview transcripts) can be included as an appendix. You can include tables and figures, but only if they help the reader better understand your results. Read more about results sections

Your discussion section is your opportunity to explore the meaning and implications of your results in relation to your research question. Here, interpret your results in detail, discussing whether they met your expectations and how well they fit with the framework that you built in earlier chapters. Refer back to relevant source material to show how your results fit within existing research in your field.

Some guiding questions include:

  • What do your results mean?
  • Why do your results matter?
  • What limitations do the results have?

If any of the results were unexpected, offer explanations for why this might be. It’s a good idea to consider alternative interpretations of your data.

Read more about discussion sections

Your dissertation’s conclusion should concisely answer your main research question, leaving your reader with a clear understanding of your central argument and emphasizing what your research has contributed to the field.

In some disciplines, the conclusion is just a short section preceding the discussion section, but in other contexts, it is the final chapter of your work. Here, you wrap up your dissertation with a final reflection on what you found, with recommendations for future research and concluding remarks.

It’s important to leave the reader with a clear impression of why your research matters. What have you added to what was already known? Why is your research necessary for the future of your field?

Read more about conclusions

It is crucial to include a reference list or list of works cited with the full details of all the sources that you used, in order to avoid plagiarism. Be sure to choose one citation style and follow it consistently throughout your dissertation. Each style has strict and specific formatting requirements.

Common styles include MLA , Chicago , and APA , but which style you use is often set by your department or your field.

Create APA citations Create MLA citations

Your dissertation should contain only essential information that directly contributes to answering your research question. Documents such as interview transcripts or survey questions can be added as appendices, rather than adding them to the main body.

Read more about appendices

Making sure that all of your sections are in the right place is only the first step to a well-written dissertation. Don’t forget to leave plenty of time for editing and proofreading, as grammar mistakes and sloppy spelling errors can really negatively impact your work.

Dissertations can take up to five years to write, so you will definitely want to make sure that everything is perfect before submitting. You may want to consider using a professional dissertation editing service , AI proofreader or grammar checker to make sure your final project is perfect prior to submitting.

After your written dissertation is approved, your committee will schedule a defense. Similarly to defending your prospectus, dissertation defenses are oral presentations of your work. You’ll present your dissertation, and your committee will ask you questions. Many departments allow family members, friends, and other people who are interested to join as well.

After your defense, your committee will meet, and then inform you whether you have passed. Keep in mind that defenses are usually just a formality; most committees will have resolved any serious issues with your work with you far prior to your defense, giving you ample time to fix any problems.

As you write your dissertation, you can use this simple checklist to make sure you’ve included all the essentials.

Checklist: Dissertation

My title page includes all information required by my university.

I have included acknowledgements thanking those who helped me.

My abstract provides a concise summary of the dissertation, giving the reader a clear idea of my key results or arguments.

I have created a table of contents to help the reader navigate my dissertation. It includes all chapter titles, but excludes the title page, acknowledgements, and abstract.

My introduction leads into my topic in an engaging way and shows the relevance of my research.

My introduction clearly defines the focus of my research, stating my research questions and research objectives .

My introduction includes an overview of the dissertation’s structure (reading guide).

I have conducted a literature review in which I (1) critically engage with sources, evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of existing research, (2) discuss patterns, themes, and debates in the literature, and (3) address a gap or show how my research contributes to existing research.

I have clearly outlined the theoretical framework of my research, explaining the theories and models that support my approach.

I have thoroughly described my methodology , explaining how I collected data and analyzed data.

I have concisely and objectively reported all relevant results .

I have (1) evaluated and interpreted the meaning of the results and (2) acknowledged any important limitations of the results in my discussion .

I have clearly stated the answer to my main research question in the conclusion .

I have clearly explained the implications of my conclusion, emphasizing what new insight my research has contributed.

I have provided relevant recommendations for further research or practice.

If relevant, I have included appendices with supplemental information.

I have included an in-text citation every time I use words, ideas, or information from a source.

I have listed every source in a reference list at the end of my dissertation.

I have consistently followed the rules of my chosen citation style .

I have followed all formatting guidelines provided by my university.


The end is in sight—your dissertation is nearly ready to submit! Make sure it's perfectly polished with the help of a Scribbr editor.

If you’re an educator, feel free to download and adapt these slides to teach your students about structuring a dissertation.

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What Exactly Is A Dissertation (Or Thesis)?

If you’ve landed on this article, chances are you’ve got a dissertation or thesis project coming up (hopefully it’s not due next week!), and you’re now asking yourself the classic question, “what the #%#%^ is a dissertation?”…

In this post, I’ll break down the basics of exactly what a dissertation is, in plain language. No ivory tower academia.

So, let’s get to the pressing question – what is a dissertation?

A dissertation (or thesis) = a research project

Simply put, a dissertation (or thesis – depending on which country you’re studying in) is a research project . In other words, your task is to ask a research question (or set of questions) and then set about finding the answer(s). Simple enough, right?

Well, the catch is that you’ve got to undertake this research project in an academic fashion , and there’s a wealth of academic language that makes it all (look) rather confusing (thanks, academia). However, at its core, a dissertation is about undertaking research (investigating something). This is really important to understand, because the key skill that your university is trying to develop in you (and will be testing you on) is your ability to undertake research in a well-structured structured, critical and academically rigorous way.

This research-centric focus is significantly different from assignments or essays, where the main concern is whether you can understand and apply the prescribed module theory. I’ll explain some other key differences between dissertations or theses and assignments a bit later in this article, but for now, let’s dig a little deeper into what a dissertation is.

A dissertation (or thesis) is a process.

Okay, so now that you understand that a dissertation is a research project (which is testing your ability to undertake quality research), let’s go a little deeper into what that means in practical terms.

The best way to understand a dissertation is to view it as a process – more specifically a research process (it is a research project, after all). This process involves four essential steps, which I’ll discuss below.

The research process

Step 1 – You identify a worthy research question

The very first step of the research process is to find a meaningful research question, or a set of questions. In other words, you need to find a suitable topic for investigation. Since a dissertation is all about research, identifying the key question(s) is the critical first step. Here’s an example of a well-defined research question:

“Which factors cultivate or erode customer trust in UK-based life insurance brokers?”

This clearly defined question sets the direction of the research . From the question alone, you can understand exactly what the outcome of the research might look like – i.e. a set of findings about which factors help brokers develop customer trust, and which factors negatively impact trust.

But how on earth do I find a suitable research question, you ask? Don’t worry about this right now – when you’re ready, you can read our article about finding a dissertation topic . However, right now, the important thing to understand is that the first step in the dissertation process is identifying the key research question(s). Without a clear question, you cannot move forward.

Step 2 – You review the existing research

Once the research question is clearly established, the next step is to review the existing research/literature (both academic and professional/industry) to understand what has already been said with regard to the question. In academic speak, this is called a literature review .

This step is critically important as, in all likelihood, someone else has asked a similar question to yours, and therefore you can build on the work of others . Good academic research is not about reinventing the wheel or starting from scratch – it’s about familiarising yourself with the current state of knowledge, and then using that as your basis for further research.

Simply put, the first step to answering your research question is to look at what other researchers have to say about it. Sometimes this will lead you to change your research question or direction slightly (for example, if the existing research already provides a comprehensive answer). Don’t stress – this is completely acceptable and a normal part of the research process.

Step 3 – You carry out your own research

Once you’ve got a decent understanding of the existing state of knowledge, you will carry out your own research by collecting and analysing the relevant data. This could take to form of primary research (collecting your own fresh data), secondary research (synthesising existing data) or both, depending on the nature of your degree, research question(s) and even your university’s specific requirements.

Exactly what data you collect and how you go about analysing it depends largely on the research question(s) you are asking, but very often you will take either a qualitative approach (e.g. interviews or focus groups) or a quantitative approach (e.g. online surveys). In other words, your research approach can be words-based, numbers-based, or both . Don’t let the terminology scare you and don’t worry about these technical details for now – we’ll explain research methodology in later posts .

Step 4 – You develop answers to your research question(s)

Combining your understanding of the existing research (Step 2) with the findings from your own original research (Step 3), you then (attempt to) answer your original research question (s). The process of asking, investigating and then answering has gone full circle.

A dissertation's structure reflect the research process

Of course, your research won’t always provide rock-solid answers to your original questions, and indeed you might find that your findings spur new questions altogether. Don’t worry – this is completely acceptable and is a natural part of the research process.

So, to recap, a dissertation is best understood as a research process, where you are:

  • Ask a meaningful research question(s)
  • Carry out the research (both existing research and your own)
  • Analyse the results to develop an answer to your original research question(s).

