A thesis and a research paper are both pieces of academic writing, but they have some key differences. Let us explore the difference between thesis and research paper (Thesis vs Research Paper).
Difference between thesis and research paper
The main difference between a thesis and a research paper is the required level of depth and detail. A thesis is a more in-depth and comprehensive document, while a research paper is shorter and more focused on presenting the results of a specific research study.
A thesis is a longer and more detailed document typically completed as part of a degree program. At the same time, a research paper is shorter and less comprehensive and may or may not be required to finish a degree program.
One key difference between a thesis and a research paper is the purpose. A thesis is typically written as part of obtaining a graduate degree and presents the author’s research and findings on a specific topic. The purpose of a thesis is to add to the existing body of knowledge on a particular topic and to demonstrate the author’s expertise in their field. In contrast, a research paper’s purpose is to present a research study’s results and contribute to the understanding of a particular topic.
Another difference between a thesis and a research paper is the length and depth of the document. A thesis is typically much longer than a research paper and is more detailed in its analysis and discussion of the topic. A research paper is shorter and more focused, presenting the results of a research study clearly and concisely.
Thesis vs Research Paper in Tabular form
Here is a comparison of a thesis and a research paper in tabular form:
|Purpose||To add to the existing body of knowledge on a particular topic and demonstrate the author’s expertise in their field.||To present the results of a research study and contribute to understanding a particular topic.|
|Length and depth||Usually longer and more in-depth than a research paper||It can be shorter and less in-depth than a thesis.|
|Document||A document submitted to earn a degree at a university||A document describing the results of a research study|
|Analysis and discussion of the topic||In-depth and comprehensive||Focused on presenting the results of a specific research study|
|Requirement for||Written as part of the requirements for a graduate degree||It can be written by undergraduate or graduate students or by professionals.|
|Original research||Often based on original research.||It can be based on original research or previously published work.|
|Hypothesis or Research question||Requires a hypothesis or research question||It may or may not have a hypothesis or research question.|
|Guidance||Usually written under the guidance of a faculty adviser.||It may be written independently or with the guidance of a mentor.|
|Defense||Usually defended orally in front of a panel of experts||It may be presented orally at a conference.|