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How to Write Acknowledgements for a Dissertation + 7 BONUS Examples

When you’re compiling your dissertation, you will need to include a single-page acknowledgment between your title page and abstract section. This is your opportunity to thank the people involved in the completion of your research.

This guide will teach you all if you need help with this part. The experts at Online Dissertation Help have compiled all the information you need. We’ve included a list of helpful examples you can follow and reuse for your dissertation too. However, before we get into it, let’s discuss why there’s a need for this section in your paper:


The Importance and History of the Acknowledgement Section

Working on your acknowledgments is extremely important. It allows you to take the chance to look back through the countless hours you spent on your research and the invaluable people who lent you their support in your time of need. So, when you pen down your thanks on paper, you immortalize their name. Hence, as long as your research remains, your gratitude remains with it.

The origin of published gratitude stems from when scientific papers were accompanied by letters of thanks to patrons and benefactors of the research. Slowly, this became a part of journals and then became commonplace.

So, how do you work on it? Let’s get started!

How to Work on Your Acknowledgement Section

The first thing to remember is this section is not necessarily a part of your academic research, so it doesn’t follow the formal tone rules. You are free to use first-person language. That said, let’s dig into everything you need to know about acknowledgments before we jump into the examples:

1. The People to Thank in this Section

There are two categories of people and entities to thank in your acknowledgments: personal and professional. The general rule of thumb dictates mentioning the latter first. Moreover, all your acknowledgments should be in the order of who helped most (or had an important professional role) to who helped least. Additionally, it’s important to mention your professional contacts before your personal ones.

Tips for Professional Acknowledgements

Here are some guidelines to follow when compiling professional acknowledgments:

  • Always mention the full name, title, and role
  • Include your chair even if they didn’t help much
  • If multiple people from a group assisted you, mention the group only
  • Don’t forget to acknowledge any and every funding bodies

Tips for Personal Acknowledgements

Here are some guidelines to follow when compiling personal acknowledgments:

  • Only mention the family or friends by name who played a major role
  • If a deceased expert inspired your research in the field, you could mention them by name at the very beginning
  • You’re allowed to mention pets in your personal acknowledgments

2. How to Phrase Acknowledgements by Prioritisation Level

You need to differentiate between the multiple tiers of gratitude in your writing.

Here are the three main priority levels:

  • High priority: This is reserved for professionals and funding bodies
  • Medium priority: This is for specific family members or friends who’ve had a major impact on your research, and other people in your academic area
  • Low priority: This is for grouped acknowledgments like friends, family, peers, etc., or other people who provided emotional support

Now, the topmost tier would have different phrasing than the rest. But how do you identify what to write?

Fret not; here’s a guide for you:

High Priority Medium Priority Low Priority
  • Especially helpful to me during this time were…
  • I cannot begin to express my deepest thanks to…
  • I’m deeply indebted to…
  • I’m extremely grateful to…
  • help/support/assistance of…
  • Words cannot express my gratitude to…
  • X would not have been possible without the support of…
  • I also had the great pleasure of working with…
  • I also wish to thank…
  • I am also grateful to…
  • I cannot leave [Institute] without mentioning…
  • I must also thank…
  • I very much appreciate…
  • I would like to thank…
  • I gratefully acknowledge the support/help/assistance of…
  • I’d like to acknowledge the support/help/assistance of…
  • I’d like to recognise the support/help/assistance I received from…
  • I would be remiss in not mentioning…
  • Lastly, I’d like to mention…
  • Many thanks to…
  • Special thanks to…
  • Thanks also to…
  • Thanks should also go to…



Structure of an Acknowledgement

The basic formula of any gratitude mentioned in your dissertation looks like this:

[Gratitude opening] + [Name of person or entity] + [Description of their support]

Using this, you can craft almost any acknowledgment!

3. The Dos and Don’ts of Your Acknowledgement Section

Following are some things to keep in mind when writing your acknowledgments:

To Do:

  • Acknowledge funding bodies and what they funded
  • Use a professional tone
  • Use full names, titles, and roles of professional acknowledgments
  • Write in first-person language

Not to Do:

  • Mention people who had minimal impact on your research
  • Use informal language or slang
  • Use more than one page for the section

We hope this clarifies any of your concerns regarding acknowledgments. However, if you still have trouble with this section, you can always hire our affordable dissertation writing services and get experts to work on this task. But if you only need a little push, check out the following:

BONUS: 7 Acknowledgement Examples

If you’re looking for inspiration, the following examples can be some help. Of course, you’re free to tweak them as per your need and use them in your thesis or dissertation:

Example 1

I’d like to begin by extending my deepest gratitude to my chair, Dr. Pamela Brown, for her unflinching and valuable support throughout my research. My sincerest thanks also go to the defence committee for their nuanced feedback and guidance. Moreover, this endeavor would not have been able to see the light of day without funding from the Economic and Social Research Council. I am beyond grateful for their support.

