General Question

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

What's the difference between a thesis and a paper?

Asked by MyNewtBoobs (19026points) October 6th, 2010

Ok, I’m downloading templates for Word so I don’t have to format as much. I downloaded both the Turabian thesis template, and the Turabian paper template, but I have no idea what the difference is or how one figures out which one they should use.

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8 Answers

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

And while we’re on the subject, if anyone has any sources for finding templates for Word that will be helpful in college, I’d love it if you’d shoot me a PM with the link. All I can find is backgrounds with birds and flowers and stuff on them…

Lightlyseared's avatar

A thesis is a piece of work submitted by a student as part of their studies, usually for a PhD.

A paper is piece of work submitted to an academic journal. It could be the findings of a piece of research or a review of the literature or what ever.

As for the Word templates I always find it easier and better to design my own to my specific needs. Most colleges have a standard format (font, line spacing, margins etc) that they like you to use so you could use that to format your basic template.

lillycoyote's avatar

It can get kind of complicated depending on who is using the word and where, etc. But I think the defining characteristic of a “thesis” is that it be or provide “an original contribution to knowledge.” That’s how it works on the graduate level when writing a Masters Thesis or dissertation. Sometimes people use “doctoral thesis” and dissertation interchangeably. At the college level I think it depends on the institution. Writing a Senior Thesis was a requirement where I went to college and it did have to be “an original contribution to knowledge” but I don’t know if that is the case everywhere. A paper? Another kind of vague and squishy word that means different things in different contexts.

If I’m wrong about this, I’m going to have to give my degree back, you know:-)

Zyx's avatar

A paper can (and a good paper usually does) contain several theses.
A theses would have to be very complicated to contain several papers.

Doesn’t seem that complicated but then again, I might be completely wrong.

Trillian's avatar

Templates for what kind of documents? Do you have MS Word 2007?

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

I have Word 2003.

Trillian's avatar

Word ‘03 has a wizard. You can click the question mark and type in “templates”. You should get a bunch of selections. You can also click the “office” button, and maybe the tab for “layout”. I have ‘07 and I can’t remeber all the paths for ‘03, but once you start a task at least the wizard will come out and help you.

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