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AnonymousI hate to tell you this, but you are wrong. A thesis is required for a lower degree such as a Bachelors or perhaps a Masters degree. One does not complete original research for a thesis. It is a much shorter written body of work. A dissertation is a much more involved body of research that requires original research. Also, a dissertation must be defended and approved and reviewed by the doctoral candidate's committee selected by the candidate.Careful saying that they are wrong...
I completed my MASc in Engineering. I completed, and defended, my thesis. I have also recently completed, and defended, my PhD thesis (...in Micro Robotics).
Generally, a Master's degree requires supervised research, but the research does not have to be original work. A PhD is considered unsupervised research (...although you always have a supervisor looking over your shoulder...) but needs to be original work. For comparison: my Master's thesis was about 120 pages and took 2 years. My PhD thesis was about 260 pages and took 5 years. Ouch.
The words dissertation and thesis are more often than not "regional conventions". The specific degree, and location/country/University, may dictate whether or not it's referred to as a thesis or dissertation.
In my opinion, an Engineering or Science degree (Master's or PhD) would more likely use the term Thesis, where as an Arts Degree (Master's or PhD) would more likely use the term dissertation.
But there is no fixed answer, and the two terms can be interchanged quite easily (as seen from all of these posts).
http://www.doctoralnet.com/writeagooddissertationThey explain that the main difference between a dissertation and a thesis depends on what country you live in. Some countries call it a dissertation and some countries call it a thesis. But it is generally the same thing. However, this is only the case in higher learning i.e college. If you are lower in the education process a thesis can be the introduction to a paper. Hope this helps!
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