Dissertation Coaching

Depending on your specific degree and the way your university designs its coursework, you might be asking yourself “but isn’t this just a longer version of a normal assignment?”. Well, it’s quite possible that your previous assignments required a similar research process, but there are some key differences you need to be aware of, which I’ll explain next.

Same same, but different…

While there are, naturally, similarities between dissertations/theses and assignments, its important to understand the differences  so that you approach your dissertation with the right mindset and focus your energy on the right things. Here, I’ll discuss four ways in which writing a dissertation differs substantially from assignments and essays, and why this matters.

Difference #1 – You must decide (and live with) the direction.

Unlike assignments or essays, where the general topic is determined for you, for your dissertation, you will (typically) be the one who decides on your research questions and overall direction. This means that you will need to:

  • Find a suitable research question (or set of questions)
  • Justify why its worth investigating (in the form of a research proposal )
  • Find all the relevant existing research and familiarise yourself with the theory

This is very different from assignments, where the theory is given to you on a platter, and the direction is largely pre-defined. Therefore, before you start the dissertation process, you need to understand the basics of academic research, how to find a suitable research topic and how to source the relevant literature.

You make the choices

Difference #2 – It’s a long project, and you’re on your own.

A dissertation is a long journey, at least compared to assignments. Typically, you will spend 3 – 6 months writing around 15,000 – 25,000 words (for Masters-level, much more for PhD) on just one subject. Therefore, successfully completing your dissertation requires a substantial amount of stamina .

To make it even more challenging, your classmates will not be researching the same thing as you are, so you have limited support, other than your supervisor (who may be very busy). This can make it quite a lonely journey . Therefore, you need a lot of self-discipline and self-direction in order to see it through to the end. You should also try to build a support network of people who can help you through the process (perhaps alumni, faculty or a private coach ).

Difference #3 – They’re testing research skills.

We touched on this earlier. Unlike assignments or essays, where the markers are assessing your ability to understand and apply the theories, models and frameworks that they provide you with, your dissertation will be is assessing your ability to undertake high-quality research in an academically rigorous manner.

Of course, your ability to understand the relevant theory (i.e. within your literature review) is still very important, but this is only one piece of the research skills puzzle. You need to demonstrate the full spectrum of research skills.

It’s important to note that your research does not need to be ground-breaking, revolutionary or world-changing – that is not what the markers are assessing. They are assessing whether you can apply well-established research principles and skills to a worthwhile topic of enquiry. Don’t feel like you need to solve the world’s major problems. It’s simply not going to happen (you’re a first-time researcher, after all) – and doesn’t need to happen in order to earn good marks.

Difference #4 – Your focus needs to be narrow and deep.

In your assignments, you were likely encouraged to take a broad, interconnected, high-level view of the theory and connect as many different ideas and concepts as possible. In your dissertation, however, you typically need to narrow your focus and go deep into one particular topic. Think about the research question we looked at earlier:

The focus is intentionally very narrow – specifically the focus is on:

  • The UK only – no other countries are being considered.
  • Life insurance brokers only – not financial services, not vehicle insurance, not medical insurance, etc.
  • Customer trust only – not reputation, not customer loyalty, not employee trust, supplier trust, etc.

By keeping the focus narrow, you enable yourself to deeply probe whichever topic you choose – and this depth is essential for earning good marks. Importantly, ringfencing your focus doesn’t mean ignoring the connections to other topics – you should still acknowledge all the linkages, but don’t get distracted – stay focused on the research question(s).

Keep a narrow focus

So, as you can see, a dissertation is more than just an extended assignment or essay. It’s a unique research project that you (and only you) must lead from start to finish. The good news is that, if done right, completing your dissertation will equip you with strong research skills, which you will most certainly use in the future, regardless of whether you follow an academic or professional path.

Wrapping up

Hopefully in this post, I’ve answered your key question, “what is a dissertation?”, at least at a big picture-level. To recap on the key points:

  • A dissertation is simply a structured research project .
  • It’s useful to view a dissertation as a process involving asking a question, undertaking research and then answering that question.
  • First and foremost, your marker(s) will be assessing your research skills , so its essential that you focus on producing a rigorous, academically sound piece of work (as opposed to changing the world or making a scientific breakthrough).
  • While there are similarities, a dissertation is different from assignments and essays in multiple ways. It’s important to understand these differences if you want to produce a quality dissertation.

In this post, I’ve gently touched on some of the intricacies of the dissertation, including research questions, data types and research methodologies. Be sure to check out the Grad Coach Blog  for more detailed discussion of these areas.

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Thematic analysis 101


Micheal Fielies

Hello Derek

Yes, I struggle with literature review and am highly frustrated (with myself).

Thank you for the guide that you have sent, especially the apps. I am working through the guide and busy with the implementation of it.

Hope to hear from you again!

Regards Micheal

Derek Jansen

Great to hear that, Michael. All the best with your research!


Thank you. That was quite something to move forward with. Despite the fact that I was lost. I will now be able to do something with the information given.

That’s great, Pheladi. Good luck!


Thank you so much for your videos and writing research proposal and dissertation. These videos are useful. I was struggling, but now I am starting to write. I hope to watch your more videos to learn more about the dissertation.

James Otim

Before this post, I didn’t know where to start my research, today I have some light and do certain % of my research. I may need for direction on literature review. Big thanks to you.


Very very good Derek


Thanks immensely Derek

Derek Jansen

You’re welcome 🙂 Good luck with your dissertation/thesis.

Samson Ladan

Thank you Derek for widening my scope on research, this can be likened to a blind man whose eyes can now see.

Remain bless sir🙏


You guys are doing really great… I am extremely grateful for your help… Keep going.. Please activate that research help for indian students as well I couldn’t access it being an indian.


Hello Derek,

I got stuck in the concept paper because I changed my topic. Now I don’t know where to pick up the pieces again. How can I focus and stay on track. I am getting scared.


Thank you so much Derek, I am a new comer, learning for the first time how to write a good research. These in information’s to me is a mind opener, I hope to learn more from you in the future, Thanks and God bless.

Toluwani T. David

Thanks Guys this means so much to me

Yusuf Danmalam Ishaya

A pretty good and insightful piece for beginners like me. Looking forward to more helpful hints and guide. Thanks to Derek.


This is so helpful…really appreciate your work.

Great to hear that

Akanji Wasiu

On cybersecurity Analytics research to banking transactions

Faith Euphemia

This was of great help to me and quite informative .


Thank you so much GradCoach,

This is like a light at the end of the tunnel. You are a lifesaver. Thank you once again.


hello, I’m so grateful for such great information. It appears basic, but it is so relevant in understanding the research process.


Your website is very helpful for writing thesis. A big well done to the team. Do you have a website for paper writing and academic publishing or how to publish my thesis, how to land a fully funded PhD, etc. Just the general upward trajectory in the academia. Thank you

Hasibullah Zaki

I have learned a lot from the lectures, it was beneficial and helped me a lot in my research journey. Thank you very much

Agboinedu John Innocent

Thank you for your gifts of enlightenment to a person like me who’s always a student. May your ‘well’not dry out.

Izhar kazmi

It’s quite a fun and superb, now I have come to believe that the way one teach can have an impact in understanding and can change one’s assumption and position about a subject or a problem, before I came here and learn I consider research methodology a hard thing because, I wasn’t taught by a mentor like this one. Thanks so much who ever have make this effort to make this something easy and engaging


I can’t imagine that world has achieved major aspects of every field of study


Thank you very much for all the valuable, wonderful and comprehensive amount of information… I highly appreciate your support, 100% I recommend you

Douglas Owusu

This topic is intended for my MPhil. Work (The perception of parents on Technical and Vocational Education, the impact on educational policy). May you consider the suitability of the topic for me and refine if the need be. Thank you,


Hello here…

i have gone through the notes and it is interesting. All i need now is a pdf file that contain a whole dissertation writing inclusive of chapter 1 to 5 on motivation as a topic… thanks


Remarkable!!! You made it sound so simple


I got stuck in my writing because I need to change my topic. I am getting scared as I have a semester left 🙁

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Frequently asked questions

What’s the difference between a research plan and a research proposal.

The best way to remember the difference between a research plan and a research proposal is that they have fundamentally different audiences. A research plan helps you, the researcher, organize your thoughts. On the other hand, a dissertation proposal or research proposal aims to convince others (e.g., a supervisor, a funding body, or a dissertation committee) that your research topic is relevant and worthy of being conducted.

Frequently asked questions: Dissertation

When you mention different chapters within your text, it’s considered best to use Roman numerals for most citation styles. However, the most important thing here is to remain consistent whenever using numbers in your dissertation .

Formulating a main research question can be a difficult task. Overall, your question should contribute to solving the problem that you have defined in your problem statement .

