Difference Between Thesis and Hypothesis

Main Difference –  Thesis vs Hypothesis                           

Thesis and hypothesis are two common terms that are often found in research studies. Hypothesis is a logical proposition that is based on existing knowledge that serves as the starting point of an investigation. A thesis is a statement that is put forward as a premise to be maintained or proved. The main difference between thesis and hypothesis is that thesis is found in all research studies whereas a hypothesis is mainly found in experimental quantitative research studies.

This article explains,

1. What is a Thesis?
     – Definition, Features, Function

2. What is a Hypothesis?
     – Definition, Features, Function

3. What is the difference between Thesis and Hypothesis?Difference Between Thesis and Hypothesis - Comparison Summary

What is a Thesis

The word thesis has two meanings in a research study. Thesis can either refer to a dissertation or a thesis statement. Thesis or dissertation is the long essay or document that consists of the research study.  Thesis can also refer to a theory or statement that is used as a premise to be maintained or proved.

The thesis statement in a research article is a sentence found at the beginning of the paper that presents the main argument of the paper. The rest of the document will gather, organize and present evidence to support this argument. The thesis statement will basically present the topic of the paper and indicate what position the researcher is going to take in relation to this topic. A thesis statement can generally be found at the end of the first paragraph (introductory paragraph) of the paper.

Main Difference - Thesis vs Hypothesis

What is a Hypothesis

A hypothesis is a logical assumption based on available evidence. Hypothesis is defined as “a supposition or proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation” in the Oxford dictionary and as “an idea or theory that is not proven but that leads to further study or discussion” in the Merriam-Webster dictionary. In simple words, it is an educated guess that is not proven with concrete scientific evidence. Once it is scientifically tested and proven, it becomes a theory. However, it is important to note that a hypothesis can be accurate or inaccurate.

Hypotheses are mostly used in experiments and research studies. However, hypotheses are not used in every research study. They are mostly used in quantitative research studies that deal with experiments. Hypotheses are often used to test a specific model or theory. They can be used only when the researcher has sufficient knowledge about the subject since hypothesis are always based on the existing knowledge. Once the hypothesis is built, the researcher can find and analyze data and use them to prove or disprove the hypothesis.

Difference Between Thesis and Hypothesis - 1

Difference Between Thesis and Hypothesis


Thesis: A thesis is a “statement or theory that is put forward as a premise to be maintained or proved” or a “long essay or dissertation involving personal research, written by a candidate for a university degree” (Oxford dictionary).

Hypothesis: A hypothesis is “a supposition or proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation” (Oxford dictionary).


Thesis: Thesis statement can be found in all research papers.

Hypothesis: Hypotheses are usually found in experimental quantitative research studies.


Thesis: Thesis statement may explain the hypothesis and how the researcher intends to support it.

Hypothesis: Hypothesis is an educated guess based on the existing knowledge.

Image Courtesy:

“Master’s Thesis” by   via

“Colonial Flagellate Hypothesis” By Katelynp1 – Own work via

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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