Your thesis acknowledgement: Just saying „Thank you!”

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A thesis acknowledgement is a section to say “Thank you!” to all the people who supported you during writing and research. 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.

In this post, we provide you with many useful tips, practical advice, and samples on how to create a strong acknowledement for your thesis or dissertation. Make sure that you leave nobody out and address everyone in the correct form!


Thesis acknowledgement examples

Defining: What it is and what it contains

The section of acknowledgements for a thesis or doctoral dissertation is the page where you thank all those persons and institutions who supported, helped, and guided you through the long and difficult process of writing an academic thesis or your doctoral dissertation. As the forms of supporting you were probably very different, you should consider the division in a professional and a personal section.

The professional thesis acknowledgement is where you mention your supervisors and maybe colleagues, interview-partners, or a particular library who made an important contribution to your work. The personal section is the right place to mention everyone from your family members and friends who gave you the essential emotional encouragement and maybe provided you with feedback and proofreading.

As the acknowledgement and dedication, the section stands out from the academic content of the following chapters. That’s why they are allowed to be written in a more informal, personal style. For example, you can use the first-person. Make sure that you place the word “acknowledgements” in Capital letters at the top of the page.

Is it optional? Express your appreciation to all supporters!

Keep in mind that dedication, preface, and acknowledgement is always optional. As the process of completing a doctoral dissertation is very complex and long, a page for the Ph.D. thesis acknowledgement at least will be expected, while it is way more “optional” for a shorter master- or bachelor thesis.

Where to place the gratitudes for your dissertation?

Usually, a thesis or dissertation acknowledgement is included in the very first part of your written work, situated in the first part of your written study. Generally, you should place it right in the middle between the title page, which opens your bachelor- or master- or Ph.D. thesis, and the beginning of your work. That can be for example the table of contents or in the case of a doctoral thesis the dissertation abstract. Some Universities provide guidelines of formatting. Check all specific requirements before submitting your thesis!

How long should the acknowledgement be?

At least, 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. Keep the things clear for you: Create a list of everyone who has to be named and think carefully who of about the order and extension of paragraphs.

Who should I thank in the professional and personal part?

Usually, you create a Ph.D. thesis acknowledgement divided in two separated categories:

  • First, start with the professional section
  • Second, add the personal section

Who should I thank in the professional thesis acknowlegdements?

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 thesis acknowlegdements?

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 special reasons. In that case, this person will be named first, despite the common order.

What is the common order for a dissertation acknowledgement?

As a standard form, take the following order of acknowledgements as a reference:

  1. Supervisors
  2. Other academics
  3. Institutions (such as libraries or even funders)
  4. Colleagues
  5. Family and friends

Write the best acknowledgement for thesis

To write a good and strong acknowledgement for your dissertation, keep it short and creative. Therefore, avoid repetitions of the same phrases and try to name every person in a particular and personal way. To give you a concrete example of acknowledgement in a thesis, we provide you with some beginnings right here:

  • First and foremost, I would like to thank (…) for his/her fantastic and patient guidance through all 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 (…)

If you like to get more ideas, just download our “acknowledgement sample for thesis”- template.

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