However, it should also fulfill criteria in three main areas:

  • Researchability
  • Feasibility and specificity
  • Relevance and originality

The results chapter or section simply and objectively reports what you found, without speculating on why you found these results. The discussion interprets the meaning of the results, puts them in context, and explains why they matter.

In qualitative research , results and discussion are sometimes combined. But in quantitative research , it’s considered important to separate the objective results from your interpretation of them.

Results are usually written in the past tense , because they are describing the outcome of completed actions.

The abstract appears on its own page, after the title page and acknowledgements but before the table of contents .

Avoid citing sources in your abstract . There are two reasons for this:

  • The abstract should focus on your original research, not on the work of others.
  • The abstract should be self-contained and fully understandable without reference to other sources.

There are some circumstances where you might need to mention other sources in an abstract: for example, if your research responds directly to another study or focuses on the work of a single theorist. In general, though, don’t include citations unless absolutely necessary.

The abstract is the very last thing you write. You should only write it after your research is complete, so that you can accurately summarize the entirety of your thesis or paper.

An abstract is a concise summary of an academic text (such as a journal article or dissertation ). It serves two main purposes:

  • To help potential readers determine the relevance of your paper for their own research.
  • To communicate your key findings to those who don’t have time to read the whole paper.

Abstracts are often indexed along with keywords on academic databases, so they make your work more easily findable. Since the abstract is the first thing any reader sees, it’s important that it clearly and accurately summarises the contents of your paper.

A theoretical framework can sometimes be integrated into a  literature review chapter , but it can also be included as its own chapter or section in your dissertation . As a rule of thumb, if your research involves dealing with a lot of complex theories, it’s a good idea to include a separate theoretical framework chapter.

A literature review and a theoretical framework are not the same thing and cannot be used interchangeably. While a theoretical framework describes the theoretical underpinnings of your work, a literature review critically evaluates existing research relating to your topic. You’ll likely need both in your dissertation .

While a theoretical framework describes the theoretical underpinnings of your work based on existing research, a conceptual framework allows you to draw your own conclusions, mapping out the variables you may use in your study and the interplay between them.

A thesis or dissertation outline is one of the most critical first steps in your writing process. It helps you to lay out and organise your ideas and can provide you with a roadmap for deciding what kind of research you’d like to undertake.

Generally, an outline contains information on the different sections included in your thesis or dissertation, such as:

  • Your anticipated title
  • Your abstract
  • Your chapters (sometimes subdivided into further topics like literature review, research methods, avenues for future research, etc.)

Your list of tables and figures should go directly after your table of contents in your thesis or dissertation.

Usually, no title page is needed in an MLA paper . A header is generally included at the top of the first page instead. The exceptions are when:

  • Your instructor requires one, or
  • Your paper is a group project

In those cases, you should use a title page instead of a header, listing the same information but on a separate page.

The title page of your thesis or dissertation goes first, before all other content or lists that you may choose to include.

The title page of your thesis or dissertation should include your name, department, institution, degree program, and submission date.

A glossary is a collection of words pertaining to a specific topic. In your thesis or dissertation, it’s a list of all terms you used that may not immediately be obvious to your reader. In contrast, dictionaries are more general collections of words.

Glossaries are not mandatory, but if you use a lot of technical or field-specific terms, it may improve readability to add one to your thesis or dissertation. Your educational institution may also require them, so be sure to check their specific guidelines.

A glossary is a collection of words pertaining to a specific topic. In your thesis or dissertation, it’s a list of all terms you used that may not immediately be obvious to your reader. In contrast, an index is a list of the contents of your work organised by page number.

Definitional terms often fall into the category of common knowledge , meaning that they don’t necessarily have to be cited. This guidance can apply to your thesis or dissertation glossary as well.

However, if you’d prefer to cite your sources , you can follow guidance for citing dictionary entries in MLA or APA style for your glossary.

A glossary is a collection of words pertaining to a specific topic. In your thesis or dissertation, it’s a list of all terms you used that may not immediately be obvious to your reader. Your glossary only needs to include terms that your reader may not be familiar with, and is intended to enhance their understanding of your work.

APA doesn’t require you to include a list of tables or a list of figures . However, it is advisable to do so if your text is long enough to feature a table of contents and it includes a lot of tables and/or figures .

A list of tables and list of figures appear (in that order) after your table of contents, and are presented in a similar way.

A list of figures and tables compiles all of the figures and tables that you used in your thesis or dissertation and displays them with the page number where they can be found.

Copyright information can usually be found wherever the table or figure was published. For example, for a diagram in a journal article , look on the journal’s website or the database where you found the article. Images found on sites like Flickr are listed with clear copyright information.

If you find that permission is required to reproduce the material, be sure to contact the author or publisher and ask for it.

Lists of figures and tables are often not required, and they aren’t particularly common. They specifically aren’t required for APA Style, though you should be careful to follow their other guidelines for figures and tables .

If you have many figures and tables in your thesis or dissertation, include one may help you stay organised. Your educational institution may require them, so be sure to check their guidelines.

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We try our best to ensure that the same editor checks all the different sections of your document. When you upload a new file, our system recognizes you as a returning customer, and we immediately contact the editor who helped you before.

However, we cannot guarantee that the same editor will be available. Your chances are higher if

  • You send us your text as soon as possible and
  • You can be flexible about the deadline.

Please note that the shorter your deadline is, the lower the chance that your previous editor is not available.

If your previous editor isn’t available, then we will inform you immediately and look for another qualified editor. Fear not! Every Scribbr editor follows the  Scribbr Improvement Model  and will deliver high-quality work.

Yes, our editors also work during the weekends and holidays.

Because we have many editors available, we can check your document 24 hours per day and 7 days per week, all year round.

If you choose a 72 hour deadline and upload your document on a Thursday evening, you’ll have your thesis back by Sunday evening!

Yes! Our editors are all native speakers, and they have lots of experience editing texts written by ESL students. They will make sure your grammar is perfect and point out any sentences that are difficult to understand. They’ll also notice your most common mistakes, and give you personal feedback to improve your writing in English.

Every Scribbr order comes with our award-winning Proofreading & Editing service , which combines two important stages of the revision process.

For a more comprehensive edit, you can add a Structure Check or Clarity Check to your order. With these building blocks, you can customize the kind of feedback you receive.

You might be familiar with a different set of editing terms. To help you understand what you can expect at Scribbr, we created this table:

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When you place an order, you can specify your field of study and we’ll match you with an editor who has familiarity with this area.

However, our editors are language specialists, not academic experts in your field. Your editor’s job is not to comment on the content of your dissertation, but to improve your language and help you express your ideas as clearly and fluently as possible.

This means that your editor will understand your text well enough to give feedback on its clarity, logic and structure, but not on the accuracy or originality of its content.

Good academic writing should be understandable to a non-expert reader, and we believe that academic editing is a discipline in itself. The research, ideas and arguments are all yours – we’re here to make sure they shine!

After your document has been edited, you will receive an email with a link to download the document.

The editor has made changes to your document using ‘Track Changes’ in Word. This means that you only have to accept or ignore the changes that are made in the text one by one.

It is also possible to accept all changes at once. However, we strongly advise you not to do so for the following reasons:

  • You can learn a lot by looking at the mistakes you made.
  • The editors don’t only change the text – they also place comments when sentences or sometimes even entire paragraphs are unclear. You should read through these comments and take into account your editor’s tips and suggestions.
  • With a final read-through, you can make sure you’re 100% happy with your text before you submit!

You choose the turnaround time when ordering. We can return your dissertation within 24 hours , 3 days or 1 week . These timescales include weekends and holidays. As soon as you’ve paid, the deadline is set, and we guarantee to meet it! We’ll notify you by text and email when your editor has completed the job.

Very large orders might not be possible to complete in 24 hours. On average, our editors can complete around 13,000 words in a day while maintaining our high quality standards. If your order is longer than this and urgent, contact us to discuss possibilities.

Always leave yourself enough time to check through the document and accept the changes before your submission deadline.

Scribbr is specialised in editing study related documents. We check:

  • Graduation projects
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Our customer support team is here to find the solution that helps you the most, whether that’s a free new edit or a refund for the service.

Yes, in the order process you can indicate your preference for American, British, or Australian English .

If you don’t choose one, your editor will follow the style of English you currently use. If your editor has any questions about this, we will contact you.

Enago Academy

Thesis Vs. Dissertation — Know the difference and similarities!

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The academic world is filled with many different types of writing assignments, each with its own unique set of requirements and expectations. One common source of confusion for students is the distinction between a thesis and a dissertation. Both are long-form academic works, but there are several key differences between the two that are important to understand.

