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How PHD Thesis is Different to Graduate Level Dissertation

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The word dissertation is used for a Master’s or Bachelor’s course whereas the term Ph.D. thesis is frequently applied to a doctorate programme. Both these terms i.e thesis and dissertation, however, are interchangeable and frequently used in the world of academia.

How Ph.D. Thesis is Different to Graduate Level Dissertation

“Doctor of Philosophy abbreviated as Ph.D., Ph.D., D.Phil., or DPhil in many countries, is a postgraduate academic degree awarded by universities.”

But how different is it to write a Ph.D. thesis or a Ph.D. dissertation as compared to a graduate-level dissertation. Of course, the Ph.D. thesis is much more complex, demanding and challenging but there are certain rules of dissertation writing that all Ph.D. students must comply with for the Ph.D. degree award.

Many Ph.D. students are concerned about the word count requirement of their thesis project. It should be noted that the word count requirement of a Ph.D. thesis is generally determined by the area of research and the guidelines provided by the university.

For example, Sydney College of the Arts suggests that a Ph.D. thesis should be at least 80,000 words in length. Other universities and colleges have their own requirements. However, as a rule of thumb, the word count of a Ph.D. dissertation should not be less than 50000 words or more than 1000,000 words.

Some Ph.D. students may also want to know exactly how many pages their Ph.D. should consist of. Again, this is largely influenced by the topic of research and guidelines/instructions provided by your department.

A Master’s level dissertation is usually 50-80 pages long whilst a Ph.D. dissertation can be around 200 pages in length. However, it is not the number of words or pages but the quality of your research and writing that would help you achieve your desired grade.

Lastly, it is important to maintain a healthy work relationship with your supervisor because it can be really stressful being a Ph.D. supervisor, and whilst it might be a privilege, it takes a lot of effort to get Ph.D. students to fulfill their course requirements.

Being able to figure out exactly what your supervisor needs and why is he pushing you to adopt a certain path of research can substantially ease the pressure off you.

Some tips to help Impress your examiner:

  • Keep the introduction and conclusion section of your thesis short and to the point.
  • Exegesis should be well presented, short and basic.
  • Investigate a well-defined area – Your research topic should be neither too broad nor too narrow. 
  • Avoid spelling mistakes. Proofread your work a million times to eliminate your horrific spelling mistakes.
  • Your topic of research should be new. If another academician wrote a book on it several years ago then really you aren’t inventing anything new.
  • Do not forget to include references to textbooks, online journalism, and blogs.
  • Try and compress your findings and arguments into a single sentence starting “my original contribution to knowledge is”.
  • Avoid the use of terms such as “some authors”, “some researchers, and “all the literature”. It’s simple. Avoid generalisations.
  • Never ever submit a bibliography that is out of order and incomplete.

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