How Is Essay Writing Completely Different from a Thesis Project?In this article, I will present an explanation on how essay writing is completely different from thesis writing, and yet both essay writing and thesis writing have much in common. If you have written an essay and never written a thesis,you would know that an essay is essentially a simpler and shorter version of a thesis. As we said, essay writing is both similar and different from thesis writing. It is not just a more unpredictable problem, essay writing can have several issues including being more complex, analytical and precise. Since space allocated for essays is short, essays are usually short and less than 5000 words. A thesis on the other hand has a more complex structure and requires headings, subheadings, title and parts or subdivisions. A thesis can be considered a more detailed version of an essay. As a student, an essay may look less intimidating than a thesis because a thesis is an elaborate research activity whereas an essay is more short term and deals with precise concepts than a thesis. While writing a thesis, remember to focus on the long term research objectives and when writing an essay, pay attention to the more short term goals.
First, you must identify what are the short term and long term goals of the essay and the thesis writing process, and then the differentiation. becomes more evident when you consider the time taken, length of the essay and thesis, ideas or number of concepts used in the essay and thesis, and the complexity of the ideas involved. The ideas used in the thesis are expected to be more complex and more elaborate. There are fewer concepts used in the essay. A total of 3-5 concepts may be used in a 2000 word essay, whereas in a thesis, 5-10 concepts may be used.
A thesis also has a distinct thesis statement, an essay does not necessarily have a statement. Although an essay or thesis will both have a rationale, purpose and justification. So, there are certain points that are distinctly similar for the essay and the thesis and both the essay and thesis will have similar structure and possibly similar headings.
Both the thesis and an essay will have an introduction, literature review, methodology, data, analysis, conclusion and recommendations, An essay may not always have these divisions and sometimes narrative essays do not have distinct methodology or data analysis sections. An essay can thus be narrative, descriptive or analytical whereas a thesis is usually more restrictive in terms of its structure and certain formats are strictly followed.
An essay thus allows more creativity and flexibility as far as what ideas you can use, Despite being shorter version, the essay gives more freedom to the writer as the writer can use his originality and creativity to write an essay that is flexible in its ideas and concepts. Writers can play around a lot with ideas and concepts and use a completely unique structure for the essay, although for a thesis, the writer usually has limited ability to use his own concepts and ideas, so an essay can be more creative and since it offers more flexibility to the writer. The writer usually has a lot of freedom while writing an essay and must follow a more rigid structure for a thesis.
Thus you see, you get more freedom when you are writing an essay but you do not get the same level of freedom when writing a thesis. Considering this point, it makes sense to argue that essays are easier to write than a regular thesis because even if essays are small, you get a lot of freedom to write an essay in any way you want.
So here are the points:
1. Essays offer more freedom and flexibility.
2. Thesis is more structured.
3. Essay writing is relatively simple and can be done in a relatively short period of time.
4. Thesis is complex and should not be done overnight.
5. Essays can be reflective, analytical, objective, subjective, descriptive, narrative etc.
6. Thesis is primarily objective with subjective elements and parts as well.
So what are the points you must remember while writing an essay? and what points should you consider while writing a thesis? Remember that essays give you more freedom In terms of structure and a thesis will always have a definite structure which you will have to follow. There is no room for flexibility in writing a thesis, and as a thesis writer you have to always follow a structure. You can be flexible with your essay topic, structure and content and you can be narrative or analytical according to the requirements of the essay. In some cases, the essay can have a structure that is predetermined like a thesis and you may not always be able to follow a flexible structure. The essay and the thesis are sometimes similar in structure and the essay will in some cases need a proper introduction, rationale, literature review, methodology and analysis, as well as interpretation and conclusion. Essays can be reflective or objective and could vary in the number of concepts used.
A thesis will always have a thesis statement, but essays may not have a statement. Usually essays do start with a summary and introduction, almost all essays need conclusions and recommendations. So there are some similarities with thesis writing. However, a thesis requires substantial planning and essays may or may not require elaborate planning. Essays can be written without a thorough planning and impromptu, so essays can be done overnight, but a thesis may not be done overnight, simply because a thesis requires more planning, concepts and overall there is a complexity of concepts in the thesis. I would discourage you from trying to write a one night thesis. Rush thesis will miss out on the most important points and could suffer from quality issues.
In this post, I tried to distinguish between an essay and a thesis. I argue that essay writing is more flexible and thesis writing is rigid. While writing essays you can follow any structure, but a thesis usually has a definite structure. You can write a subjective or objective essay, although a thesis will be largely objective and the concepts used in the thesis will have to go through rationale and explanation. So it may not be possible to assess whether thesis writing is better than essay writing, but thesis writing is structured and maybe far more complex than essay writing.