A thesis (or dissertation) may be arranged as a thesis by publication or a monograph, with or without appended papers, respectively, though many graduate programs allow candidates to submit a curated collection of published papers.
The term "thesis" is also used to refer to the general claim of an essay or similar work.
, meaning "something put forth", and refers to an intellectual proposition.
Dissertations normally report on a research project or study, or an extended analysis of a topic.
The structure of a thesis or dissertation explains the purpose, the previous research literature impinging on the topic of the study, the methods used, and the findings of the project.
Most world universities use a multiple chapter format : Degree-awarding institutions often define their own house style that candidates have to follow when preparing a thesis document.
In addition to institution-specific house styles, there exist a number of field-specific, national, and international standards and recommendations for the presentation of theses, for instance ISO 7144.
The required complexity or quality of research of a thesis or dissertation can vary by country, university, or program, and the required minimum study period may thus vary significantly in duration.
The word "dissertation" can at times be used to describe a treatise without relation to obtaining an academic degree.
"A 'thesis' is a supposition of some eminent philosopher that conflicts with the general opinion..to take notice when any ordinary person expresses views contrary to men's usual opinions would be silly".
For Aristotle, a thesis would therefore be a supposition that is stated in contradiction with general opinion or express disagreement with other philosophers (104b33-35).