In Shakespeare’s day, a candidate for a master’s degree would write a thesis, an original paper in which he maintained a certain proposition. Whereas, completion of a doctoral program required submission and defense of a dissertation. He would read his thesis to his committee, after which he sat in silence while two faculty members gave point-by-point refutations of everything the candidate said.

The focus here was on the student’s ideas and his ability to arrange and express them clearly. If a student wished to advance further in academia he could pursue a dissertation. This was more of a  literature review . He would read widely in a particular area and write up his findings, discussing the various authorities and their opinions. The point was to demonstrate that he was well-versed in the literature of the field. While the confusion between the two terms is understandable, we shall tackle the dissertation vs. thesis topic in this article and provide unambiguous insights on it.

Table of Contents

What Is a Thesis?

A thesis is a critically written scholarly piece of research work. Typically, it is submitted by students graduating from a master’s program. The purpose of a thesis is to allow students to showcase their knowledge and expertise within the subject matter they have been studying as part of the program.

What Is a Dissertation?

A dissertation is a comparatively lengthier piece of scholarly writing that accounts for your research work throughout the doctoral program. A researcher earns the Ph.D. after submitting and defending his/her dissertation. It includes all information about the original research or expanded research on a new or existing topic conducted by the Ph.D. candidate.

Dissertation vs. Thesis: Differences

  • The primary difference between a thesis and a dissertation is the time when they are completed. As mentioned earlier, a thesis is presented at the culmination of a master’s program, whereas, a dissertation is presented to earn a Ph.D.
  • A thesis is a compilation of research ensuring that the researcher is well-informed and has knowledge about the research topic learned in the study program. On the other hand, a dissertation provides an opportunity for the researcher to contribute new theories and information to the existing literature in the research field.
  • A thesis is a presentation of learned and existing information, while the purpose of a dissertation is to develop a unique concept and defend it based on theoretical and practical results.
  • A master’s thesis is approximately 100 pages in length. However, a Ph.D. dissertation should be much longer than a thesis and must include background and research information. A dissertation must include your research proposal, grant proposal, literature review , ideation of research topic, and every other minute detail about your research. Ideally, a dissertation inclusive of all details mentioned above should be three times the length of a master’s thesis.

Dissertation vs. Thesis: Similarities

  • Both a thesis and a dissertation are considered final projects and are required to graduate from respective programs.
  • The thesis and dissertation both require a deep and accurate understanding of the research problem.
  • Both forms of scholarly written pieces must address specific research questions.
  • Academic writing skills are imperative for a thesis as well as a dissertation.
  • Ethical practices must be followed while collating and documenting research data.
  • Plagiarism is not accepted in either.
  • Both require analytical skills to support the findings.
  • It is essential that both undergo intense dissertation/ thesis editing  and  critical proofreading  before final submission.

Dissertation vs. Thesis: Europe

In Europe, the original distinction between a thesis and a dissertation has been largely retained. A doctoral thesis is a focused piece of original research that is performed to obtain a Ph.D. A dissertation is part of a broader post-graduate research project.


However, the thesis has evolved since original research nowadays requires plenty of background research . So, a thesis will contain extensive citations and references to earlier work, although the focus remains on the original work that comes out of it.

Dissertation vs. Thesis: USA

In the United States, the definition of a thesis is almost the opposite of that in Europe. Because a thesis is shorter than a dissertation it gradually came to mean a preliminary degree on the way to a doctorate. A thesis is now performed to earn a Master’s degree. In scientific fields, a master’s candidate takes advanced coursework and gains hands-on experience in a research project but does not direct the project to the same extent that he would in a doctoral program. In a master’s project, the student’s ideas are welcomed and expected but the focus is on obtaining technical expertise, not doing original research. Engineering students commonly obtain Master’s degrees and seldom go on to get PhDs. In other fields such as Chemistry, the opposite is true, with a Master’s degree no longer being required as the first step for a doctorate. Almost everyone I know who received a Master’s degree in Chemistry got one because they dropped out of graduate school and wrote their truncated research as a Master’s project.

In a Nutshell

Needless to say, the dissertation vs. thesis facts are real. Therefore, using one term instead of another is not acceptable as an academic. One must remember the purpose of each and use them accordingly. However, one is not undermined by the other. Whether you are writing a thesis or a dissertation, both must be done with the same seriousness. Both require critical technical and soft skills. Improving your time management and academic writing skills plays a major role in acing both forms of scholarly writing.

How do you decipher dissertation vs. thesis? Should the interchanged usage of these terms be acceptable? How is your approach to writing a thesis different from that of a dissertation? What are the other differences associated with the thesis and dissertation? Let us know in the comments section below!

Frequently Asked Questions

"Dissertation" and "thesis" are used interchangeably but differ in: Academic Level: Thesis for master's, dissertation for doctoral degrees (US). Scope and Depth: Thesis shorter, demonstrates mastery; dissertation extensive, original research. Originality: Thesis may involve original analysis; dissertation presents significant new insights. Time and Effort: Dissertations require more resources and time than theses.

The length of a dissertation varies depending on factors like academic discipline, research topic, institution, and country. Generally, dissertations are longer than theses, ranging from 10,000 to over 100,000 words. However, word count alone does not reflect the quality or depth of the research. Guidelines from the academic institution should be consulted for specific requirements.

The length of a thesis varies depending on factors like academic discipline, research topic, institution, and country. Generally, the word count ranges from around 10,000 to 50,000 words. Specific guidelines from the academic institution should be consulted for precise requirements.

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Thesis vs. Dissertation vs. Research Paper – Understand The Difference

Thesis vs. Dissertation vs. Research Paper

Table of Contents

There are a wide variety of writing assignments in the academic world, each with its own distinct criteria and expectations. The most common point of confusion among students is the differentiation between a research paper, thesis, and dissertation. It’s critical for students pursuing master’s or doctoral degrees to understand the distinctions between Thesis vs Dissertation vs Research Paper.

Sometimes, students confuse research for term papers or thesis writing with dissertations. The worst-case situation is when you wind up writing a dissertation paper rather than a thesis. This kind of thing often ends in students receiving lower grades. Therefore, the main topic we are going to discuss here in this blog of All Assignment Help is – Thesis vs Dissertation vs Research Paper. Keep reading to know the key difference between the three of them.

Thesis vs. Dissertation vs. Research Paper – Differences Based on the Definition

A college freshman who has not yet written an academic paper finds things easier when they knows the precise distinctions between these three academic papers. Now, let’s define the thesis, research, and dissertation.


A dissertation usually represents a project that doctorate candidates work on. It necessitates detailed and extensive research. It represents the highest standard of research and advances the area of study.

A thesis is a type of academic paper that offers a thorough analysis of earlier studies in a particular area. However, there will be a thought-provoking argument, the student will typically not have conducted any original research for it. The proposed thesis is evaluated and supported by existing research.

Research Paper

A research paper is a literary composition that is often needed for a class assignment. The most important thing to remember about research papers is that you have to conduct independent research before you can write them. There are scientific and non-scientific research methods using which you can conduct your research for the topic.

One thing common to all these three is their internal structure. You will find an introduction, literature review, research methodology, results, discussion, and conclusion in all of them. We will begin with the difference between the dissertation and the thesis. A discussion about the research paper is provided at the end of the blog article.

Read Here: How to Write a Thesis? Thesis definition & examples

dissertation vs research proposal

Thesis vs. Dissertation – 8 Major Differences That You Must Know

These assignments evaluate students’ capacity for independent study and call for creativity in order to address original, previously unexplored issues. For more knowledge between the thesis vs dissertation, we have listed the top 8 differences that you should know.

  • You need to collect information in order to prepare and complete a thesis. On the other hand, you need to research all by yourself in the case of the dissertation.
  • A thesis is short and takes less time to complete. However, a dissertation is long and takes more time to complete.
  • In the dissertation, you must have a decent knowledge of new discoveries in order to infer your conclusion. However, in a thesis, you need to include a hypothesis based on your research work.
  • In a thesis, you get a scholarship while the case is indifferent to the case of the dissertation.
  • In the case of a thesis, you must focus on the primary argument in order to prove his standpoint. On the other hand, in a dissertation, you need to focus on his background work.
  • In the case of a dissertation, you need to have novel findings to existing literature. In contrast to the dissertation, you have to utilize your research work to prove your viewpoint.
  • A dissertation is more like an academic book, and a thesis is the same as an academic research paper.
  • A dissertation consists of theories and arguments based on original research. On the other hand, data collected in a thesis is based on a hypothetical analysis of contents.

