PhD writing tips

A Guide To Dissertation Writing - Sample Acknowledgments

When a student gets to the stage that they are writing a dissertation, they will be well versed in the business of writing and equally so in the business of the presentation of their writing. There are a number of parts which make up the whole of the dissertation but one important part is that of the acknowledgements. It is not a hanging offence to omit someone from your acknowledgement section but if a person deserves to be acknowledged then to not do so in certainly regarded as poor form.

If you keep a diary when working on your dissertation, making a daily note whenever you receive help or support is a good way to make sure you know who has helped you and what they did. This simple and short daily routine will pay dividends when you have completed the dissertation and wish to add an appropriate acknowledgement section.

It's important to understand what should not be contained in your acknowledgments and likewise the manner in which you mention the people you do mention. Your dissertation is a serious document and you should make a serious statement when it comes to acknowledgments.

The following are people who should not be mentioned in your acknowledgments

  • Friends who gave you encouragement and emotional support
  • People who recommended appropriate texts and other resources.
  • Anyone who gave advice which was not directly related to the dissertation.

The people you should acknowledge are as follows

  • People who gave you access to various facilities or equipment.
  • People who gave you some specific guidance such as editorial advice.
  • People who gave you access to unpublished but relevant material.
  • Any institution which provided you with funding or some form of grant.
  • People who were involved in reading and discussing your dissertation.

Remember that the form in which you make and acknowledge people is just as important as your selection of the people in that list. You do not become overly friendly or informal. The normal practice is to simply list the name of the person as opposed to their qualification or the location of the department in which they work.

There are numerous examples of the appropriate way in which to make acknowledgements which can be found in dissertations held in your college library and certainly online on your college website or on websites provided by other institutions.

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