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How to Write Dissertation Acknowledgements

Published by at August 13th, 2021 , Revised On June 28, 2022

Acknowledging someone means thanking them. The acknowledgement section in a dissertation is used to express gratitude towards all those who have helped you prepare the dissertation.

Both professional and personal acknowledgements can be included in it. The acknowledgement section comes in between the title page and the abstract page. It is best suited to be on one page.

The writer has the liberty to use personal pronouns (I, we, my, etc) 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 acknowledgements for your own dissertation.

Dissertation Acknowledgement Example

Let’s start with an example, so you have an idea of the basics, to begin with.

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 who played an important role in your research and then acknowledge the people who helped you personally.

Some universities have policies to mention those individuals who have helped you directly, i.e., members of academia and other professionals.

It will always suggested to read the university guidelines in this regard. Personal acknowledgements can be for anyone, such as 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 acknowledgements page. It is best to come up with such acknowledgements as precisely as possible, as the faculty members’ names are mentioned in this section.

You should also make sure that you don’t miss out on 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 acknowledgements can be directed towards any one or all of the following individuals:

  • Professors
  • Laboratory assistants
  • Librarians
  • Colleagues
  • Classmates
  • Research participants

Tips on writing acknowledgements

  • One way to work out how to write dissertation acknowledgements is to gain an insight into how other students at your university have written acknowledgements for their dissertation in the past. Google “dissertation acknowledgements” along with the name of your department and university and go through some samples.
  • If several members of the same institution are to be acknowledged, write the collective name.
  • Anyone who wants their identity to remain confidential, write only their first name or their names’ initials.
  • If a well-known professional or organisation 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 because they have to work with a supervisor who is not so cooperative and helpful. Do you really need to thank a supervisor who did absolutely nothing?

Don’t completely brush them off either, though. You could write a very brief thank you to acknowledge whatever little help they provided.

Personal Acknowledgements

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

Acknowledging a Family Member First
In some cases, family members’ and friends’ contributions seem far greater and more significant than professionals’, especially when research is conducted with little or no help from the university.

You might want to dedicate your entire research work to a family member who has passed away. If that is the case, 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 want to thank my supervisor, ABC (their name here) for his/her guidance through each stage of the process.
  • I want 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 writing dissertation acknowledgements, 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 conclusion or summary at the end. You can end the acknowledgements with your last thank you.

In fact, have a look at what Oxford University’s thesis and report guidebook mentioned under the acknowledgements section:

acknowledgements section

Pretty straightforward, no? Don’t believe us? You can check it out for yourself here, by reviewing the Oxford thesis and report writing guide itself!

Similarly, it would help to go through some other small as well as big acknowledgement samples to help get you started with this brief, stress-free section of your dissertation

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About Owen Ingram

Ingram is a dissertation specialist. He has a master's degree in data sciences. His research work aims to compare the various types of research methods used among academicians and researchers.