Don Ihde called the hypothesis being 'hyped' and referred to clear evidence about the use of optical tools by, ., Albrecht Dürer and Leonardo da Vinci and others. As well the 1929 Encyclopædia Britannica  contains an extensive article on the camera obscura and cites Leon Battista Alberti as the first documented user of the device as early as 1437.  Ihde states abundant evidence for widespread use of various technical devices at least in the Renaissance and . in Early Netherlandish painting .  Jan van Eyck 's 1434 painting Arnolfini Portrait shows a convex mirror in the centre of the painting. Van Eyck also left his signature above this mirror,  showing the importance of the tool. The painting includes a crown glass window in the upper left side, a rather expensive luxury at the time. Van Eyck was rather fascinated by glass and its qualities, which was as well of high symbolic importance for his contemporaries.  Early optical instruments were comparatively expensive in the Medieval age and the Renaissance. 
Sometimes it is also accepted that the author simply provides constructive critical analysis of existing theories or viewpoints without necessarily offering any new ones. In short academic requirements for a thesis, especially the demand of originality, are much higher than for a research paper. Each university sets its own rules and regulations for presentation style and the length of a thesis depending on the research area. In some universities the rules can be stricter, foreseeing very specific style and format requirements. There are however certain components that are always prerequisite in thesis presentation style, such as table of contents or abstract. You may include a dedication or acknowledgement and depending on the research field, graphics, tables or research methods. All the aforementioned components might not be expected in a research paper. However, as both are academic documents bibliography together with accurate referencing must be presented.