Acknowledgements of a dissertation

Date published by Date updated: April 10, 2017

The task of the dissertation acknowledgements section is solely for thanking the people who have helped you and supported you during the writing of your dissertation. In many theses, the acknowledgements are given as a part of the preface rather than as an independent section.

Why use dissertation acknowledgements?

There are various reasons to use a separate acknowledgements section. For example, it may be that writing your dissertation was a particularly difficult period. It may also be that you worked for a longer period of time on the document, as, for example, when writing a doctoral thesis.

This often involves an intensive period of several years in which many people have assisted you. Therefore, you would especially like to reflect upon the people who were involved in this process.

People who are often mentioned in the acknowledgements are advisors, fellow students and Ph.D. students, colleagues, possible respondents and, naturally, friends and family.

Should I choose a preface and/or acknowledgements?

We advise you to use only a preface. Using a preface and an acknowledgement section in your dissertation is redundant and in the preface, in addition to thanking people, you can also provide the reader extra information. That’s killing two birds with one stone.

Example dissertation acknowledgements

We have written an example of an acknowledgements section, so you will be able to see what an acknowledgements section could look like.

View example

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Article by Michelle Mertens

Michelle is responsible for the support at Scribbr. Day in day out she receives many questions about thesis proofreading, how to write a thesis and how to prevent plagiarism. She loves to write clear and easy to understand articles about these topics to help students out.

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