What Is the Difference Between an Essay and a Thesis?

Differences and Similarities Between an Essay and Thesis

Are you confused about whether a thesis is an essay? In a single academic year, a college student will complete numerous academic assignments. This includes writing different types of essays and a thesis. Learners who https://www.marian.edu/admissions/transfer-to-marian/ivy-tech-community-college-students/a-s-in-computer-science are used to writing essays may encounter a thesis for the first time and wonder what the similarities or differences could be. Luckily this article explains the differences and similarities.


Both a thesis and an essay are literary compositions that reflect an author’s point of view. They are based on research and work to discuss a specific subject matter or topic. They are often graded and help test a student’s writing skills, knowledge, time management, and ability to adhere to given instructions. custom paper They have to be written based on a specified citation style and format, which can differ depending on the course, school, and instructor.

While there are several similarities between these two types of academic tasks, a student must know the difference to enable them to create a correct document.


Before we dive into the differences, it is necessary to remember that both an essay and a thesis have an introduction that starts with a topic sentence and ends with a thesis statement. Transitions connect the paragraphs, and recent scholarly evidence is used to support arguments or claim made. A https://chemdemos.uoregon.edu/demos/Hydrogen-Balloon reference list, works cited, or bibliography has to be included at the end of the paper.

Unlike an essay whose structure consists of an introduction, the main body with two or three paragraphs, and a conclusion, a thesis has more sections. A thesis includes an abstract, introduction, literature review, methodology, results, discussion, and concluding section in that order. So unlike a standard essay that mainly has three chapters, a thesis has five.

A thesis has a more formal format and tone as compared to an essay. While, in some cases, an essay may not contribute to the end of semester grade in most higher learning institutions, students have to complete a thesis before they graduate. Rarely are essays published. However, a thesis has to fulfill all the academic requirements before it can be approved and published.

Good essay structure

A thesis has to have a catchy introduction that gives the reader what to expect in the body of the paper. The thesis must state the claim made and explain the convincing evidence that supports the claim. This format results in a well-designed paragraph that contains the main arguments discussed in the body. Following this structure, the paragraphs should transition logically to avoid confusing the reader. The number of paragraphs depends on the academic level.

A thesis has to make an argument that needs to be stated in a specific academic context and that which adds to the existing knowledge in the field. Following this format, a student must work on convincing the reader to agree with their perspective. This involves structuring and formatting the paper in a unique way that showcases the relationship between ideas.


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