A thesis or dissertation  is a document submitted in support of candidature for an academic degree or professional qualification presenting the author's research and findings. The required complexity or quality of research of a thesis or dissertation can vary by country, university, or program, and the required minimum study period may thus vary significantly in duration. The word "dissertation" can at times be used to describe a treatise without relation to obtaining an academic degree.
The term "thesis" is also used to refer to the general claim of an essay or similar work. Aristotle was the first philosopher to define the term thesis. For Aristotle, a thesis would therefore be a supposition that is stated in contradiction with general opinion or express disagreement with other philosophers b The purpose of the dissertation is thus to outline the proofs of why the author disagrees with other philosophers or the general opinion.
A thesis or dissertation may be arranged as a thesis by publication or a monograph , with or without appended papers, respectively, though many graduate programs allow candidates to submit a curated collection of published papers. An ordinary monograph has a title page , an abstract , a table of contents , comprising the various chapters e. They differ in their structure in accordance with the many different areas of study arts, humanities, social sciences, technology, sciences, etc.
In a thesis by publication, the chapters constitute an introductory and comprehensive review of the appended published and unpublished article documents. Dissertations normally report on a research project or study, or an extended analysis of a topic. The structure of a thesis or dissertation explains the purpose, the previous research literature impinging on the topic of the study, the methods used, and the findings of the project.
Most world universities use a multiple chapter format: Degree-awarding institutions often define their own house style that candidates have to follow when preparing a thesis document. In addition to institution-specific house styles, there exist a number of field-specific, national, and international standards and recommendations for the presentation of theses, for instance ISO Some older house styles specify that front matter title page, abstract, table of content, etc.
The relevant international standard  and many newer style guides recognize that this book design practice can cause confusion where electronic document viewers number all pages of a document continuously from the first page, independent of any printed page numbers.
They, therefore, avoid the traditional separate number sequence for front matter and require a single sequence of Arabic numerals starting with 1 for the first printed page the recto of the title page. Presentation requirements, including pagination, layout, type and color of paper, use of acid-free paper where a copy of the dissertation will become a permanent part of the library collection , paper size , order of components, and citation style, will be checked page by page by the accepting officer before the thesis is accepted and a receipt is issued.
However, strict standards are not always required. Most Italian universities, for example, have only general requirements on the character size and the page formatting, and leave much freedom for the actual typographic details. A thesis or dissertation committee is a committee that supervises a student's dissertation. In the US, these committees usually consist of a primary supervisor or advisor and two or more committee members, who supervise the progress of the dissertation and may also act as the examining committee, or jury, at the oral examination of the thesis see below.
At most universities, the committee is chosen by the student in conjunction with his or her primary adviser, usually after completion of the comprehensive examinations or prospectus meeting, and may consist of members of the comps committee. The committee members are doctors in their field whether a PhD or other designation and have the task of reading the dissertation, making suggestions for changes and improvements, and sitting in on the defense.
Sometimes, at least one member of the committee must be a professor in a department that is different from that of the student. In the Latin American docta , the academic dissertation can be referred to as different stages inside the academic program that the student is seeking to achieve into a recognized Argentine University , in all the cases the students must develop original contribution in the chosen fields by means of several paper work and essays that comprehend the body of the thesis.
According to a committee resolution, the dissertation can be approved or rejected by an academic committee consisting of the thesis director, the thesis coordinator, and at least one evaluator from another recognized university in which the student is pursuing his or her academic program. All the dissertation referees must already have achieved at least the academic degree that the candidate is trying to reach. At English-speaking Canadian universities , writings presented in fulfillment of undergraduate coursework requirements are normally called papers , term papers or essays.
A longer paper or essay presented for completion of a 4-year bachelor's degree is sometimes called a major paper. High-quality research papers presented as the empirical study of a "postgraduate" consecutive bachelor with Honours or Baccalaureatus Cum Honore degree are called thesis Honours Seminar Thesis. Major papers presented as the final project for a master's degree are normally called thesis ; and major papers presenting the student's research towards a doctoral degree are called theses or dissertations.
