Difference between thesis or master’s thesis

The main difference between a thesis (thesis) or Master’s thesis and a doctoral thesis, is that the former do not require making an original contribution to the development of knowledge.

Linked to the above, Master’s theses or dissertations do not necessarily require a hypothesis.

(In simple terms, a hypothesis raises a causal relationship, that is, A happens because of B. Or conversely, B is a consequence of A. In this case, the thesis is to verify the truth of that hypothesis .)

If the type of thesis and the knowledge of the student on the subject merit it, a hypothesis can be included, but as previously said, it is not obligatory.

In theses in general, and especially in those that have no hypothesis, it is important to formulate the general objective well. The same denotes the purpose and scope of it.

However, the most important thing in a thesis is the coherence between the scope of the objective formulated, the order and scope of the arguments and their conclusion.

Types of thesis

There are multiple thesis classifications, however the most common for masters and theses are:

Exploratory: refers to research in which there is a general lack of knowledge about the subject. Thus, it is necessary to investigate to identify causal and foundations of the same.

Descriptive: Based on the description of a phenomenon or fact. It presupposes a prior knowledge of the subject, which leads to more precise questions focused on the relationship between variables.

Explanatory: they are based on the identification of the relationships between variables. It tends to explain more clearly the relationship between variables.

Depending on the degree of knowledge of the student will choose which type of thesis is most appropriate to his study.

What changes, when it comes to raising the issue is, first of all, the state of the issue and the type of questions that are asked to formulate the problem and thus identify objectives.

As mentioned earlier in the exploratory and descriptive theses, hypotheses can be dispensed with.

Although less frequent, in some cases, propositional theses can be proposed, which, given a definite and unresolved problem, offer an alternative, a mechanism or a device (eg, a resolution or analysis framework or software).

All these categories have to be considered after having chosen the theme of the thesis.

The following is a typical structure of a thesis project.

1. Title
2. Theme status and theoretical framework
3. Justification
4. Hypothesis (if any).
5. Overall objective.
6. Specific objectives.
7. Methodology and Sources

1. Title
It is the object of study. You must state what the thesis is about. Ideally it should circumscribe or limit the temporal and spatial reach of it. In this way we have already solved the first critical point that is the excessive breadth of work. Then, with the overall goal will be seen more clearly.


“The productive chain of bio fuels in that country during 2008 – 2010”.
“Peasant movements as a social variable in such country or region during the period 1990-2000”.
“The development of management software in such place in 2011”
“Relations between Europe and South America during 1990 – 2000”.

It can be added a subtitle to better locate who reads the thesis.

Another important aspect of the research is the “Research Question”, which refers to the “Problem”.

It must be considered in terms of interrogation, which is the aspect to be clarified, ie what the thesis will try to elucidate. Also, the question should address the causes and / or consequences of the phenomenon studied. As will be seen further ahead, if there is a hypothesis, this may be a tentative answer to the research question.

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