Outstanding from the rest of the academic content and your chapters, your thesis acknowledgement is the unique opportunity to say “Thank you!” and express your gratitude to all the people who supported and encouraged you during the long-term work of conducting your research and crafting the process of academic thesis writing. The forms of support can be quite different, ranging from professional advice and guidance to proofreading and correcting the final manuscript. Not to mention the significant emotional support from your private circle that is essential to survive all the highs and lows of your journey of academic thesis writing.
But how to do and whom to mention? Probably there are a lot of special people who you would like to consider and name or in the part of your personal or professional thesis acknowledgements. Let’s find out, how to do it and how to address everyone in the correct way!
This article not only focuses on the question of how to write a thesis acknowledgement and what should appear on the acknowledgement page, but also addresses related topics like what do you need to consider for a doctoral dissertation acknowledgement, and which are the specific requirements of book acknowledgements, that are important at the moment of publishing your thesis.
So, let’s dive in and explore how to create an outstanding and engaging thesis acknowledgement for your thesis or dissertation. The forms of support can be quite different, ranging from professional advice and guidance to proofreading and correcting the final manuscript. Not to mention the significant emotional support from your private circle that is essential to survive all the highs and lows of your academic thesis writing journey. But how to do it and who to mention? Probably there are a lot of special people who you would like to consider and name in the part of your personal or professional thesis acknowledgements.
Keep on reading and make sure that you leave nobody out and address everyone in the correct form!
Thesis Acknowledgement examples
Starting from the essence: What is a Thesis Acknowledgement
Outstanding from the rest of the academic content and your chapters, your Thesis Acknowledgement is the special section where you thank all the people who supported you during writing and research. Thus, the acknowledgement page is a specific and separate part in your thesis or dissertation which should be placed directly after the title page and before the table of contents, abstract, or section of your thesis introduction.
It is the part of your thesis, where you have the opportunity to express gratitude to all those persons and institutions who helped, guided and supported you through the long and difficult process of writing an academic thesis or your doctoral dissertation and accompanied you during the academic journey.
As the forms of support and contribution you were probably very different, you should consider a division in a professional and a personal part when outlining the structure for yours.
„But how to do and who to mention? Probably there are a lot of special persons who you would like to consider and to name. This can be or in the part of your personal or professional thesis acknowledgements.“
The professional thesis acknowledgement is where you mention your supervisors and colleagues, interview-partners, or institutions like a particular library who made an important contribution to your work. The personal section is the correct moment to mention everyone from your family members and friends who gave you the essential emotional encouragement and maybe provided you with feedback and proofreading.
When writing a thesis acknowledgement, it is essential to pay attention to the correct spelling of the word “acknowledge”. Even if there are different possibilities of spelling the word out, suggested by different programs like Grammarly according to the country, the usual spelling is “acknowledge,” which means to recognize the existence, truth, or fact of something. In the context of a thesis acknowledgement, it refers to expressing appreciation and gratitude to those who have contributed to your academic journey.
Characteristics, placement & Structure of your Thesis Acknowledgement: The professional & personal part
Similar to a dedication, the acknowledgement section stands out from the academic content of the following chapters. That’s why it is generally written in a more informal, personal style and does not need to follow on an academic tone and style like the formal chapters like the Literature Review , Methodology, Empirical Chapters or Thesis Conclusion. There is also no need to add References. As the writing style can be chosen very individual, you can use the first-person. However, make sure that you place the word “Acknowledgements” in capital letters at the top of the page.
Keep in mind that dedication, preface, and thesis acknowledgement are always optional. However, as the process of completing a doctoral dissertation is very complex and long, a page for the Ph.D. at least will be expected, while it is way more optional if you are writing a shorter Master´s- or Bachelor’s thesis.
Where to place gratitude for your dissertation?
Usually, a thesis or dissertation acknowledgement is generally included in the first part of your manuscript. This means, that it is situated in the first part of your written work, usually placed right in the middle between the title page and the opening part of your study.
That can be for example the table of contents or in the case of a doctoral thesis the dissertation abstract or thesis introduction. Some Universities provide guidelines for formatting. Check all specific requirements before submitting your thesis!
How long should a Thesis Acknowledgement be?
As a general orientation, keep in mind that the acknowledgements should not be longer than one page. So be aware of the fact that you have very little space to mention many people. To make sure that you don´t exceed this scope, keep things clear and check in advance, who you need to mention and to which extent: Create a list of everyone who has to be named and think carefully about the order and extension of paragraphs.
Remember, that dedication, preface, and acknowledgement are optional sections, but in the case of a doctoral dissertation, one page for the Ph.D. thesis acknowledgement will be expected.
Let´s dive into detail: How and in which way does a dissertation acknowledgement differ?
Dissertation acknowledgements are similar to thesis acknowledgements, but they are specifically written for a doctoral dissertation. This section is typically more detailed and extensive, as it includes acknowledgements for various people and institutions that contributed to your doctoral research.
The professional vs. the personal part
If you are at the point of creating gratitude for your Ph.D. thesis, keep in mind that is usually divided into two separate sections:
- First, start with the professional section
- Second, add the personal section
Who should I thank in the professional section?
In the professional section, you should address all academic supporters such as supervisors, specific professors and/or tutors, colleagues, and other academics. You can also include funders or special institutions.
Who should I thank in the personal section?
