whats a dissertation
There are some obvious differences: an essay is relatively short – usually 1500 to 2500 words – and you are told clearly what to do by someone else. For example: Describe and evaluate major theories of globalisation.
Here’s another definition that underlines some more important characteristics of a dissertation: “a substantial paper that is typically based on original research and that gives evidence of the candidate’s mastery both of her own subject and of scholarly method.”
The masters thesis and doctoral dissertation are written documents that describe the graduate student’s research. The subject of the thesis/dissertation is chosen by mutual agreement between the student and major adviser, and must be approved by the student’s Supervisory Committee. There is no fixed length for the thesis/dissertation, although the Supervisory Committee should provide guidance on format and content.
Masters theses should reveal a capacity to carry on independent study or research and should demonstrate the student’s ability to use the techniques employed in their field of investigation. Doctoral dissertations should demonstrate technical mastery of the student’s field and advance or modify current knowledge. Dissertations should treat new material, find new results, or draw new conclusions; or it should interpret old material in a new light. It is expected that the research contained in the thesis/dissertation will be worthy of publication in appropriate peer-reviewed journals. Students are expected to prepare the manuscript(s) for publication prior to, or soon after, completion of their graduate program.
A dissertation is a lengthy written project prepared at the end of an academic program. There are two types of dissertations: those that are partially taught and partially researched, and those that are completely researched by the student. A dissertation’s structure typically includes an introduction, a main body and conclusion. What sets a taught and research dissertation apart is that with the latter, students must choose a topic on their own and deepen research in a selected area.
A dissertation usually builds on an existing theory and includes a research question, research choices and a literature review, methodology, analysis of results and a discussion. A dissertation adviser will guide students through the research process and can help students find resources if they’re stuck. Writing a dissertation allows students to show their excellence in a field.