Furthermore, when it comes to Thesis vs. dissertation, a thesis is shorter than a dissertation and contains up to 80 to 100 pages. However, writing both a thesis and a dissertation is not a cup of tea for many students. Thus, it is better for them to get a thesis or dissertation help service online where they will be assisted by a professional writer who will help them complete their thesis or dissertation according to their professor’s requirements.

How a Research Paper Is Different from a Dissertation and Thesis?

A research paper is an academic writing assignment that requires study, analysis of sources, organization, composition, and critical thinking. Additionally, research papers allow students to examine, analyze, and assess information pertaining to a specific topic.

Now, after knowing the basic definition of a research paper, you must the how it is different from a dissertation and thesis.


  • In a research paper, you have to prove the central argument. It should mention and contain all the main points the research paper wants to address.
  • In a research paper, you have to talk about the central thesis statement and should gather evidence or data to prove the same.
  • A research paper is an extension and expansion of the central thesis
  • The thesis is usually a part of the research paper and not vice-versa.
  • The research paper is an original piece of document and plagiarism plagiarism-free.

Reasons for Writing the Research Paper

  • One of the major reasons that you write a research paper is that you get to learn a lot about your chosen subject. The research paper helps you read the conventions of scholarly writing. Furthermore, you can even read and learn their style of documentation and the ethics of research.
  • Another major reason is that you become familiar with the library through the ‘ learning by doing ’ method. Exploring a research paper helps you to interview many experts about your subject. You can blend your ideas with those of the experts to attain a different point of view.
  • Track information
  • Ways to organize
  • Usage of the Internet in his research
  • Differentiating between useless and useful options
  • How to summarize
  • Effectively managing time
  • Managing the research project from the start till the end.
  • After discussing the reasons for writing a research paper, we will now discuss the steps of Research writing.

Additionally, the primary goal of this kind of writing is to present a distinctive viewpoint on a topic by assessing and analyzing previous thoughts about it. However, being a student, it might get difficult for you to gather the desired information for your research paper or you might require a research paper writing service to structure your research paper properly and logically. In such a case, you can browse the Internet where you will find a number of reputable services offering help in writing research papers.

Thesis vs. Dissertation vs. Research Paper – Factors Determining the Key Differences

To begin with, keep in mind that there may be differences across various kinds of academic papers in terms of writing style, definition, and argument presentation, in addition to the writing goal and academic level. Below we have mentioned the key factors that will help you know the differences between these three in a more concise manner.

Length of Paper and Methodology

Fortunately, the writing process for these papers is similar, with elements like introduction, abstract, literature review, research technique, presentation/findings, discussions, conclusion, etc. However, each document varies in length. Most dissertations and research papers are lengthy. Still, since thesis papers are typically shorter, writing them takes less time. Research and dissertations necessitate collecting data and conducting in-depth analyses of studies. As a result, you dedicate more time to them both prior to and while writing.

Understanding, Inference, and Hypothesis

An educated assumption is called a hypothesis. You have to make assumptions about how something will work out before you can start a study. Above all, the creation of a hypothesis or thesis statement is influenced by how the result will affect a population. Students are expected to demonstrate a thorough comprehension of a subject through research and dissertation writing. They have to arrive at or draw a significant conclusion based on this assumption. However, when writing thesis papers, a topic is researched and written about before a hypothesis is developed.

Another method to distinguish the three papers is by looking at how students approach writing their thesis papers, dissertations, and research papers. Students who are writing research and dissertation papers need to cite previously published works of literature to support their conclusions. However, thesis papers often cite previously published research to support their arguments. For instance, to support your study on the same topic, you can examine samples from several research publications on climate change. It is basically your job to verify the existence of a phenomenon or issue by consulting previously written and published scholarly papers.

Method of Publication and Uses

It’s important to keep in mind that academic papers differ depending on their publication and usage context. Considering dissertation papers are so large, they are similar to freshly released, whole books. Your book could be referred to as academic. It turns you into a published writer. However, studies and theses are similar to articles in that they provide light on a subject, although they do not go as far as dissertations.

In the comparison between thesis vs dissertation vs research paper, they all serve the same purpose whether the student is writing them for online classes or offline classes. They have to write them by following the same criteria and guidelines. However, students taking online classes may struggle to write papers that meet the same criteria and guidance due to less guidance or hesitation to ask in online classes. As a result, they often seek assistance by asking, can I pay someone to take my online class for me? to the website that claims to help students with their online classes.

Also Read: How to Write a Reaction Paper (Insights, Tips and Methodology)

How to Choose a Good Thesis, Dissertation, or Research Paper Topic?

If you are about to start your thesis, dissertation, or research paper, the first thing you have to do is choose an apt topic for it. A student can win half of the war if he/she can choose the right topic for a dissertation, thesis paper, or research paper. Choosing a research topic for the dissertation/thesis is not a small task at all. Students spend several years writing these long research papers. Therefore, the topic must also get good attention and hard work as well. But, the question arises, How do you choose a good topic for a dissertation or thesis paper? Well, there are thousands of topics one can find for a research paper. Choosing the best out of them is quite laborious. One can take suggestions from an assigned mentor or you can read out below the ways one can have a good topic for the thesis, dissertation, or research paper.

Generate ideas

Never stick to a single topic or idea. Rather, go for multiple topics and ideas. Read various online scholastic papers to get a wide range of ideas for your research work.

Do a test run

When you have a bunch of ideas, test them all. Write your ideas on a sheet and under each idea or thought write the areas where you will do research, note down what you can write on it, etc. This will let you know whether you have substantial information on a specific idea or not. 

Narrow down your ideas

After completing the former step, the next thing is to weed out all the least important ideas and only keep those that have a high possibility. Work on those ideas further. This way, you might develop a good topic for your research paper.

Get online assistance

If the above three steps do not work for you, then never shy away from taking dissertation, research paper, or thesis help online from experts. Consult with them and let them know your problem. They will help you either by giving you some great topics or by providing you with complete dissertation help.

Follow the above-mentioned steps and see whether you are able to create a good dissertation or research paper topic or not. For further help visit our main website allassignmenthelp.com. Here you will get all kinds of research paper/ dissertation/ thesis paper writing help from professional writers. So, wait less and get the best, click the button below to order your academic work instantly.

  • Key Differences

Know the Differences & Comparisons

Difference Between Thesis and Research Paper


On the other hand, a research paper is analytical, argumentative and interpretative in nature. It involves the pursuit of knowledge and intelligent analysis of the information collected. It contains the idea of the author, often supported by expert opinions, research and information available in this regard.

Whether you are writing a thesis or research paper, they are equally challenging and take a lot of time to prepare. In this post, we will update you on all the points of difference between thesis and  research paper.

Content: Thesis Vs Research Paper

  • Key Elements
  • Thesis Statement

How to start a research paper?

Comparison chart, what is thesis.

The thesis is a document containing the research and findings that students submit to get the professional qualification or degree . It has to be argumentative, which proposes a debatable point with which people could either agree or disagree. In short, it is a research report in writing that contains a problem which is yet to be dealt with.

In a thesis, the researcher puts forth his/her conclusion. The researcher also gives evidence in support of the conclusion.

Submission of the thesis is a mandatory requirement of a postgraduate course and PhD degree. In this, the primary focus is on the novelty of research along with the research methodology.

It is all about possibilities, by introducing several anti-thesis. Also, it ends up all the possibilities by nullifying all these anti-thesis.

Key Elements of Thesis


  • Proposition : The thesis propagates an idea, hypothesis or recommendation.
  • Argument : Gives reasons for accepting the proposition instead of just asserting a point of view.
  • Maintenance of argument : The argument should be made cogent enough by providing suitable logic and adequate evidence.

Features of An Ideal Thesis

  • An Ideal thesis is expected to add fresh knowledge to the existing theory.
  • It communicates the central idea of the research in a clear and concise manner.
  • An effective thesis is more than a simple statement, fact or question.
  • It answers why and how questions concerned with the topic.
  • To avoid confusion, it is worded carefully.
  • It outlines the direction and scope of your essay.
  • It gives reasons to the reader to continue reading.

Also Read : Difference Between Thesis and Dissertation

What is Thesis Statement?

A thesis statement is a sentence of one line, usually written at the end of your first paragraph. It presents the argument to the reader.

It is a blueprint of your thesis that directs the writer while writing the thesis and guides the reader through it.

What is Research Paper?

Research Paper is a form of academic writing. It is prepared on the basis of the original research conducted by the author on a specific topic, along with its analysis and interpretation of the findings.

An author generally starts writing a research paper on the basis of what he knows about the topic and seeks to find out what experts know. Further, it involves thorough and systematic research on a particular subject to extract the maximum information.

In short, a research paper is a written and published report containing the results of scientific research or a review of published scientific papers. Here, the scientific research is the primary research article, while the review of a published scientific paper is the review article.

