How To Write An Acknowledgement For Dissertation

The acknowledgement section of a dissertation provides students the opportunity to thank anyone who has supported or helped them during the process of researching and writing their graduate capstone projects. It’s usually place immediately after the document’s title page and can be conversational or informal in tone. Most examples you find online or in-print show that the most popular style is to address those you thank in the first-person, almost as if you are writing to them directly.

Choosing the Best People to Thank in the Dissertation

It’s customary to think of those who to thank in two groups: personal and professional. Personal acknowledgments can be anyone who is not associated with the university or research group. These include family members, friends or contacts. For example, it’s perfectly appropriate to thank a high school teacher or community advisor or even a grandparent if you feel they impacted your drive to seek an advanced degree in your field of choice.

The second group, professional, is usually reserved for someone at your university or research organization that helped you complete the work. A professor and advisor, for example, are popular choices because they are often people who will work closely with you in development and completion of the project. You can also thank a research organization if they provided the funds or other resources you relied on to do the study.

Who Should You Be Thanking First

If you feel strongly about the contributions made by the people in your personal group, then you can certainly thank them first. This can be especially true if they helped you during a period of research when you felt overwhelmed or stressed and these people helped you overcome your troubles.

It’s customary, however, to thank those in your professional group first as a way to indicate that their contributions have set you on the right path towards academic success. Even if you feel you were able to do the work on your own (if, for instance, you think that your advisor did very little to help), you should still acknowledge that person or entity to ensure they don’t feel snubbed by you.

Where to Find Dissertation Acknowledgement Examples

You can always find examples on the web but some of the better and more accessible examples can be found at your school. All graduate capstone projects done at your school are held at the library. You may even be able to find electronic copies by checking your school’s library database. This will give you an excellent idea of how past students have approached this short but essential section.

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