Difference between A research paper and a thesis

The word ‘thesis’ is derived from the Latin word dissertation. A thesis is considered the’ main point ‘in academic writing. The Oxford dictionary defines thesis “as a long essay on a particular subject or topic especially written for university degree”. A research paper is the original piece of academic writing. The student writes a thesis to obtain an academic degree or qualification. This article provides information on the difference between a research paper and a thesis.

Difference between a research paper and a thesis

There are many differences between the thesis and the research paper.


· The purpose is one of the main differences between a thesis and a research paper.

· A student writes a thesis with the goal to obtain a high degree of academic qualities.

· The topic of a thesis might be very complex and it explains so much time it takes to complete it.

· A thesis report is about a single question while the research paper raises a number of questions about the central theme.


· Students complete reserch paper without supervision. While for thesis a supervisor is necessary.

· Many colleges or universities have professors or tutors to help with writing thesis.

· Students take delivery of guidance from them on a constant basis.

· Supervisors frequently have knowledge of the topic areas in order to help with scientific aspects of the work.

· Supervisor in some universities are assigned, to meet with the students on a regular basis.

· Research paper is written as a part of a course and they do not summarize it.


There are many differences between a research paper and a thesis for requirements.

· Each university sets its own rules and regulations for presentation style and the length of a thesis depending on the research area.

· Some universities have different demands about formatting a thesis and a research paper.

· Additionally, a thesis includes numerous elements that are not expected in research papers. These elements are tables, research methodology, a list of the graph and other graphical content.

· A research paper is shorter than a thesis.

· A research paper completes in several days.


· A topic is a major difference between the research paper and a thesis.

· The professor chooses the topic for a research paper.

· The student chooses the topic for a thesis.

· In some universities, the rules and regulations can be stricter for the requirements of a topic.

· There are some elements, which are always prerequisite in the thesis presentation style, such as contents or topic.

· When a student chooses a topic, he should be interested in the originality of a research paper.

Similarities between A thesis and a research paper:

As explained above, the thesis and the research paper are the university documents. A thesis is something similar to a research paper that end justifies the means. A research paper gives detail about its subject. A thesis also explains the whole detail about its subject. Thus, both the thesis and the research paper are deterministic.


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