What are Dissertation Acknowledgements, and Who Should Be Included?
June 02, 2015 - Posted to Dissertation and its parts
We all have glanced at the interior pages of a book and seen the acknowledgements. Usually, the author thanks people who have helped him/her with research, who have acted as consultants, who have reviewed and proofread the work, a family member(s) who may have acted as “cheerleaders” along the way, etc. We don’t spend a lot of time looking at those, but it is a nice thought that the author took the time to express appreciation to those involved and to put that appreciation in print.
The same goes for dissertations. Doctoral candidates who complete successful dissertations do not do so alone, and an acknowledgement dissertation section should be included on a page just before the Introduction Chapter. Because this document should not be more than a single page, you may need to limit the number of people you thank or at the very least, be brief as you describe their contributions. But, a dissertation acknowledgement is important to the person being named, and it shows that you are not so arrogant as to not give some credit to others who have helped along the way.
Deciding Who to Include
Writing acknowledgements for dissertation completion should begin with making a list of everyone who supported you in any way. It is best to divide these into “personal” and “professional” categories, and it is a good idea to divide them like this when you actually produce the page.
In your “personal” category, you may want to include the following:
- Anyone who assisted you in conducting your research – friends and family members who helped with surveys, interviews, etc. and who helped tabulate the results
- Anyone who proofread parts of your completed rough draft
- Family members who gave great support and encouragement
- Possibly a dead relative who inspired you because of what he/she accomplished or as having served as a role model for you
The professional category for acknowledgements in dissertation completion might include the following:
- Your advisor
- Committee members who provided goo suggestions
- Professors who were particularly helpful and supportive
- Peers with whom you may have formed a support group (you may just want to name the group itself and only first names of these individuals.
- A statistician who may have reviewed your analysis and made suggestions for improving it.
Writing the Acknowledgement Page
Writing an acknowledgment for dissertation page is a bit of relief from the scholarly treatise you have just completed. Fortunately, everyone expects the language to be quite informal and personalized, so long as you do not use slang.
It is also important that you be forthright and sincere, without “gushing” over those that have assisted. If you go to extremes in emotion, you will sound insincere and smug, so find the right balance here.
The additional important aspect is the format. The best acknowledge for dissertation age uses the same font as it is found in the work itself, is double-spaced, and, again, does not exceed one page. If you have difficulty containing your acknowledgement section to one page, consider combining people who provided similar assistance, or eliminating those whose help was peripheral.
If you have receive some assistance with your dissertation from an academic writing service, such as TrustedDissertations.com, you probably don’t want to recognize that in your acknowledgement page – don’t worry – your consultant will not be offended!