A Quick Guide To Writing The Acknowledgements In A Dissertation


The acknowledgements section is one of the trickiest ones of the whole dissertation paper. In this section, you will have to thank the people that helped you write your thesis. Often, students get stuck there for a long time, not knowing where to start. Usually, your tutor will provide you with the requirements for this part of your paper. If he or she didn’t, there are some general rules you can follow to write your acknowledgements section perfectly. Check the quick guide below:

  1. Format it properly.
  2. If your dissertation is written in a very strict formal style, then slang words or shortenings won’t be appropriate. However, the acknowledgements section is mostly personal, so you should try to combine the official style and your attitude. You don’t have to make this section a list, like your bibliography part. If you feel like it, you can write it in a form of a paragraph for each group of people you are about to thank. You won’t have to list everyone in the alphabetic order either.

  3. Thank your professor first.
  4. It is a common practice to list your thesis supervisor first as he or she is the person who was involved with your paper the most. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that without their help your dissertation wouldn’t exist. You can also list other scholars that helped you with your paper first hand by either providing you necessary information or by proofreading your thesis.

  5. Thank other assistants.
  6. In this sub-section, you can express gratitude towards any people who helped you throughout your dissertation in any way. You can list your classmates, lab workers or even people who you did your surveys on.

  7. Thank your sponsors.
  8. A dissertation is almost impossible to write without any financial aid. This can include any grants or scholarships you’ve received too. You can list either a group that helped you a person directly, depending on the general tone of the section.

  9. Thank your family and friends.
  10. If you want to say thank you to people that supported you morally through your struggles, you should put them in the last sub-section. Even though their help isn’t related to the paper directly, they still made it happen by giving you the needed comfort and inspiration. However, keep in mind that your dissertation is a formal paper. Don’t get too romantic and avoid referring to something too personal between you and your friends: jokes, anecdotes, or metaphors.