If you are looking for how to write an acknowledgement for your dissertation, it probably means you have just completed your work, and kudos to you for that! You are done with the hard and grunt work and you are looking to give credit where it is due (mostly). Still, it can be confusing who to thank and how to do that in an appropriate and genuine way.
Expressing gratitude in a proper way to those who provided support—professionally and personally—during the course of your dissertation shows your integrity.
This blog will give you an insight into how to write and structure your dissertation acknowledgments. We are also providing you with 2 examples for dissertation acknowledgments for you to draw inspiration from.
This Article Covers:
- How to Write the Acknowledgements Section for a Dissertation?
- Tips for Writing a Dissertation
How to Write the Acknowledgements Section for a Dissertation?
The dissertation acknowledgements should come before the abstract and is placed after the title page of your dissertation or thesis. Ideally, acknowledgments for a dissertation should not be longer than a page.
These are the things you need to consider when you write that acknowledgment section of your dissertation:
a). Use of language in the acknowledgments section
b). Checking University’s requirements
c). Who to thank in acknowledgments?
d). Examples for a dissertation acknowledgments
e). Tips for writing acknowledgment for dissertation
a). Use of Language in the Acknowledgment Section
In the acknowledgment section of your dissertation or thesis, a more informal style of writing is permitted compared to the rest of your academic work. The dissertation could have a more personal touch to it as it is not really a part of your academic work or research.
You are encouraged to use the first-person pronoun (or “I”) while writing the acknowledgments. This section shows where you come from as a researcher and what you include in that is totally up to you. However, the acknowledgment sections have been written for a long time and it is a good idea to follow certain conventions for it.
Some people use humor or witty remarks in their acknowledgements and that can interest the reader as well. As long as you are acknowledging the relevant people and their relationship with you, it is alright—a sense of humor has never killed anybody!
b). Checking the University’s Requirements
While working on your dissertation or thesis, it is always important to re-check the university’s guidelines or requirements. You must have already done that while structuring the other sections in your academic paper.
- Before you start writing your acknowledgments section, re-check if the university has provided any particular templates or guidelines for writing it.
- You should also check if the university has any formatting requirements for the acknowledgments section as well.
- If there is a provided word limit, make note of that as well.
- It is also a good idea to check the acknowledgment section of previously submitted dissertations in your University based on your program of study. That will give you a clear idea of your university’s expectations.
c). Who to Thank in Acknowledgments?
In acknowledgements, people generally thank their professional and personal relationships. It is recommended to start with formal relationships and then move to personal ones. After the introductory sentence(s), you should move on to thank your most relevant professional contacts.
It is important to keep in mind that there is a political element to writing an acknowledgements section and avoiding mentioning relevant people from your institution could create problems for you in the future. It is important to mention thanks to the relevant authority even if you feel that they could be omitted or haven’t contributed to your research in any significant way.
So, be careful not to leave anyone out. These are some of the professional contacts that people usually mention while writing acknowledgments:
- Chair of the committee
- Committee members
- Funders or funding program
- Librarians/ lab assistants, etc.
- Other academics
- Research participants/respondents
An acknowledgement section of your dissertation is a good place to express your gratitude to those in your private life as well for the emotional or any other support they might have provided to you. Such relationships can include:
- Past teachers
- Family—parents or guardians, spouse(s) or partners, children if any, extended family members, etc.
- Roommates, flatmates, etc.
- Friends, acquaintances, and other support systems.
- The Almighty/ God (if you are religious, you could express your gratitude to God using the name appropriate in your religion).
- Pets (for emotional support)
There is no hard and fast rule as to who should be thanked in acknowledgments. However, it is important not to omit important contact so as not to hurt anyone’s feelings.
d). Examples for Dissertation Acknowledgments
The best way to write a dissertation that will stay in your reader’s mind and leave a good impression is by reading others. Here are two examples that will give you an idea about how to write a Master’s dissertation:
|This dissertation would not have reached its conclusion if it weren’t for the support of many. I have received a great deal of support during the journey and I want to take a moment to thank everyone who was there for me.|
Firstly, I wish to express my gratitude to my wonderful supervisor, Ms. Scarlet Hara, whose insights and feedback was invaluable to me as I formulated my research questions and the related methodology. Her inspiration and sharp thinking have kept me going and I’ve found someone to always look up to in her.
I want to acknowledge my heartfelt thanks to my colleagues from my internship at Bartleby, London, for their collaboration and support. I would particularly like to thank my supervisor at Bartleby, Ms. Prath Jones, for her wise guidance and patience with me.
I would also like to thank all my professors, particularly, Dr. Hannibal Graham and Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier, for their valuable lectures which honed my interest in the field of study I have undertaken.
Lastly, this section would be incomplete if I didn’t thank my parents, who have always stood by me, and supported me personally and in all my academic endeavors. I could not have completed this dissertation without the support of my friends, Jack Crawford and Alana Bloom, who have always engaged me in meaningful discussions as well as satisfying distractions outside of work.
|It would not have been possible for me to complete my dissertation without the support of the kind people around me, only some of whom could be mentioned here.|
Firstly, I want to thank my principal supervisor, Prof. James McCarthy, for his gentle patience, guidance, and non exhaustive knowledge of comparative literature. The right advice, support, and the kind-heartedness of my second supervisor, Ms. Elizabeth Harte, have kept me motivated throughout the course of my dissertation and I thank her for that.
I want to acknowledge the financial, educational, and technical support I received from the University of Warwick, U.K., without which I may not have been able to work on my dissertation. The library and computer facilities of the University have been an indispensable part of my research.
Above all, I want to thank my husband for the unwavering and unconditional support they have provided to me at all times. My parents and sister have always been there for me, as always, and no words could express my gratitude for you.
Tips for Writing a Dissertation
a). Make sure it is error-free:
As it is often the last part of an academic work, many researchers don’t give much attention to editing this section. But it is important to ensure that your acknowledgment section is error-free as it is one of the first things that a reader a researcher would come across while going through your dissertation. If the language is superfluous or if there are any grammatical errors, then it might undermine your authority as a thorough researcher
b). Make sure it is compact:
An excessively wordy acknowledgment is not indicative of a good researcher. It is a good idea to contain your acknowledgments in 1-2 pages and acknowledge those who are extremely relevant to you while considering the word limit in mind. Look for other dissertation acknowledgment samples from your institution. Notice the length and style of language used. Also, make note of how much space is used to thank professional and personal contacts.
c). Writing full titles:
While acknowledging your professional or academic collaborators, make sure to write their full names as well as titles. Whenever you mention a name, make sure you are mentioning your relationship with them as well.
In case any support was received from public or private organizations, make sure to write their full names and locations as well.
That’s all about writing an acknowledgments section for your dissertation. We have looked at the important components to include in the acknowledgment section, included samples, and the tips to perfect writing the acknowledgments for your Master’s dissertation. Ultimately, what is important is that you give credit where it is due in a way that makes you satisfied. All the best, folks!