The section of the personal acknowledgement is generally reserved for the members of your private circle such as family and friends who often provided you with feedback and proofreading but also in many cases with emotional support. Here it is even allowed to include your pet.
Some students like to dedicate their thesis or dissertation to a special family member or friend for particular reasons, which can be also an appreciation for special support or a very particular contribution that doesn´t need to be exclusively related to your thesis-writing journey but can go beyond.
In case of dedication, this person will be named first, regardless of the general common order.
What is the common order for a Dissertation Acknowledgement?
As a standard form, take the following order as a reference for creating a fitting structure:
- Other academics
- Research institutions, libraries, and/or funders
- Colleagues and peers
- Family and friends
To organize your acknowledgement page, I recommend you try out collaborative tools like MindMeister that help with online mind mapping to structure your ideas and plan out parts of your thesis, including the section on gratitude.
Steps by Step: How to Write a Strong Acknowledgement for a Thesis
Writing an acknowledgement for a thesis allows you to express your appreciation to those who have supported and guided you during your research journey. Generally, this section should follow both the abstract and table of contents, providing a personal touch that emphasizes the human aspect of your work. When crafting this section, be sure to convey appreciation while remaining professional by maintaining an even tone and providing proper credit where it’s due.
To write an effective acknowledgment, start by listing those who have made significant contributions to your thesis, such as your advisor, committee members, and research collaborators. It is also essential that support staff like lab technicians or administrative personnel are recognized, along with any funding sources that enabled it. Sharing personal anecdotes may add depth and make this section more memorable, while always remembering the focus should remain on those you received support from. Afterward, proofread and edit for grammar and spelling errors to ensure your writing reflects accurately your gratitude.
To write a strong and engaging acknowledgement for your thesis or dissertation, keep it:
Therefore, avoid repetitions of the same phrases and try to name every person in a particular and personal way, and consider the following steps:
- Start with a list of people and institutions you want to thank.
Divide the acknowledgements into professional and personal sections.
- Be specific and genuine when expressing your gratitude.
- Use a tone that is more informal and personal compared to the rest of your thesis chapters.
- Keep it concise, typically not exceeding one page.
Examples of formulating your gratitudes in an engaging way
To write a good and strong acknowledgement for your dissertation, keep it short and inspiring. Therefore, avoid repetitions of the same phrases and try to name every person in a particular and personal way. To get inspired, check also examples and resources provided by well-known universities, higher-educational institutions such as the Yale Library, the Harvard College Writing Center, Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab and further academic online resources such as The Chicago Manual of Style Online, Zotero and also Jstor.
To give you a concrete example, the following section provides you with some examples of possible beginnings right here:
- First and foremost, I would like to thank (…) for his/her fantastic and patient guidance through the process. (…)
- Also, I have to thank (…). Without their constant dedication and assistance in every single moment (…)
- I want to acknowledge (…) to assist me with patience and fill my gaps of knowledge (…)
- I would like to show my deepest gratitude to (…) for raising so many precious points (…)
- Most importantly (…) I would like to take the chance to thank (…)
- Getting through the long and difficult process of writing and completing my dissertation/thesis would not have been possible without (…)
Time for publication: Acknowledgements in a Book
Book acknowledgements are similar to those written for a thesis, but they are found in published books. When you reach the point of preparing your acknowledgement for the published version, keep in mind that this is already one step ahead of the academic thesis and that the circle of persons and institutions, that should be considered in the gratitude of your book probably increased.
In addition to supervisors, peers, friends, and family members who have supported them throughout the writing process, it is common that authors thank also their editors, publishers, and colleagues. The place remains the same: The acknowledgements in a book are usually placed after the title page and before the table of contents.
When writing acknowledgements for a book, follow these tips:
- Start with brainstorming: Write yourself a list of individuals and organizations you want to thank to make sure that nobody is left out.
- Use a conversational, personal tone, as book acknowledgements are typically less formal.
- Be specific in your gratitude, and think carefully of how and in which unique way each person or institution contributed to your book.
- Keep your gratitude clear, concise, and to the point.
- Organize the paragraphs logically, starting with the most significant contributor.
By following these key considerations and guidelines, you can create an engaging acknowledgement section for your thesis, dissertation, or book that will appropriately thank all those who have supported you throughout your academic or literary journey.
To conclude and wrap things up, it can be stated that writing an outstanding and engaging thesis acknowledgement involves more than just saying “Thank you!”. It demands a thoughtful approach to acknowledging the various individuals from your professional and personal circle and expressing your gratitude to all academic and non-academic institutions that made a significant contribution to your work and supported and encouraged you in diverse stages and moments of your thesis-writing journey.
By considering the key tips and examples provided in this article, you can craft a memorable and heartfelt acknowledgement section that appropriately recognizes the different forms of professional, personal, and emotional support. Furthermore, the advice given here can be applied not only to Bachelor´s and Master´s thesis as well as to dissertation acknowledgements but further to acknowledgements in books, which becomes relevant at the moment of preparing your gratitude for the publication of your written work.
Keep in mind, that the key to writing an effective and outstanding acknowledgement section is to be genuine, specific, and creative in your gratitude. You also should pay attention to maintaining a more informal and personal tone compared to the rest of your academic or literary work. As you embark on future projects, continue to acknowledge the support and encouragement you receive from others, fostering a strong sense of community and collaboration in your academic or literary pursuits. Following these tips and advice, you will craft an acknowledgement page that is outstanding from the rest!