What is the Difference Between Similar But Different Things, Terms, and Objects

What is the Difference between Journal, Thesis, Dissertation and Research Paper

A lot of writing material is created all over the world. Some of it is fiction, which is written just for the sake of entertainment, while some is research based and scientific in nature. Journal, thesis, dissertation and research paper are some commonly used terms in our educational institutions. However, these terms are often used interchangeably, while they all are different. Here, we are mentioning the differences between them.


Journal is used in different meanings; here we are talking about academic journal. Journal is a periodical publication, in which articles related to a particular academic discipline are published. They provide a platform to the researcher to represent their new research.  These scholarly articles are published with references and are usually open for criticism.


A thesis is a document, which is submitted to get an academic degree. It represents the research and finding of students. In professional universities, it is compulsory for all students to do a limited search and represent their findings in the form of thesis. As it is done by the university students, so it is considered as the intellectual property of that university.


Thesis and dissertation is one and the same thing.

Research paper

Research papers are usually published in academic journals. It contains research results, or facts about reviewing the already researched materials. These research papers undergo a series of review before being accepted or rejected for publication.

Journal vs Thesis vs Dissertation vs Research Paper

All these terms are related with each other but yet they all are different. Journals are the publications which include research papers and scholarly articles. Thesis is an obligation to pass the master’s and PhD degree, while research papers can be written in schools and colleges as well. Thesis and dissertation are two words but they are actually the same in meaning. Thesis is written on a single topic, while research paper might include a verity of topics. Thesis requires long duration for its completion while research paper can be completed in few days, depending upon the content. Many research papers are published in a single journal.

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