See also compilation thesis. Either work can be awarded a " mention d'honneur " excellence as a result of the decision by the examination committee, although these are rare. A typical undergraduate paper or essay might be forty pages. Master's theses are approximately one hundred pages. PhD theses are usually over two hundred pages. This may vary greatly by discipline, program, college, or university. However, normally the required minimum study period is primarily depending on the complexity or quality of research requirements.
Theses Canada acquires and preserves a comprehensive collection of Canadian theses at Library and Archives Canada ' LAC through partnership with Canadian universities who participate in the program. At most university faculties in Croatia, a degree is obtained by defending a thesis after having passed all the classes specified in the degree programme. Most students with bachelor's degrees continue onto master's programmes which end with a master's thesis called diplomski rad literally "diploma work" or "graduate work".
The term dissertation is used for a doctoral degree paper doktorska disertacija. In the Czech Republic, higher education is completed by passing all classes remaining to the educational compendium for given degree and defending a thesis. The minimum page length is generally and not formally pages or about , characters , but is usually several times longer except for technical theses and for "exact sciences" such as physics and maths.
The word dissertation in French is reserved for shorter 1,—2, words , more generic academic treatises. In Germany, an academic thesis is called Abschlussarbeit or, more specifically, the basic name of the degree complemented by -arbeit e.
For bachelor's and master's degrees, the name can alternatively be complemented by -thesis instead e. Length is often given in page count and depends upon departments, faculties, and fields of study.
A bachelor's thesis is often 40—60 pages long, a diploma thesis and a master's thesis usually 60— The required submission for a doctorate is called a Dissertation or Doktorarbeit. The submission for a Habilitation , which is an academic qualification, not an academic degree, is called Habilitationsschrift , not Habilitationsarbeit.
PhD by publication is becoming increasingly common in many fields of study [ citation needed ]. A doctoral degree is often earned with multiple levels of a Latin honors remark for the thesis ranging from summa cum laude best to rite duly.
A thesis can also be rejected with a Latin remark non-rite , non-sufficit or worst as sub omni canone. Bachelor's and master's theses receive numerical grades from 1.
In India the thesis defense is called a viva voce Latin for "by live voice" examination viva in short. Involved in the viva are two examiners and the candidate. One examiner is an academic from the candidate's own university department but not one of the candidate's supervisors and the other is an external examiner from a different university.
Engineering qualifications such as BTech, B. In all the cases, the dissertation can be extended for summer internship at certain research and development organizations or also as PhD synopsis. In Indonesia, the term thesis is used specifically to refer to master's theses. The undergraduate thesis is called skripsi , while the doctoral dissertation is called disertasi.
In general, those three terms are usually called as tugas akhir final assignment , which is mandatory for the completion of a degree. Undergraduate students usually begin to write their final assignment in their third, fourth or fifth enrollment year, depends on the requirements of their respective disciplines and universities. In some universities, students are required to write a proposal skripsi or proposal tesis thesis proposal before they could write their final assignment.
If the thesis proposal is considered to fulfill the qualification by the academic examiners, students then may proceed to write their final assignment. In Italy there are normally three types of thesis. In order of complexity: Thesis requirements vary greatly between degrees and disciplines, ranging from as low as 3—4 ECTS credits to more than Thesis work is mandatory for the completion of a degree.
Malaysian universities often follow the British model for dissertations and degrees. However, a few universities follow the United States model for theses and dissertations.
Branch campuses of British, Australian and Middle East universities in Malaysia use the respective models of the home campuses. In Pakistan, at undergraduate level the thesis is usually called final year project, as it is completed in the senior year of the degree, the name project usually implies that the work carried out is less extensive than a thesis and bears lesser credit hours too.
