Important Differences Between Writing Essays and Dissertations

by Andy Alvin Digital Marketing Strategist

Essays and dissertations are something that you will require to write at some point in your academic life. Your teacher or professor uses these to assess your writing skill and subject knowledge. Both essays and dissertations have different writing formats. In this article, we will show you the major differences between writing essays and dissertations. While essays are short literary composition which represents the personal view of the writer, whereas the dissertation editors and writers say it is examining a subject by reviewing different points of views.

Major Differences Between Dissertations Writing and Essays

Here are a few major differences between essays and dissertations:

Ø Purpose

The purpose of essay writing is to inform the readers on a particular topic. In an essay, the writer offers thoughts on a subject matter and adds supporting arguments. The essays categorized as descriptive, expository, persuasive, descriptive or narrative. Some prefer writing their essays by telling a personal story while others simply prefer it by stating facts on the essay topic.

On the other hand, dissertation writing means adding something new in a particular field of study. Dissertation means adding a new thought piece to an existing body of knowledge. Your purpose should be to find a gap and show the possibility of further research in the specific field of study. It will require careful research as well as the application of years of study in their field.

Ø Audience

The audience or readers for your essay writing are either teachers or professors who actually assigned the essays. For writing dissertations, the audience or readers needs to be the academic committee and scholars belonging in that specific field. The committee has the power to accept or reject a dissertation. 

They will judge your dissertation on the basis of whether you have sufficiently been able to prove your point, added a significant amount of supporting arguments. Your dissertation will also show your comprehensive study on the written works of other researchers on the subject.

Ø Length matters

Essays are a shorter piece of writing which consist of 200-650 words. Essays can be written from one page to 20 or even 30 pages long. Essays usually come in 5 paragraphs. It contains an introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion.

Dissertations on other hands are much longer than essays. Dissertations are written in a more formal tone.  

Ø Outline

The outline of your essay includes an introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion. The outline of writing a dissertation includes an introduction, literature review, qualitative methodology, quantitative methodology, quantitative research methods, research outcomes, discussions and suggestion for further research and conclusion.

Ø Introductory paragraphs

Essay introductions are not required to be a mystery. You cannot keep the readers in suspense as they will lose their interest if they cannot grasp the purpose of your essay topic. While writing the introductory paragraph, you will need to move from a general to a specific structure. You will require introducing the issue directly in the introductory paragraph.

Your purpose for writing an introduction for a dissertation is to let the readers know what are you writing about, the importance of your research field and how you approached it. Your dissertation introduction will include topic and context, focus and scope, relevance, objectives and overview of the structure.

These are the major differences between two formats f academic papers- essays and dissertations. Make sure you read the full article to understand the format of writing each academic paper.


Unable to understand specific requirements or purpose of writing essays and dissertations? It is important to understand specific formats to ace essays or dissertations. Make sure you go through the entire article to learn the differences between writing essays and dissertations.

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About Andy Alvin Innovator   Digital Marketing Strategist

16 connections, 0 recommendations, 52 honor points.
Joined APSense since, August 12th, 2019, From New York, United States.

Created on Sep 17th 2020 03:27. Viewed 200 times.


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