Acknowledgements In Dissertation – An Ethical Way Of Thanking

Who doesn’t want to show gratitude towards the ones that helped during the high time of dissertation writing? Their immense help has been the strongest support that aided in achieving the milestone- dissertation. Therefore, acknowledgements have remained a fundamental part of dissertations ever since one can recall.

Your dissertation text may contain technical terms or hefty words of wisdom, but this acknowledgement has to be passionate yet straightforward. The beauty of acknowledgement text is the transparency and the heartfelt thank you note one puts forth before the world to witness.

The structure typically goes from thanking the most formal personalities to the least formal. Enlisting people for this section is not a cakewalk because missing someone from the list can offend and hurt their emotions. Therefore, carefully recall and make a list of people that deserve appreciation and panegyrise.

There are certain considerations you should not overlook:

  • Use the same font as utilised in the rest of your dissertation document.
  • The acknowledgement should not exceed two pages.
  • Only express gratitude for the people that actually contributed in your dissertation either directly or indirectly.

The people that helped you can be from your family or share some association with the institutions you are/were enrolled in. Therefore, acknowledgements can be broadly categorised into two categories:

Personal Acknowledgement: This class includes people that listened to your academic woes, cooked you dinner or did your laundry- the family and friends. This doesn’t mean that you start naming the entire family or friend circle of yours, just the ones that actually stood by you during the writing of the dissertation.

If you wish to include an ancestral relation, such as your great-great-grandfather, or some other person you never met yet were inspired by them, it is mandatory to include the reason which explains why they have been an inspiration for you.

The words used in the acknowledgement section should not be too informal as they are the opening page to your findings and inappropriate language can serve you a backlash.

Professional Acknowledgement: This category embodies people belonging to your academia that helped and collaborated with you to compile your research findings. These people may include your supervisor, lab attendant, librarian or a classmate. Remember, to justly distribute the credit among the deserving people and refrain from including people that were nowhere in the process of your dissertation project.

It is a common practice to address the last names with job titles of professors and attendants in dissertation acknowledgement; however, you can use the first names of your classmates to preserve their identity. Please note, if a group helped you sort results for your dissertation, don’t name everyone separately but pay tribute to them by mentioning the group name in your acknowledgement section.

The acknowledgement may not require extra time as you would take to fabricate the rest of the document still, it is an important element of your dissertation that tells a lot about you. It is an opening page to your dissertation document, so make sure it stands out.


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