In case of the primary research article, the author of the research paper provides important information about the research. This enables the scientific community members to:

  • Evaluate it
  • Reproduce the experiments
  • Assess the reasoning and conclusions drawn

On the other hand, a review article is written to analyze, summarize and synthesize the research carried out previously.

When a research work is published in a scientific journal, it conveys the knowledge to a larger group of people and also makes people aware of the scientific work. Research work published as a research paper passes on knowledge and information to many people. The research paper provides relevant information about the disease and the treatment options at hand .

To start writing a research paper, one should always go for a topic that is interesting and a bit challenging too. Here, the key to choosing the topic is to pick the one that you can manage. So, you could avoid such topics which are very technical or specialized and also those topics for which data is not easily available. Also, do not go for any controversial topic.

The researcher’s approach and attitude towards the topic will decide the amount of effort and enthusiasm.

Steps for writing Research Paper


The total number of pages included in a Research Paper relies upon the research topic. It may include 8 to 10 pages, which are:

  • Introduction
  • Review of Literature
  • Methodology
  • Research Analysis
  • Recommendations

Also Read : Difference Between Research Proposal and Research Report

Key Differences Between Thesis and Research Paper

  • A thesis implies an original, plagiarism-free, written academic document that acts as a final project for a university degree of a higher level. But, Research Paper is a novel, plagiarism-free long essay. It portrays the interpretation, evaluation or argument submitted by a researcher.
  • The thesis acts as a final project. Whereas a research paper is a kind of research manual of journals.
  • The length of the thesis is around 20,000 to 80,000 words. On the contrary, the length of the research paper is relative to the study.
  • The thesis focuses on the central question or statement of an intellectual argument that entails further research. On the contrary, the research paper is concerned with proving the central argument.
  • The purpose of submitting the thesis is to get the degree or professional qualification. It also presents the knowledge of the candidate in the respective field. Conversely, the aim of publishing research papers is to prove credibility and contribute knowledge in the respective field.
  • While the student submits the thesis to the educational committee or panel of professors who review it. In contrast, scientists and other researchers read and review the research paper.
  • Preparation and completion of thesis is always under the guidance of a supervisor. For submission of the thesis, the university assigns a supervisor to each student, under whose guidance the thesis must be completed. As against, no supervisor is appointed as a guide in case of a research paper.
  • The thesis contains a broader description of the subject matter. In contrast, the research paper contains a narrow description of the subject matter.

Once the research paper is published, it increases the fellowship and job opportunities for new researchers. On the other hand, thesis writing will enable the students to get the desired degree at the end of the course they have opted.

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Dr. Owenga says

February 23, 2023 at 2:38 pm

So good and informative. These are quite beneficial insights. Thanks

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Difference between a Research Proposal and a Synopsis

  • September 5, 2022
  • Research Paper Writing , Thesis Writing , YouTube Journal
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research proposal

In the beginning, we can say that a summary is a brief, compact overview of the main points in a longer document. The purpose is to give readers an idea of what’s in the full-length document without reading it all & how to write synopsis. A synopsis for thesis can be a shorter version of your document that’s designed to give readers an overview of your ideas and conclusions. A research proposal is a formal document that outlines the scope and direction of an academic study or research project. It includes a plan for how you will collect data and analyze it, as well as how you will present your results with un understanding the difference between research proposal and synopsis

An Overview of both Documents:  

Synopsis vs Research Proposal 

A synopsis is a short form of your full research proposal and is just the introduction to the report. It convinces readers that you understand their problem and can provide a solution. 

A research proposal is a detailed plan of how you will conduct your study. The research proposal includes a study design, which includes the specific questions that need to be answered, sampling strategy, data collection methods, analysis plan and reporting format. 

How to write a Synopsis?  

A synopsis for thesis is a brief, concise description of your paper. With learning how to write synopsis, communicate the main ideas and arguments in your paper and to tell someone else what you’re going to say. A good synopsis is a way for you to organize your ideas before you write the whole thing, and it helps others determine if they want to read further. 

A synopsis for thesis is a summary of your article. It should be written in the following format: 

  • Title of your book or article (in bold) 
  • Author’s name and contact details (in italics) 
  • The main idea of your article or book (in bold) 
  • Introduction (optional) 
  • Body (in bold) 
  • Conclusion (optional) 

How to write a Research Proposal?  

Research Proposal – It is a document in which you state your thesis and goals, along with the method and rationale for your research. A thesis statement is the single most important part of a research proposal. It should be clear, concise, and specific. 

The main purpose of this proposal is to get funding for your research. The proposal should also demonstrate how well-equipped you are to do the research. 

This proposal aims to develop a new way of understanding the world through a systematic and comprehensive analysis of how society learns about the world. 

This paper will focus on how people make sense of the w around them by using tools such as languages, maps, technology and science, thereby contributing to our ability to understand our surroundings. 

Difference between a Research Proposal and a Synopsis for thesis:  

The basic difference between a research proposal and a synopsis is that the former is more in-depth, whereas the latter is more condensed. However, this does not mean that researchers should not write synopses for their publications. To do so is to miss out on useful information that can be added later. 

The advantage of writing a synopsis is that it provides a reader with an overview of your research project without having to read through large amounts of text. It also helps to explain your research topic and why it is relevant. A synopsis will help you decide whether or not your topic is worth pursuing further by ensuring that there are enough sources available for you to continue your research. 

What is the purpose of our research proposal?  

The purpose of the research proposal is to convince your advisor or committee that there is enough merit in your proposal to justify their funding of the project and their time reviewing it. A good proposal will include: 

  • An overview of the problem or question you are addressing 
  • A detailed description of how you plan to address this question or solve this problem 
  • A clear statement of what evidence supports your claim and how you will use this evidence to support your claim 
  • A discussion about how well-known and accepted methods can be used as part of this work (this is called quantitative analysis). 

research paper writing

Why do people confuse the two?  

In the first place, a research proposal is not a synopsis. A summary should be brief and to the point, while a research proposal would have all of your data and evidence lined up on one page. 

A synopsis for thesis is written in the first-person voice and focuses on the story’s main points without delving too far into details. A synopsis can help readers get an idea of what you’re writing about or help them find information on a particular topic. It’s often used in book sales to determine if they have enough information on their hands to sell your book or not. 

An academic or professional author writes a research proposal as part of their job. It is meant to provide evidence that supports their argument through data and statistical analysis. 

Tips for writing a Research Proposal flawlessly:  

  • Writing a research proposal is not as easy as it seems. You must choose the right topic and then write the proposal in a way that will convince your reader of your ability to carry out the research. 
  • The first step in writing a research proposal is to select an area of study or research in which you are interested. If you have any previous experience with this topic, consider using it as part of your proposal. If not, find someone with previous experience in the field and ask them for their advice. 
  • Once you have decided on a topic, begin by writing down what you know about this area of interest. This can include anything from books or articles to news stories or television shows that have aired about the topic. Ensure all relevant information about this topic, including key terms or definitions. 
  • Once you have written down everything you know about your topic, it’s time to develop an outline for your dissertation proposal. An outline is an organised list of topics that will make up each chapter of your dissertation proposal and should include subtopics within each topic area (for example, introduction, background information; objectives; methods; data collection). 

The more important your paper, the more likely you’ll need to write a research proposal and a synopsis. A research proposal is usually the first step in the writing process, an overview of the topic you plan to tackle later. A synopsis, on the other hand, is a concise summary of the content of your paper. We hope this blog has given you a proper explanation for understanding the differences.   

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Research Paper vs Research Proposal v Thesis: 5 differences

Research Proposal vs Research Paper

Some students may be confused concerning the difference between a research proposal and a research paper. This is understandable if it is the first time a student is writing either of the two types of research.

This is because some students may have been used to writing essays that take a much simpler format and approach in writing the content.

Therefore, if you are one of those students who are not sure of the difference(s) between a research proposal and a research paper, do not worry.

dissertation vs research proposal

Research Proposal vs Research Paper

Now, what is the difference between a research proposal and a research paper? This section will elaborate on the differences between the two while exploring their comparisons with other types of academic papers. 

A research proposal is a preliminary paper that is submitted to the instructor so that the researcher can be granted permission to proceed with the actual research paper. It proposes what the research project will be all about. On the other hand, a research paper is an academic piece that presents what one found out after in-depth research on a specified topic.

Let us understand each of them in deeper detail. What this means is that a research proposal “proposes” what the researcher will be going to tackle within the main paper.

As such, they should clarify or provide details as to what the main research paper will be tackling the topic, the expected hypothesis and claims, the type of studies used, the methodologies, the population in which the research will be conducted, and the expected implications of the research. 

