What is a thesis? What is a dissertation?A master's and licentiate thesis gives evidence of training in research by means of a contribution to knowledge involving a modest problem of investigation. It proves the candidate's familiarity with the basic methods and techniques of research and also the ability to apply them.
A doctoral dissertation demonstrates the candidate's familiarity with the most recent and best research methods in the subject and the ability to apply them. The dissertation demonstrates academic maturity in discovering and formulating the broader and more generic aspects of the data collected through balanced, objective and critical judgment. The dissertation also demonstrates knowledge of the contributions of previous investigators working on both the subject area of the dissertation and on closely or organically related subjects. Finally, the dissertation gives evidence of the candidate's ability to organize material around the major unifying idea or ideas and to present data in an orderly sequence.
How do I find out about Catholic University writing policies?The Master’s/Licentiate Thesis Handbook and The Doctoral Dissertation Handbook, available from the Office of the Senior Vice Provost for Academic Administration and Dean of Graduate Studies, provide detailed information on formatting and printing the manuscript; preparing the abstract; registering the copyright; and arranging for the deposit, publishing and binding of the dissertation. All candidates preparing to write either a thesis or a dissertation must obtain a copy of this publication.
I’m not a great writer. Can I get help with writing my thesis or dissertation?The Catholic University Writing Center provides support services to students at all stages of the writing process. The Writing Center strongly recommends that you access their website to make an appointment to speak with one of their trained consultants, all of whom are graduate students in the English Department. They can also be reached at 202-319-4286. Walk-ins are welcome on a space-available basis.
I’m ready to convert my document to a "PDF"...but how do I do that?Congratulations! You're ready to convert your thesis or dissertation! That's one of the last steps, and it's an easy step too. To create a PDF, you can follow this link from Adobe.
If you are interested in purchasing professional software as well, we suggest Adobe Acrobat in either its Standard or Pro versions.