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How to write Dissertation Acknowledgement?

How to write Dissertation Acknowledgement?

How to write Dissertation Acknowledgement?
Table of Content

Going through an academic journey is hard for some students, as they have to deal with a lot of things academically and personally. One of the major concerns for students is making their dissertations. Well, not anymore as we are here to provide the best help possible. This Dissertation Writing Guide will cover various important points under Dissertation Acknowledgment that you need to know.

Before moving on to acknowledgements, let's get to learn, what is a dissertation? The word dissertation got originated from the Latin word "Dissertare," which means "to debate." Your dissertation is a mixture of various discussions that are made around an idea or topic that you choose. It not only examines a subject but also talks about different views raised on that subject. When we talk about an acknowledgement, so if you are not a person to play around words, then you definitely need this guide's help.

There are various contents in a dissertation like Acknowledgement, Introduction, Literature review, Methodology, Opinions, Conclusion, References, etc. We will mainly talk about acknowledgements in this guide, as a lot of questions arise on what to write in an acknowledgement section. So, let's get started.

Dissertation Acknowledgements

A Dissertation Acknowledgment is a section of your dissertation where you express your gratitude towards people who have supported you all through the research and writing process. It includes professional as well as personal acknowledgements. An acknowledgement is placed after the title page and just before the abstract. The length is strictly one page. You can also express your feelings informally as it is not academic. The usage of first person will work as an acknowledgment that can be personal.

You need to know the three things mentioned below.

  1. Who to thank in your acknowledgement section?
  2. What is the best way to write acknowledgements?
  3. Example of an acknowledgement

Who to thank in an Acknowledgement?

These are people whom you know and who have helped you throughout the journey, from searching a topic up till submitting the dissertation. It is not necessary that they have technically supported you, but they might have encouraged you emotionally. Such people are also to be mentioned.

Generally, we have 2 types of acknowledgements. One is professional, and the other is personal. Professional acknowledgements include people who have directly helped in your academic part or have helped you with the content, like your advisor, panel board, etc. Personal includes your family, friends, other people who have indirectly helped you in one way or the other. 

Now, it's up to your university guidelines, which type among the two, you have to write. Various universities only allow students to acknowledge professionals, and some do allow personal acknowledgements as well.

The wise thing is to place the professional acknowledgements first, as there are some political aspects which you need to keep in mind when writing. But, there is no fixed rule. You can mix both acknowledgements, like acknowledging the professionals first, and then your parents, or family members. Then comes the way you are expressing your gratitude. For some, you may just say "thank you," and for others, you can write in an adequately explained manner, like how they helped you. Let's learn a bit more about professional and personal acknowledgements.

Professional Acknowledgements

It is advisable not to neglect anybody, especially those who are in your professional sphere, and who helped you throughout. It is an essential step to mention the members of your university like professors, advisors, etc., and mainly the funders who helped you during your research. Below is the list of those members whom you can consider.

  • supervisors
  • professors
  • funding bodies
  • editors/proof-readers (as per university requirements)
  • laboratory assistants
  • librarians
  • colleagues
  • classmates
  • research participants (people who filled up the survey so that you gather data)

The correct way is to use full names with titles. If there were several members of an organization or a group, who assisted you, then you can only mention the collective name. For members who don't want their names to be highlighted, and require privacy, then you can only use their first name. Mentioning the name of an authoritative person, who helped you in your dissertation, and is from your field of study, will make your research look more convincing.

Do I Acknowledge my Supervisor even if he did not help? - Yes, you have to. Your supervisor comes under professional acknowledgment, which you have to provide. You can mention thank you in brief. It will look unprofessional if you don't provide his/her name.

Personal Acknowledgements

It is not necessary to mention every member's name of your family or friend group. Include names who were continuously inspiring and supportive. You can mention their names specifically. For example, you can acknowledge your father or mother, whose own academic achievements encouraged you.

Queries which are generally raised:

  1. Which family member do I acknowledge? - Any member whom you feel was an inspiration for you or was a motivating factor in your life, during the dissertation period, can be mentioned in personal acknowledgement.
  2. Is Acknowledging my pet ok? - Yes, it's ok to mention your pet, if it's a personal acknowledgement. You have to check with your organization's guidelines. Some students mention their pets in this section because they got comfort and companionship during their journey.
  3. Can I Acknowledge God? - To acknowledge God is ok in your dissertation, but make sure to mention all the professional people included, and your family or friends too.

What is the best way to write acknowledgements?

The best way to write an acknowledgement is to begin each sentence with "I would like to thank/express my gratitude/acknowledge ABC person for his XYZ contribution in my dissertation. Then you elaborate on how a person or a group helped you. 

Take these common examples below to understand better. After these sentences, you can also elaborate, how that person or group helped you. 

  • My research partner, Dr. XXXX, was instrumental in shaping the path of my research. For this, I am incredibly thankful.
  • I would like to thank my supervisor, XXXX, for his guidance through each stage of the process.
  • I would like to thank my parents for their unconditional support and motivation throughout the dissertation.
  • I would like to acknowledge Professor XXXX for inspiring my interest in the development of innovative technologies.

There is no need for a proper summary or conclusion at the end. You can just end the acknowledgement with a formal thank you if you like. 

Example of an acknowledgement

Below we have mentioned a sample of how you can write an acknowledgement:

"I would like to acknowledge my Professor XXXX, for inspiring my interest in the development of innovative technologies. He has the right motivating attitude and a genius mind. He continuously motivated me and conveyed a spirit of adventure and excitement towards my research. Without his persistent help and guidance, this dissertation would not have been possible.

I would like to thank My research partner, Dr. XXXX, who was instrumental in shaping the path of my research. For this, I am incredibly thankful. I thank the University of XXXX for their permission to include copyrighted pictures as a part of my research in the dissertation. 

In addition, I would also like to express my gratitude to my parents for their unconditional support and motivation throughout my dissertation."

This is how you write an acknowledgement. To gain more insights, you can Google "dissertation acknowledgements" with the name of your institution. It will help you check and refer, what other students at your university had written in their acknowledgements.

Conclusion

We generally see that dissertations contain technical and formal language, related to research topics. But, on the other hand, your dissertation acknowledgement is precisely the opposite. You are free to express your emotions in the form of gratitude towards your professors, professional person who helped, friends, or family. You have to write acknowledgement in a smooth language, which is simple and to the point. Make sure that whatever you write should be heartfelt and pure.

As we discussed above in brief, avoid being arrogant or smug. Sometimes, you don't want to mention your advisor's name, because he/she didn't help. But, always remember that they have already been appointed to you, and it is important for you to write their names in the acknowledgement. Rest names are up to you to mention. Mention only those people whom you feel have helped you professionally, or emotionally throughout.  Your acknowledgement should not exceed more than a page.

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