A research proposal needs to demonstrate the importance of the actual research to the discipline and society in general. Without this, then the research proposal would not pass, and no actual research will be conducted to produce the research paper.

When it comes to the actual research paper, it can be regarded as the work that will be produced after the research proposal has been approved and a research go-ahead has been granted to the researcher(s).

Therefore, the research paper will be a complete paper that reports what has been researched, the findings of the studies conducted, and the discussions concerning the findings. It will not be like a research proposal that will be proposing things that will happen in the future.

It should be noted that this is a major or simplified difference between a research proposal and a research paper. The next sections of this article will discuss in detail the main differences between them, plus their differences with other types of papers. 

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What is a research proposal.

A research proposal can be regarded as an academic preliminary request for research that is meant to be submitted to the instructor before the writer or student is given the go-ahead to proceed with writing the research paper.

Research Proposal

What this means is that a research proposal will ‘propose’ what the research paper will be all about and the merits of the research to the discipline and society in general. 

Therefore, a research proposal is written before a research paper is written.

If a research proposal fails to be approved, then the researcher or student will not be allowed to write a research paper.

What is a Research Paper?

A research paper can be regarded as a formal academic piece written by students or researchers after the instructor or academic committee has approved their research proposals to tackle a particular research topic in a specific discipline to find solutions through qualitative and/or quantitative studies. 

Therefore, a research paper is a long piece of academic writing that utilizes the research proposal’s topic and claims to test a hypothesis. The research paper aims not to propose a study but to conduct an actual study that would benefit the discipline and society. 

Differences between a Research Proposal and a Research Paper

As we have noted above, there is a big difference between a research proposal and a research paper. Below are some of the major differences between the two:

1. The Time of Being Written

One of the most notable differences between a research proposal and a research paper is that a research proposal is written before a research paper. This is because a research proposal is meant to ‘propose’ what the writer, student, or researcher is going to write in their main research paper. As such, a research proposal has to be approved before a research paper is written. 

The second difference between a research proposal and a research paper is the purpose of the two pieces of writing. The main aim of a research proposal is to present to the instructor what will be tackled within the research paper. 

On the other hand, the purpose of a research paper is to academically present research that has already been conducted by the writer or the researcher. A research paper is a final presentation concerning a particular topic. 

3. Use of Grammatical Tenses

Another difference between a research proposal and a research paper is that while the proposal uses future tense (will be, shall be, and so on), a research paper uses a grammatical tense that describes things that have already been done.

This is because the research has already been conducted. When it comes to the analysis of the findings and discussions, the present tense can be used because things are unfolding. 

4. Context and Audience

rhetorical triangle

The context of a research proposal is to present “proposals” of ideas that will be used to build upon a research paper.

As such, the audience will be the instructor or a research committee that is meant to gauge the relevance of the proposal to the topic. 

On the other hand, a research paper is not formulated to lead to research but to describe the research.

Therefore, a research paper will target the instructor and any reader who is interested in the topic, discipline, or study. 

Finally, the difference between a research proposal and a research paper is the length. A research proposal is considerably shorter compared to a research paper because of the content. A research paper will contain a lot of detail concerning the topic, the type of research, the findings, discussions, and conclusions because research has already been conducted. 

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Difference Between a Thesis and a Research Proposal

The main difference between a thesis and a research proposal is their purpose. A thesis is a formal academic piece of writing done on a particular topic that has not yet been explored. This is why a thesis has a prospectus stage where the student has to consult with a committee. On the other hand, a research proposal proposes the topic and the research to be done.

Therefore, a research proposal will not require a prospectus stage or a committee, and it can be written by any student within an institution of higher learning.

However, an undergraduate student can also write a research proposal to their instructor to ‘propose’ a research paper.

Difference Between a Thesis and a Research Paper

The major difference between a thesis and a research paper is that a thesis is a longer and more detailed piece of writing that is written by post-graduate students, while a research paper will be comparatively shorter with fewer details because undergraduate students mostly write it.

Thesis vs Research Paper

As such, a thesis can take a very long time to write, for example, 20 years if it tackles socio-economic or environmental issues that may take a lot of time to unfold.

However, a research paper takes a shorter time to write. It may take even 3 months to complete a research paper because it does not explore very complex issues. 

The length also matters. A thesis is longer than a research paper by far. Check out the optimal length for a thesis compared to a research paper length and notice the difference.

Check out the guide on the differences in thesis vs theory vs hypothesis to get a wider idea of the three. This will help you know how these three are applied in a dissertation of a research paper.

Josh Jasen working

Josh Jasen or JJ as we fondly call him, is a senior academic editor at Grade Bees in charge of the writing department. When not managing complex essays and academic writing tasks, Josh is busy advising students on how to pass assignments. In his spare time, he loves playing football or walking with his dog around the park.

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Thesis vs. Research Paper: Know the Differences

It is not uncommon for individuals, academic and nonacademic to use “thesis” and “research paper” interchangeably. However, while the thesis vs. research paper puzzle might seem amusing to some, for graduate, postgraduate and doctoral students, knowing the differences between the two is crucial. Not only does a clear demarcation of the two terms help you acquire a precise approach toward writing each of them, but it also helps you keep in mind the subtle nuances that go into creating the two documents. This brief guide discusses the main difference between a thesis and a research paper.

dissertation vs research proposal

This article discusses the main difference between a thesis and a research paper. To give you an opportunity to practice proofreading, we have left a few spelling, punctuation, or grammatical errors in the text. See if you can spot them! If you spot the errors correctly, you will be entitled to a 10% discount.

It is not uncommon for individuals, academic and nonacademic to use “thesis” and “research paper” interchangeably. After all, both terms share the same domain, academic writing . Moreover, characteristics like the writing style, tone, and structure of a thesis and research paper are also homogenous to a certain degree. Hence, it is not surprising that many people mistake one for the other.

However, while the thesis vs. research paper puzzle might seem amusing to some, for graduate, postgraduate and doctoral students, knowing the differences between the two is crucial. Not only does a clear demarcation of the two terms help you acquire a precise approach toward writing each of them, but it also helps you keep in mind the subtle nuances that go into creating the two documents.

Defining the two terms: thesis vs. research paper

The first step to discerning between a thesis and research paper is to know what they signify.

  Thesis: A thesis or a dissertation is an academic document that a candidate writes to acquire a university degree or similar qualification. Students typically submit a thesis at the end of their final academic term. It generally consists of putting forward an argument and backing it up with individual research and existing data.

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Research Paper: A research paper is also an academic document, albeit shorter compared to a thesis. It consists of conducting independent and extensive research on a topic and compiling the data in a structured and comprehensible form. A research paper demonstrates a student's academic prowess in their field of study along with strong analytical skills.

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How to Formulate Research Questions

Now that we have a fundamental understanding of a thesis and a research paper, it is time to dig deeper. To the untrained eye, a research paper and a thesis might seem similar. However, there are some differences, concrete and subtle, that set the two apart.

1. Writing objectives

The objective behind writing a thesis is to obtain a master's degree or doctorate and the ilk. Hence, it needs to exemplify the scope of your knowledge in your study field. That is why choosing an intriguing thesis topic and putting forward your arguments convincingly in favor of it is crucial.

A research paper is written as a part of a course's curriculum or written for publication in a peer-review journal. Its purpose is to contribute something new to the knowledge base of its topic.

2. Structure

Although both documents share quite a few similarities in their structures, the framework of a thesis is more rigid. Also, almost every university has its proprietary guidelines set out for thesis writing.

Comparatively, a research paper only needs to keep the IMRAD format consistent throughout its length. When planning to publish your research paper in a peer-review journal, you also must follow your target journal guidelines.

3. Time Taken

A thesis is an extensive document encompassing the entire duration of a master's or doctoral course and as such, it takes months and even years to write.

A research paper, being less lengthy, typically takes a few weeks or a few months to complete.

4. Supervision

Writing a thesis entails working with a faculty supervisor to ensure that you are on the right track. However, a research paper is more of a solo project and rarely needs a dedicated supervisor to oversee.

5. Finalization

The final stage of thesis completion is a viva voce examination and a thesis defense. It includes proffering your thesis to the examination board or a thesis committee for a questionnaire and related discussions. Whether or not you will receive a degree depends on the result of this examination and the defense.

A research paper is said to be complete when you finalize a draft, check it for plagiarism, and proofread for any language and contextual errors . Now all that's left is to submit it to the assigned authority.

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In the context of academic writing, a thesis and a research paper might appear the same. But, there are some fundamental differences that set apart the two writing formats. However, since both the documents come under the scope of academic writing, they also share some similarities. Both require formal language, formal tone, factually correct information & proper citations. Also, editing and proofreading are a must for both. Editing and Proofreading ensure that your document is properly formatted and devoid of all grammatical & contextual errors. So, the next time when you come across a thesis vs. research paper argument, keep these differences in mind.