The undergraduate level project is presented through an elaborate written report and a presentation to the advisor, a board of faculty members and students. At graduate level however, i. A written report and a public thesis defense is mandatory, in the presence of a board of senior researchers, consisting of members from an outside organization or a university.
A PhD candidate is supposed to accomplish extensive research work to fulfill the dissertation requirements with international publications being a mandatory requirement. The defense of the research work is done publicly. However, in Philippine English , the term doctorate is typically replaced with doctoral as in the case of "doctoral dissertation" , though in official documentation the former is still used. The Philippine system is influenced by American collegiate system, in that it requires a research project to be submitted before being allowed to write a thesis.
This project is mostly given as a prerequisite writing course to the actual thesis and is accomplished in the term period before; supervision is provided by one professor assigned to a class. This project is later to be presented in front of an academic panel, often the entire faculty of an academic department, with their recommendations contributing to the acceptance, revision, or rejection of the initial topic. In addition, the presentation of the research project will help the candidate choose their primary thesis adviser.
An undergraduate thesis is completed in the final year of the degree alongside existing seminar lecture or laboratory courses, and is often divided into two presentations: In most universities, a thesis is required for the bestowment of a degree to a candidate alongside a number of units earned throughout their academic period of stay, though for practice and skills-based degrees a practicum and a written report can be achieved instead.
The examination board often consists of 3 to 5 examiners, often professors in a university with a Masters or PhD degree depending on the university's examination rules. Required word length, complexity, and contribution to scholarship varies widely across universities in the country. The academic dissertation for a PhD is called a dysertacja or praca doktorska. The submission for the Habilitation is called praca habilitacyjna" or dysertacja habilitacyjna". Thus the term dysertacja is reserved for PhD and Habilitation degrees.
All the theses need to be "defended" by the author during a special examination for the given degree. Examinations for PhD and Habilitation degrees are public. The defense is done in a public presentation in which teachers, students, and the general public can participate.
For the PhD, a thesis tese is presented for defense in a public exam. The exam typically extends over 3 hours. The examination board typically involves 5 to 6 scholars including the advisor or other experts with a PhD degree generally at least half of them must be external to the university where the candidate defends the thesis, but it may depend on the University.
In Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Ukraine an academic dissertation or thesis is called what can be literally translated as a "master's degree work" thesis , whereas the word dissertation is reserved for doctoral theses Candidate of Sciences. To complete a master's degree, a student is required to write a thesis and to then defend the work publicly.
Length of this manuscript usually is given in page count and depends upon educational institution, its departments, faculties, and fields of study [ citation needed ]. At universities in Slovenia, an academic thesis called diploma thesis is a prerequisite for completing undergraduate studies.
The thesis used to be 40—60 pages long, but has been reduced to 20—30 pages in new Bologna process programmes. To complete Master's studies, a candidate must write magistrsko delo Master's thesis that is longer and more detailed than the undergraduate thesis.
The required submission for the doctorate is called doktorska disertacija doctoral dissertation. In pre Bologna programmes students were able to skip the preparation and presentation of a Master's thesis and continue straightforward towards doctorate. In Sweden, there are different types of theses. After that there are two types of post graduate degrees, Licentiate dissertation and PhD dissertation.
A licentiate degree is approximately "half a PhD" in terms of size and scope of the thesis. Swedish PhD studies should in theory last for four years, including course work and thesis work, but as many PhD students also teach, the PhD often takes longer to complete.
Outside the academic community, the terms thesis and dissertation are interchangeable. A wide range of supervisory arrangements can be found in the British academy, from single supervisors more usual for undergraduate and Masters level work to supervisory teams of up to three supervisors.
In teams, there will often be a Director of Studies, usually someone with broader experience perhaps having passed some threshold of successful supervisions.
The Director may be involved with regular supervision along with the other supervisors, or may have more of an oversight role, with the other supervisors taking on the more day-to-day responsibilities of supervision. Let's revisit the idea of the thesis itself.
