Thesis vs Hypothesis

The Real Differences Between Thesis and Hypothesis (With table)

A thesis and a hypothesis are two very different things, but they are often confused with one another. In this blog post, we will explain the differences between these two terms, and help you understand when to use which one in a research project.

As a whole, the main difference between a thesis and a hypothesis is that a thesis is an assertion that can be proven or disproven, while a hypothesis is a statement that can be tested by scientific research. 

We probably need to expand a bit on this topic to make things clearer for you, let’s start with definitions and examples.

Definitions

As always, let’s start with the definition of each term before going further.

Thesis

A thesis is a statement or theory that is put forward as a premise to be maintained or proved. A thesis statement is usually one sentence, and it states your position on the topic at hand.

Hypothesis

A hypothesis is a statement that can be tested by scientific research. A hypothesis is usually based on observations, and it seeks to explain how these observations fit together.

Examples

The best way to understand the slight difference between those terms, is to give you an example for each of them.

Thesis

If you are writing a paper about the effects of climate change on the environment, your thesis might be “Climate change is causing irreparable damage to our planet, and we must take action to prevent further damage”.

Hypothesis

If you observe that the leaves on a tree are turning yellow, your hypothesis might be “The tree is sick”. It’s the starting point of experimental research: what can you do then to prove if your hypothesis is right or wrong?

If your hypothesis is correct, then further research should be able to confirm it. However, if your hypothesis is incorrect, research will disprove it. Either way, a hypothesis is an important part of the scientific process.

Etymology

Taking a look at the etymology of words can help you to remember which one to use is each case.

Thesis

The word “thesis” comes from the Greek θέσις, meaning “something put forth”, and refers to an intellectual proposition.

Hypothesis

The word “hypothesis” comes from the Greek words “hupo,” meaning “under”, and “thesis” that we just explained.

This reflects the fact that a hypothesis is an educated guess, based on observations.

Argumentation vs idea

Hypothesis are generally base on simple observation, while thesis imply that more work has been done on the topic.

A thesis is usually the result of extensive research and contemplation, and seeks to prove a point or theory.

A hypothesis is only a statement that need to be tested by observation or experimentation.

5 mains differences between thesis and hypothesis

Thesis and hypothesis are different in several ways, here are the 5 keys differences between those terms:

  • A thesis is a statement that can be argued, while a hypothesis cannot be argued.
  • A thesis is usually longer than a hypothesis.
  • A thesis is more detailed than a hypothesis.
  • A thesis is based on research, while a hypothesis may or may not be based on research.
  • A thesis must be proven, while a hypothesis need not be proven.

So, in short, a thesis is an argument, while a hypothesis is a prediction. A thesis is more detailed and longer than a hypothesis, and it is based on research. Finally, a thesis must be proven, while a hypothesis does not need to be proven.

ThesisHypothesis
DebateCan be arguedCannot be argued, and don’t need to
LengthGenerally longerGenerally shorter
DetailsGenerally more detailedGenerally more general
BaseBased on real researchOften just an opinion, not (yet) backed by science
ProofMust be provenDon’t need to be proven
Thesis vs Hypothesis

FAQ

Is there a difference between a thesis and a claim?

Yes, there is a difference between a thesis and a claim. A thesis statement is usually one sentence that states your main argument, while a claim is a more general statement that can be supported by evidence.

Is a hypothesis a prediction?

No, a hypothesis is not a prediction. A prediction is a statement about what you think will happen in the future, whereas a hypothesis is a statement about what you think is causing a particular phenomenon.

What’s the difference between thesis and dissertation?

A thesis is usually shorter and more focused than a dissertation, and it is typically achieved in order to earn a bachelor’s degree. A dissertation is usually longer and more comprehensive, and it is typically completed in order to earn a master’s or doctorate degree.

What is a good thesis statement?

A good thesis statement is specific, debatable, and supports the main point of the paper. It should be clear what the researcher position is, and what evidence they will use to support it.

Thanks for reading! I hope this post helped clear up the differences between thesis and hypothesis.
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