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If you need us to make your thesis or dissertation, contact us unhesitatingly!

Best Edit & Proof expert editors and proofreaders focus on offering papers with proper tone, content, and style of  academic writing,  and also provide an upscale  editing and proofreading service  for you. If you consider our pieces of advice, you will witness a notable increase in the chance for your research manuscript to be accepted by the publishers. We work together as an academic writing style guide by bestowing subject-area editing and proofreading around several categorized writing styles. With the group of our expert editors, you will always find us all set to help you identify the tone and style that your manuscript needs to get a nod from the publishers.

Thesis vs. Research Paper

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Thesis vs. Research Paper

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dissertation vs research proposal

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dissertation vs research proposal

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dissertation vs research proposal

We may have qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods in dissertations. This blog will elaborate on quantitative dissertations, qualitative dissertations, and mixed methods dissertations by addressing their similarities and differences.

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dissertation vs research proposal

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  1. Thesis vs. Dissertation vs. Research Paper

    dissertation vs research proposal

  2. Research Paper vs. Research Proposal: 3 Important Differences

    dissertation vs research proposal

  3. Dissertation vs. Thesis: What’s the Difference?

    dissertation vs research proposal

  4. Thesis vs. Dissertation vs. Research Paper

    dissertation vs research proposal

  5. 😝 Research paper vs essay. Research Paper vs. Research Proposals: 3 Key

    dissertation vs research proposal

  6. Dissertation vs Thesis: What You Need to Know

    dissertation vs research proposal


  1. Writing The Thesis Proposal

  2. Selecting a Research Topic and Developing Research Proposal

  3. Mastering Research: Choosing a Winning Dissertation or Thesis Topic

  4. How to Write Research Proposal? Essential Guide to Writing a Research Proposal/Synopsis

  5. Proposal 101: What Is A Research Topic?

  6. Thesis Vs Dissertation


  1. What Is A Research Proposal? Examples + Template

    The purpose of the research proposal (its job, so to speak) is to convince your research supervisor, committee or university that your research is suitable (for the requirements of the degree program) and manageable (given the time and resource constraints you will face). The most important word here is "convince" - in other words, your ...

  2. How to Write a Research Proposal

    Example research proposal #1: "A Conceptual Framework for Scheduling Constraint Management" Example research proposal #2: "Medical Students as Mediators of Change in Tobacco Use" Title page. Like your dissertation or thesis, the proposal will usually have a title page that includes: The proposed title of your project; Your name; Your ...

  3. How to Write a Dissertation or Thesis Proposal

    When starting your thesis or dissertation process, one of the first requirements is a research proposal or a prospectus. It describes what or who you want to examine, delving into why, when, where, and how you will do so, stemming from your research question and a relevant topic. The proposal or prospectus stage is crucial for the development ...

  4. Dissertation Proposal

    The dissertation proposal is a comprehensive statement on the extent and nature of the student's dissertation research interests. Students submit a draft of the proposal to their dissertation advisor between the end of the seventh and middle of the ninth quarters. The student must provide a written copy of the proposal to the faculty ...

  5. How to Write a Research Proposal

    Research proposal length. The length of a research proposal can vary quite a bit. A bachelor's or master's thesis proposal can be just a few pages, while proposals for PhD dissertations or research funding are usually much longer and more detailed. Your supervisor can help you determine the best length for your work.

  6. How to Write a Dissertation Proposal

    Table of contents. Step 1: Coming up with an idea. Step 2: Presenting your idea in the introduction. Step 3: Exploring related research in the literature review. Step 4: Describing your methodology. Step 5: Outlining the potential implications of your research. Step 6: Creating a reference list or bibliography.

  7. How to Write a Research Proposal

    Research proposals, like all other kinds of academic writing, are written in a formal, objective tone. Keep in mind that being concise is a key component of academic writing; formal does not mean flowery. Adhere to the structure outlined above. Your reader knows how a research proposal is supposed to read and expects it to fit this template.

  8. How To Write A Research Proposal (With Examples)

    Make sure you can ask the critical what, who, and how questions of your research before you put pen to paper. Your research proposal should include (at least) 5 essential components : Title - provides the first taste of your research, in broad terms. Introduction - explains what you'll be researching in more detail.

  9. What Is a Dissertation?

    A dissertation is a long-form piece of academic writing based on original research conducted by you. It is usually submitted as the final step in order to finish a PhD program. Your dissertation is probably the longest piece of writing you've ever completed. It requires solid research, writing, and analysis skills, and it can be intimidating ...

  10. What (Exactly) Is A Dissertation Or Thesis?

    A dissertation (or thesis) is a process. Okay, so now that you understand that a dissertation is a research project (which is testing your ability to undertake quality research), let's go a little deeper into what that means in practical terms. The best way to understand a dissertation is to view it as a process - more specifically a ...

  11. PDF Guidelines for Writing Research Proposals and Dissertations

    Dr. Mark A. Baron Division of Educational Administration University of South Dakota Guidelines for Writing Research Proposals and Dissertations. The following information presents guidelines for preparing and writing research papers and reports, including theses and dissertations. While these guidelines are generally applicable, specific format ...

  12. How To Write A Research Proposal For A Dissertation Or Thesis (With

    Learn how to write a rock-solid dissertation proposal, thesis proposal, or research proposal in this step by step tutorial, including practical examples. We...

  13. What's the difference between a research plan and a research proposal?

    The best way to remember the difference between a research plan and a research proposal is that they have fundamentally different audiences. A research plan helps you, the researcher, organize your thoughts. On the other hand, a dissertation proposal or research proposal aims to convince others (e.g., a supervisor, a funding body, or a ...

  14. Dissertation vs. Thesis: A Comparison

    A dissertation must include your research proposal, grant proposal, literature review, ideation of research topic, and every other minute detail about your research. Ideally, a dissertation inclusive of all details mentioned above should be three times the length of a master's thesis. Dissertation vs. Thesis: Similarities

  15. How To Write A Strong Research Proposal

    PROOFREADING / ACADEMIC ESSAY SERVICE (£/$)For all academic proofreading and mentoring services, visit https://www.thepagedoctor.com. If you need help with w...

  16. Difference Between Research Proposal and Research Report

    A research proposal is written in the future tense, whereas the tense used in the research report is past tense, as well as it is written in the third person; The length of a research proposal is about 4-10 pages. On the contrary, the length of the research report is about 100 to 300 pages. The research proposal is concerned with the problem or ...

  17. Thesis vs. Dissertation vs. Research Paper

    A thesis is short and takes less time to complete. However, a dissertation is long and takes more time to complete. In the dissertation, you must have a decent knowledge of new discoveries in order to infer your conclusion. However, in a thesis, you need to include a hypothesis based on your research work.

  18. Difference Between Thesis and Research Paper

    It portrays the interpretation, evaluation or argument submitted by a researcher. The thesis acts as a final project. Whereas a research paper is a kind of research manual of journals. The length of the thesis is around 20,000 to 80,000 words. On the contrary, the length of the research paper is relative to the study.

  19. PDF Master's Research Proposal Title of your Mater's Research Proposal

    This document provides guidelines for writing the research proposal at the master's level (Minor / full dissertation). Please take note of the following before you work carefully through it: Length of the detailed proposal for masters candidates: approximately 3 000 words.

  20. Difference between a Research Proposal and a Synopsis

    In the first place, a research proposal is not a synopsis. A summary should be brief and to the point, while a research proposal would have all of your data and evidence lined up on one page. A synopsis for thesis is written in the first-person voice and focuses on the story's main points without delving too far into details.

  21. Research Paper vs Research Proposal v Thesis: 5 differences

    A research proposal is a preliminary paper that is submitted to the instructor so that the researcher can be granted permission to proceed with the actual research paper. It proposes what the research project will be all about. On the other hand, a research paper is an academic piece that presents what one found out after in-depth research on a specified topic.

  22. Thesis vs. Research Paper: Know the Differences

    Defining the two terms: thesis vs. research paper. The first step to discerning between a thesis and research paper is to know what they signify. Thesis: A thesis or a dissertation is an academic document that a candidate writes to acquire a university degree or similar qualification. Students typically submit a thesis at the end of their final ...

  23. Dissertation Vs Research Proposal

    Essay Writing Service. Have a native essay writer do your task from scratch for a student-friendly price of just per page. Free edits and originality reports. Hire a Writer. Essay, Discussion Board Post, Research paper, Coursework, Powerpoint Presentation, Questions-Answers, Case Study, Term paper, Research proposal, Response paper, PDF Poster ...