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This is the latest accepted revision, reviewed on 26 July 2018. For the novel, see The Dissertation. A thesis or dissertation is a document submitted in support of candidature for an academic degree or professional qualification presenting the author’s research and findings. The required complexity or quality of research of a thesis or dissertation can vary by country, university, or program, and the required minimum study period may thus vary significantly in duration. The word «dissertation» can at times be used to describe a treatise without relation to obtaining an academic degree. The term «thesis» is also used to refer to the general claim of an essay or similar work.
Dissertation» comes from the Latin dissertātiō, meaning «path». Aristotle was the first philosopher to define the term thesis. A ‘thesis’ is a supposition of some eminent philosopher that conflicts with the general opinionfor to take notice when any ordinary person expresses views contrary to men’s usual opinions would be silly» . The purpose of the dissertation is thus to outline the proofs of ‘Why’ the author disagrees with other philosophers or the general opinion. Dissertations normally report on a research project or study, or an extended analysis of a topic.
The structure of a thesis or dissertation explains the purpose, the previous research literature which impinges on the topic of the study, the methods used and the findings of the project. Degree-awarding institutions often define their own house style that candidates have to follow when preparing a thesis document. However, strict standards are not always required. Most Italian universities, for example, have only general requirements on the character size and the page formatting, and leave much freedom for the actual typographic details. A thesis or dissertation committee is a committee that supervises a student’s dissertation. At most universities, the committee is chosen by the student in conjunction with his or her primary adviser, usually after completion of the comprehensive examinations or prospectus meeting, and may consist of members of the comps committee.