What is a Dissertation? How is it Different from an Essay?

During my academic life, we have done many essays on various topics. Some essays were creative, whereas some were qualitative opinions on real-world issues. However, have you ever heard that a 10th-grade student is writing a dissertation to pass the class? It is because students only face research tasks during the Ph.D. program. A dissertation is a lengthy task, which many students are afraid to deal with. Many students often use the Best Dissertation Writing Services UK based help to get a helping hand in writing a research.

For many reasons, an essay and a dissertation are different from each other. The most common thing that makes an essay different from research is the size of these tasks. Besides, this article will supply you with excellent proof to clear your doubts between an essay and research. Anyway, let’s start with the essay first.

What Is An Essay?

The aim of an essay is to tell the readers about a chosen topic. When the teacher gives an essay to students, they have to share their thoughts and opinions about a chosen topic, with some supporting or opposing views. Also, there are four types of essay, persuasive, narrative, expository, and informative. The writer has to choose which type is the best to bring their thoughts to others. Yet, whatever a student writes in their essay will lie within one of these four types.

More, an essay is way shorter than research. It holds 1500 to 2000 words in most cases. Also, an essay does not often relate to the field of education a student is pursuing.

What Is a Dissertation?

A dissertation has a lot of things to tell you. The first use of the word “Dissertation” was in 1651, which meant “an extended written treatment of a subject”. Also, if you want to know from where the word “Dissertation” is derived, it comes from the Latin word “dissertate”. The word dissertate means to debate.

Now you know the word’s origin and actual meaning, let’s jump toward its aim. The aim of a dissertation is to ask students to contribute something to their field of education. A research task needs students to research thoroughly about their targeted topic. Also, students have to apply all the knowledge they have gained throughout the years.

Moreover, a research task is used to assess the students’ mastery of their chosen subject. This final task helps the supervisors realize whether a student has learned everything properly in their academic years or not. That is why it is a lengthy piece of paper that needs around a year to complete.

Difference between a Dissertation and an Essay

The difference lies in the standard of education and presentation modes. Essays are often informal and creative, and students get many essays to complete in their academic life. Although, the differences are common and easy to identify. Still, we are going to help you differentiate between these two tasks.


The audience tells whether a student is working on an essay or a dissertation. In essays, the audience is most probably the teacher who asked you to write it. Some schools publish their students’ essays in newspapers and magazines. However, the most common audience is the professor who assigns students the essay.

On the other side, the research project targets many audiences, such as academic committees, supervisors, professors, and every scholar who wants to study in your field of education. Here, the role of the academic committee as an audience is to approve or reject your research idea according to the school’s criteria. More, supervisors have to guide you throughout the whole process of writing and conducting research.

As you have seen, the audience can tell what the writer has written and for whom. An essay targets a smaller audience or even a single person. On the other hand, a dissertation affects nearly anything that comes within your exact field of education.


The big difference between an essay and a dissertation is the requirements. An essay does not contain such rigid conditions. Also, an essay’s needs rely upon the type of essay a student has to write. Students can present personal info in an essay, regardless it is valid or not. Moreover, an expository essay does not even demand a personal opinion or analysis from a writer.

However, a dissertation has a lot of things students have to keep in mind while writing. The most common condition is the time to complete a research project. A student cannot submit their research paper before completing the Ph.D. program. It means the students have to clear all the courses in their program first. Also, every school has a distinct set of conditions for research. For example, some schools ask students to merge conclusion and discussions chapters. Moreover, the most rigid demand is the originality of work in a research project.

Deadline and Word Count

A Ph.D. dissertation takes two to three years to complete. On the other hand, an essay is a game of some hours. The reason a research project takes years to complete is its length. In general, Ph.D. research contains around 60,000 words, whereas an essay usually consists of 2000 to 2500 words. Thus, the deadline and length can differentiate between both these tasks.


Essays are a part of a student’s life. Every student in the early grades faces countless essays to make them efficient in writing. Teachers assign some essays to observe students’ mentalities, like storytelling essays. On the other hand, sometimes, students have to write convincing essays to hone their persuasive skills. Yet, a student has to complete a dissertation once in a lifetime during their Ph.D. program. So the major difference is that an essay is a task you will face a hundred times, while a research project is a one-time job. Fortunately, we have info and help support to deal with both essays and research papers with ease. Students who study in Ph.D. programs can also hire the Best Dissertation Writing Services UK based help to seek professional advice. This way, they can complete their research project feasibly. Besides, I hope the above differentiation helped you understand these tasks separately.

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