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How To Write The Acknowledgements For Your Dissertation

Most of your dissertation will usually contain scientific, technical and heady language, but the acknowledgement section will most likely contain the exact opposite. Your acknowledgement should be a formal statement that recognizes the people and institutions that made significant contributions to your work. While the acknowledgement should be a simple statement of gratitude, most students still experience difficulties when it comes to writing the acknowledgement section. Here are a few tips on how to write the acknowledgements for your dissertation.


One of the most important tips on how to write the acknowledgements for your dissertation is to know who really warrants acknowledgements. While it’s not possible to thank everyone who contributed to your work, some individuals and institutions went out of their way to assist you. This is a great opening to acknowledge their contributions. It is also a wonderful opportunity for you to somehow cheekily acknowledge the particular debts you owe those who taught you some research values and skills.


Another tip on how to write the acknowledgements for your dissertation is to use the appropriate tone. A more conversational tone is more appropriate for this section since you probably used a lot of technical and scientific language in the rest of the paper. However, try to avoid any kind of profanity, slang or extreme informality that might look unprofessional or even silly.

Congratulate, don’t hate

Unless you are overwhelmingly heartless, you are sure to be somewhat peeved, chagrined, bitter or dismayed about something that occurred during your graduate studies. Although there might be a temptation to express such sentiments in the acknowledgement, one of the most crucial tips on how to write acknowledgements for your dissertation is to shy off from highlighting these sentiments.

Expand the Scope

There is a tendency for every graduate student to acknowledge their advisors, committee members, parents and partners, but think of someone else who offered some real support. Think of the bigger picture and you will start to realize how your fine undergraduate teachers, friends, sports team colleagues, and other individuals helped instil certain research values and skills that proved to be useful when it came to writing your dissertation.

Specify Counts

Instead of simply thanking categories of individuals or a list of names, demonstrate how the assisted you along the way. Show how their wicked sense of humour might have helped you bear with the pressures of a tough first semester. You can also show how they hooked you up with research assistance and how it really paid off. Talk of the emotional support they offered when you seriously though of giving up.


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