How to write dissertation acknowledgments

How to write dissertation acknowledgments

Writing an academic paper of any kind is a stressful and demanding task. With the amount of work a student has to complete, it sometimes seems like you alone fighting this fight. The work of professors and supervisors assisting you sometimes gets taken for granted. In any case, there is always at least one person who supports you the most. A dissertation is a serious paper of huge size.  Writing a dissertation paper requires support from someone more knowledgeable than you are. As a result, the whole section of the dissertation acknowledgment is dedicated to those who were by your side all the time. Whether it seemed that they were useless because they were always picking up on your writing style or lack of data, or they were giving you appraisals, now it is time to thank them. Let’s look into the types of acknowledgments that you can insert in the paper and their functions. 

The Receiver or Who to Thank

It is the time to collect your thoughts and compile the exhaustive list of people who contributed to your success. The people who supported you professionally and personally are to be addressed. It is a sign of bad manners not to mention someone, so make sure you have every name covered. Even the smallest aid you were provided with deserves appreciation. It is better to say thank you than leave someone out. Here is the list of potential candidates:

  • Instructors/ Professors/ Supervisors (people who assigned the topic, taught the subject, gave you the references, and guided you throughout)
  • Department Staff (secretary, lab assistant, dean, etc.)
  • Staff involved in your research (either participants or data collectors, IT technicians)
  • Family & Friends (relatives who either inspired or supported you throughout this challenging time)

Based on the receiver the acknowledgment will be categorized into Personal and Professional. Both are equally important and should be written according to certain academic requirements. The university might provide you with a standard form for writing acknowledgments, but in many cases, a student has freedom of expression. 

Expressing Gratitude in Professional Acknowledgments

Professional gratitude for help with writing a paper as large as the dissertation will have a long list of people. To include everyone, try to break the process of writing in stages to acknowledge the work of others correspondingly. Start with receiving the dissertation topic and working on its wording. The supervisor would be responsible for all the remarks at this stage. Then, moving to the main body of the paper. If you conducted research then you had some participants and technical staff aiding you with the research arrangement. It is also recommended to start mentioning the most important people first. Whoever was with you from the beginning to the end should get most appraisals. The contributors who often get forgotten are the editors and proofreaders. Without them mastering your citation the proper dissertation format would never be achieved. 

Expressing Gratitude in Personal Acknowledgments

Writing a personal acknowledgment is a sensitive matter. For some, it might seem that an academic paper does not cover this section. However, there are various life situations. People get inspired and motivated by their family members or friends, or even strangers. It is not forbidden to admit that in the paper. So, mentioning a relative, parent or sibling for their extraordinary contribution to your work process will serve as personal acknowledgment. 

Arranging the Acknowledgment Section

A winning dissertation is characterized by a well - organized structure. The same works for the dissertation acknowledgments section. After you compiled the list of people to mention, decide on personal/professional acknowledgment type, and move on to write the main text. The example of the opening sentence is the following:

  • I would like to express my sincere gratitude to/ I would like to acknowledge the contribution of my professor Mr. Goldman for his constant guidance and patience during our cooperation on my research.
  • I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to Mr. Goldman whose tireless efforts shaped my vision of the paper and brought me these results.
  • I wish to thank my supervisor, Mr. Peterson, for his genius mind and individual approach. My work with him has been nothing but a developing, creative, and exciting journey.

Remember that you are not writing a memoir, it is a precise and short section. Select the words properly, so they express how you appreciate the input, but do not make this section very long. There is generally no restriction on the length but chances are that nobody will look into the list if it is too long. Keep it short but meaningful. 


It is important to be grateful to people who assisted you on the way to the top. Passing your dissertation is a big step in your academic career but it is also a beginning. Graduation from the educational establishment is only the start of your academic work. There is a chance that you will call your supervisor a colleague very soon. Hence, acknowledging their contribution and help is not only polite but necessary. Writing a good acknowledgment piece is an investment in your future. It is worth getting professional help with writing this piece. Address writing service and they will express all your gratitude most sincerely and professionally.