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The Major Difference Between Thesis and Research Paper 

difference between thesis and research

We almost use thesis and research paper as synonyms. When a person is discussing research paper, you immediately think that “I am working on a thesis too. This sounds similar, right? Maybe there is no difference between thesis and research paper.” 

You thought the only difference is different spelling? 


Just like James Franco, I am sure that you also think that thesis and research paper are only separated by their names. It sounds racist when I say it like that, doesn’t it? Anyway, the point is that the difference between thesis and research paper is not limited to spellings only. 

Got the shock of your life? 


This is where, not you but, a major population of students are wrong. A research paper and thesis are not same. There might be some things that make them similar but not exactly the same. 

Here, I have discussed the differences between thesis and research paper exist and how they are two separate academic documents. 

Why do students think that they are the same? 


No child. It is not the same in every country. Research and thesis are two different documents, be it anywhere in the world. And if you think that there is no difference between thesis and research, then you knew it wrong. 

But why do you think they are same? 

Is it because a thesis and research paper follows a similar structure of writing. 

Or because both of them starts off with an introduction? This introduction revolves around the central theme or the research question. 

Or maybe there is no difference between thesis and research paper because they both contain a literature review? 

No, you think they are the same because both of them have an explanation of the methodology, isn’t it? 

Oh, wait. Didn’t you also analysed the data from the various sources and then moved towards a result? 

Is there no difference between thesis and research paper because they both end with a conclusion. Is that what you think? 


Well, it does. The research and thesis are different, nothing can change this fact. 

What is a thesis actually then if not research? 

That is an excellent question you have asked. See, a thesis is actually written in exchange for an academic qualification. You submit a thesis to me, I will check and reward you a degree in return. This is a major difference between thesis and research paper. A  research paper is not necessarily written for an academic degree. 

What is a thesis statement? It is a statement which has a summary of the entire essay. When you are writing your essay, you mention a thesis statement either at the beginning or the end of the introduction. This thesis statement contains a summary of the key argument. 


Yes, really. A thesis statement is not the statement of the thesis. 

Did I also hear dissertation? 

A dissertation is the same as a thesis. Confused? Well, dissertations and thesis are the same. Unlike difference between thesis and research paper, dissertation and thesis are brothers. They both are written for the award of an academic degree. The thesis is generally written for a bachelor’s or master’s degree. The dissertation is the thing of the doctoral degrees. 

When we talk about the difference between thesis and research papers, what comes to your mind? 


Whoa whoa. Relax. There is no need to kill anyone or end anyone. Okay? I am sorry but just relax. No more games. I will tell you now. 

5 differences will do, yes? Here you go! 

The top 5, major, *drum roll beat* difference between thesis and research paper are – 

The Difference of Central Argument 

The thesis has one central argument and further exploration. This central argument is not the difference between thesis and research paper. The difference is that this argument works its way up the ranks and becomes a research question. 


Exactly like this, the thesis rises to become an “angry” research. 

The research paper, on the other hand, has a question in hand and the solution is found. The solution of the question is done with the help of a method and evidence. A major difference between thesis and research paper is this. 

The Difference of Argument Proving 

The thesis is not a firm stone that cannot be changed. It is an exploration and you are open to possibilities. In the thesis, you form antitheses. Tantithesiseses allows you to take on different paths. You do not get this privilege in research paper. 

The difference between a thesis and research paper is that research paper is only concerned with the proving of arguments. The reason why you all are focused here is that you need to prove your central statement and collect all evidence to prove exactly this. You explore other possibilities in a research paper as well but only to nullify them. 


A difference between thesis and research paper is also that in a research paper, you provide future scope on how others can improve their research. 

The Difference of Approach of Arguments 

The thesis is original and unique. You do the thinking part most of the time. But not in research. Remember I told that there will be differences? Yes. 

A difference between thesis and research paper is that they both have a different approach towards the arguments. 

In the ring, I have thesis and research paper. The thesis, which is original and strong with the own brain of the student. 


Yes, welcome it with a huge cheer. 

On the other side, there is a research paper. The research paper depends too much on other people’s work. The difference between thesis and research paper that research forms a major part of itself from secondary sources is growing. What will be the outcome?

Oh dear, I think this is goodbye. 


But I do hope that you guys did not get bored, yes? I tried to be as interesting as I could in explaining to you the difference between thesis and research paper. But do not worry if you have any additional query. I am an academic expert and have really good experience in writing different types of assignments. 

The team at My Assignment Services is online all the time. Yes, that is 24×7. You can test this by dropping us a text late night and trust me, no robot will be answering you but our experts. 

To learn the difference between thesis and research paper at a more intimate level, you can take a personal online tutoring session from the experts. You will be connected to the expert of your domain. 

Or you can simply send us the details of the assignment and we will take care of the rest. Our thesis writing help experts will aid you all the way.

Author: Celina

Hello, everyone! I’m Celina, an educationist and academic consultant. I enjoy reading, learning, and implementing the same in the assignments. I also take a lot of pride in guiding students with their assignments. I have 6 years of experience in writing assignments for students and when not doing that I follow my passion for blogging. I spent my spare time often researching new trends of writing.

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