It is a hypothesis, a conjecture, a theorem. The dissertation is a formal, stylized document used to argue your thesis. The thesis must be significant, original no one has yet demonstrated it to be true , and it must extend the state of scientific knowledge.
The first thing you need to do is to come up with no more than three sentences that express your thesis. Your committee must agree that your statements form a valid thesis statement. You too must be happy with the statement -- it should be what you will tell anyone if they ask you what your thesis is few people will want to hear an hour presentation as a response. Once you have a statement of thesis, you can begin to develop the dissertation.
The abstract, for instance, should be a one-page description of your thesis and how you present the proof of it. The abstract should summarize the results of the thesis and should stress the contributions to science made thereby. Perhaps the best way to understand how an abstract should look would be to examine the abstracts of several dozen dissertations that have already been accepted.
Our university library has a collection of them. This is a good approach to see how an entire dissertation is structured and presented. MIT press has published the ACM doctoral dissertation award series for over a decade, so you may find some of those to be good examples to read -- they should be in any large technical library.
The dissertation itself should be structured into 4 to 6 chapters. The following is one commonly-used structure:. Here, you should clearly state the thesis and its importance.
This is also where you give definitions of terms and other concepts used elsewhere. There is no need to write 80 pages of background on your topic here. Instead, you can cover almost everything by saying: The progress of science is that we learn and use the work of others with appropriate credit.
Assume you have a technically literate readership familiar with or able to find common references. Do not reference popular literature or WWW sites if you can help it this is a matter of style more than anything else -- you want to reference articles in refereed conferences and journals, if possible, or in other theses.
Also in the introduction, you want to survey any related work that attempted something similar to your own, or that has a significant supporting role in your research. This should refer only to published references. You cite the work in the references, not the researchers themselves. Every factual statement you make must have a specific citation tied to it in this chapter, or else it must be common knowledge don't rely on this too much.
Your results are to be of lasting value. Thus, the model you develop and write about and indeed, that you defend should be one that has lasting value. It should be generic in nature, and should capture all the details necessary to overlay the model on likely environments.
You should discuss the problems, parameters, requirements, necessary and sufficient conditions, and other factors here. Consider that 20 years ago ca the common platform was a Vax computer running VMS or a PDP running Unix version 6, yet well-crafted theses of the time are still valuable today. Will your dissertation be valuable 20 years from now ca , or have you referred to technologies that will be of only historical interest? This model is tough to construct, but is really the heart of the scientific part of your work.
This is the lasting part of the contribution, and this is what someone might cite 50 years from now when we are all using MS Linux XXXXP on computers embedded in our wrists with subspace network links! There are basically three proof techniques that I have seen used in a computing dissertation, depending on the thesis topic.
Your dissertation is part of the requirements for a PhD. The research, theory, experimentation, et al. also contribute. One does not attempt to capture everything in one's dissertation. The dissertation is a technical work used to document and set forth proof of one's thesis.
A dissertation is a written document that summarizes research. It is the final step of a PhD program, the culmination of a student’s doctoral studies and successful completion of the comprehensive exam. “The dissertation is a source of pride for doctoral students,” says Dana Gonzales, a .
Differences Between a Masters Thesis and Doctoral Dissertation. Generally in the US, a thesis is the final project for the masters degree and a dissertation leads to a doctoral degree. Those pursuing a masters degree must perform research on a specific subject that . The General Idea: A thesis is a hypothesis or conjecture. A PhD dissertation is a lengthy, formal document that argues in defense of a particular thesis.
PhD candidates present their research findings in the format of a dissertation, while professional doctorate candidates present their findings in the format of a doctoral study. Both types of degrees are recognized equally by the U.S. Department of Education. A dissertation, also known as a doctoral thesis, is the final required part of completing a student's doctoral study. Undertaken after a student completes coursework and passes a comprehensive examination, the dissertation is the final hurdle in completing a Ph.D. or other doctoral degree.