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How to Write Dissertation Acknowledgements

Writing Dissertation Acknowledgements

The dissertation acknowledgement section in the dissertation is used to express gratitude towards all those individuals who have helped you in the preparation of the dissertation. Both professional and personal acknowledgements can be included in it.Acknowledgement section comes in between the title page and the abstract page. It is best suited to be of one page. The writer has the liberty to use personal pronouns (“I”, “We”, “My”) in this section, as this section allows more of an informal way of writing. Here is a quick guide to help you understand how to write dissertation acknowledgements.

Dissertation Acknowledgement Example

Who to thank? – How to Write Dissertation Acknowledgements

Acknowledgements can be divided into two categories: professional and personal.

It is always better to acknowledge all those professionals first who played an important role in your research and then acknowledge the people who have helped you personally. There are some universities who have policies to just mention those individuals who have helped you directly, i.e. members of academia and other professionals. It will always be suggested to read the University guidelines in this regard. Personal acknowledgements can be of anyone, may be someone from your school, your friend’s circle or your neighbourhood. The words you want to choose as gratitude can differ from person to person.

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Professional Acknowledgements

This is the most crucial part of the dissertation acknowledgments page. You should always handle professional acknowledgements precisely, as the names of the faculty members are to be mentioned in this section. In addition, you should make sure that you didn’t miss out a single name in this regard. Anyone in your school who helped you with your research should be applauded and given the due credit.

Professional acknowledgments can relate to the following;

  • Professors
  • Laboratory Assistants
  • Librarians
  • Colleagues
  • Classmates
  • Research Participants


 One way to work out how to write dissertation acknowledgments is to gain an insight into how other students at your university have written acknowledgments for their dissertation in the past. Google “dissertation acknowledgments” along with the name of your department and university.
 Always write full names along with the titles when referring to professionals that helped you with your dissertation research process.
 If several members of the same institution are to be acknowledged, simply write the collective name.
 Anyone who want their identity to remain confidential, write only their first name.
 If a well-known professional or organization in your area of study played some part in your research work, no matter how small or big their role was, it is recommended to mention their name to add more weight and credibility to your research.

Do I need to thank my unhelpful supervisor?

Some students are unfortunate in the sense that they have to work with a supervisor who is not so cooperative and unhelpful. Do you really need to thank a supervisor who did absolutely nothing? Don’t completely brush them off. You could write a very brief thank you to acknowledgment whatever little help they provided.


Personal Acknowledgements

Personal acknowledgements doesn’t require you to acknowledge every single family member or friend. If someone has inspired you or helped a lot in the research, then you can clearly mention that person.

Acknowledging a Family Member First
In some cases, contributions of family members and friends seem far greater and significant than professionals especially when research is conducted with little or no help from university. You might want to dedicate your entire research work to a family member who has passed away. If that is the case, then you can certainly mention their name before writing professional acknowledgements.
Acknowledging God
You can certainly mention God in your dissertation if that appears to be an appropriate thing to do. However, also acknowledge your family members, friends, members of your educational institute in a similar manner.

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How to Write Dissertation Acknowledgements

You can use the following examples of common sentences in acknowledgements to get you started:

  • I would like to thank my supervisor, Nikola Tesla, for his guidance through each stage of the process.
  • I would like to acknowledge Professor S. Jobs for inspiring my interest in the development of innovative technologies.
  • My research partner, Dr Jane Goodall, was instrumental in defining the path of my research. For this, I am extremely grateful.

If you are really stuck and still unsure about how to write dissertation acknowledgements, simply begin each sentence with “I would like to thank…”, and elaborate on how each person or group contributed. You do not need to write any sort of conclusion or summary at the end. You can end the acknowledgements with your last thank you.


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