Many students are unsure of the difference between their thesis and dissertation. This is natural since they're both graduate school projects that examine a subject in detail. However, there's an important distinction between the two: your thesis should give readers enough information about your topic to know what to expect from the rest of your paper.
Your thesis is not your dissertation.
The common mistake here is that students confuse the thesis with their dissertation. A thesis is a summary of your research; it's not your dissertation. The second common mistake is to assume that your dissertation's conclusion (i.e., the last chapter) will be put into a separate document and, therefore, can be called a “thesis,” too.
It’s important to remember that a thesis cannot have references or citations because they would make it hard for you and the reviewers to understand what you are trying to say. Essays have citations and references, too; if you are stuck with your essay, get custom essay help.
Your thesis is not a short rerun of the introduction.
There is a mistaken belief among many students that their thesis is simply a re-worded version of their introduction. After all, they say to themselves, the two sections deal with the same topic.
But this is not true at all! The introduction summarizes the topic: what you want to do in your paper and why that's interesting. In contrast, your thesis should be about your argument and how you will prove it (or disprove it). It should also be concise—about three sentences long if possible; otherwise, maybe four or five sentences but no more than six.
The thesis and research question is not the same.
The “research question” is more open-ended. It's a question you will answer with your thesis, but it doesn't state your main idea or make any claims. A hypothesis is more specific than the research question or the thesis and states what you think will happen in the study and why.
It's not a curatorial opinion or a definitive subject.
Not only is your thesis not a definitive subject matter or a curator's opinion about an art exhibit, but it's also not an overview. When you're writing a thesis, you are making a claim about the subject matter, which must be proven through facts and evidence.
Your thesis should be:
- A specific statement of what you will prove in your paper (this is called “the purpose” or “claim”). Here's an example: “In this paper, I will prove that although Walt Whitman was most popular in his own time, he has since become less well known than Emily Dickinson.”
- A clear statement of how you will prove this (“the claim”). Here's one more example: “By analyzing the use of nature imagery in their poetry and comparing them with their contemporaries, I will demonstrate that both poets were influenced by Romanticism.”
Your thesis is not necessarily provable or able to be debated.
A thesis statement is not a statement of fact, opinion, belief, or hope. Your thesis will not be provable or able to be debated. A thesis statement does not take the form of a question.
A good example is, This will not work as your thesis statement because it asks a question instead of asserting what you will discuss in your paper/essay/dissertation.
You must prove your thesis in two pages of your conclusion.
Your thesis should be focused and specific enough that you can prove it in the two pages of your conclusion. You must also ensure that your thesis is supported by evidence from the body paragraphs.
When writing your final paragraph (your conclusion), make sure to start with a statement that summarizes the main points of your paper. Then, provide a brief summary of each of those major points and any other information supporting them.
Finally, restate the main point of your paper and explain why this research has been important and useful for others interested in learning more about it.
You need only one thesis sentence.
While the thesis is the central idea of your paper, it should be a single sentence. The view should be specific and focused, stating a claim you can prove throughout your paper. It is not an opinion or suggestion but rather a debatable claim about the topic at hand. For example:
- “The best way to learn about history is by reading books.”
- “Reading fiction improves empathy.”
Overall, your thesis is not just a summary. It’s the most important part of your paper, and if you get it wrong, the rest of your paper won’t matter. If you have any questions about how to write a thesis or what kind of thesis is right for your topic, don’t hesitate to ask us! We are here to help students with their writing projects.
Owen Ingram is a research-based content writer. He has worked in various healthcare, technology, Education , and finance industries. He is currently working as a writer in Research Prospect, famous for dissertation writing services and Report writing services. When Owen is not writing or researching, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends. He also loves travelling and learning about new cultures.