I am also grateful to my wife, who has been nothing short of a blessing throughout my research. An engineer with multiple published journals herself, she was a great sounding board for my ideas and helped me whenever I got stuck. Finally, I must also thank all the study participants, research assistants, and university librarians for their help.

My thanks also to my family, friends, and peers for their belief in me.

Example 2

This thesis would not have been written without the assistance of many people whom I would like to thank here.

My first round of thanks goes to my supervisor Dr George Temple, whose insight and knowledge of the subject matter steered me in the right direction. I’m also deeply grateful for all the dorm residents at Bangor, without whom I would not have the data required for my research.

Thanks to my peers, friends, parents, and twin, who were there for all my breakdowns and never turned me away when I needed to rant. Also, to my cat, Storm, whose complete disregard for my academic troubles helped put things in perspective.

Example 3

My PhD degree and thesis would not have seen the light of day without the support of my chair, Dr Melinda Hill. Her incredible patience, enthusiasm, and knowledge kept me grounded and helped me navigate this labyrinth.

My sincerest thanks to the Cardiff librarians, who never ceased to amaze me with their powers to find the most relevant material whenever I made a request.

My gratitude to all the working professionals for their contributions to data collection.

Many thanks to my partner Sam—I simply couldn’t have done this without you—and to my grandma, whose incessant support (and oatmeal cookies) gave me the moral support I needed to get through these years.

And lastly, thanks to my parents, who set me off on this road a long time ago.


Example 4

I would like to thank my very esteemed supervisor, Dr. Maurice Henderson, for her invaluable supervision, tutelage, and support during the course of my degree. My sincerest gratitude to the Faculty of Management, Law, and Social Sciences at Bradford University for the funding opportunity to complete my Masters in International Business and Management. Additionally, I express my gratitude to Dr. Anne Keaton for her treasured support. It was influential in shaping my experiment methods and critiquing their results.

I would like to thank my friends, colleagues, and research team for the cherished time we spent together. My appreciation goes out to family and friends for their encouragement and support throughout my studies.

Example 5

I cannot express in words how incredibly grateful I am to my supervisor, Dr. Jennie Lee, for all her support and guidance on my thesis. I extend my gratitude to the undergraduate research team for their collaborative efforts in data collection.

I’m also thankful to my friends and family for all their support and love.

Example 6

I would like to thank the people, without whom I would not have been able to complete my thesis:

My chief, Dr. Anna Wyatt, who has been a pillar of unwavering support. My undergraduate research team for all their assistance in data collection. My special thanks to John and Kim, whose discussions and critiques of my research inspired me to think outside the box.

To my incredible family and friends for their love and patience through all my (frequent) grumpy days. And to Martha—for believing in me.

Example 7

I express the deepest gratitude to my supervisors, Prof. Molly Wallace and Dr. Helen O’Neal, for their guidance and direction throughout my research. Their immense knowledge and field expertise were valuable resources I’m incredibly grateful for. I would also extend my thanks to Dr. John Hart for all the technical assistance.

I would also like to thank my peers and friends at Cardiff for making this journey so much easier for me.

Special thanks to my parents, who never failed to believe in my abilities, and my sister for all the homemade food she sent over through the years.


Can I acknowledge myself in my dissertation?

While there’s no rule that says you can’t, it’s preferable not to do so. This is because the acknowledgment section is usually reserved for the people who helped your research see the light of day. Thanking yourself may project a conceited personality on anyone who reads it.

How do you thank someone in a dissertation?

The best way to thank someone is to mention you acknowledge their support and then explain what they helped you with.

What is a good sentence for acknowledgment?

Good acknowledgments start with:

  • I gratefully acknowledge the assistance and support of…
  • I’m deeply indebted to…
  • My thanks to…
  • I’d like to extend my deepest gratitude to…
  • I’d like to recognize the assistance of…

You can use many other variations based on these options. Have a look at the examples in this post.

How long should an acknowledgment be?

Your acknowledgment section should be one page at max. Please do not exceed it.