You’ve spent months researching, writing and editing your thesis. And now it’s all done and ready for your orals. The only thing missing is a tiny, insignificant part called acknowledgements that’s also one of the most-read pages of your work. So if you’re all out of words and ideas, use this step-by-step guide to learn how to write acknowledgement for a Master thesis, and you’ll be done in no time.
Why Should You Bother Writing an Acknowledgement?
For most schools and formatting styles, acknowledgement is not mandatory for a thesis, but that doesn’t mean you should automatically skip it. After your work is done, it pays to take a look back and remember all the people who stood by your side and supported you throughout this academic adventure. This is your chance to say thanks and show your appreciation in a way that costs you nothing and makes you look good at the same time. Besides, if you follow our advice, writing an acknowledgement is a breeze.
How to Write Acknowledgement for a Thesis in 4 Steps
1. Make a List of Everyone You Want to Thank
It can be as short as a single person when you first think about it. But if you take your time and consider everyone who’s helped you, your list will likely grow. To make sense of the mess of names, we recommend you divide the list into three categories:
- Academic or professional acknowledgements. These may include your advisor, councillors, lab assistants, professors, and other people who assisted you on your academic journey.
- Organizations and sponsors. This category usually includes foundations, departments, funding bodies that provided you with money and other resources to complete your work.
- Personal acknowledgements. You can thank your partner or parents, friends or role models, anyone who assisted you on a personal level.
It is important to include every person whose impact on your thesis was critical. But you shouldn’t go overboard with the number of acknowledgements. If your list goes beyond a dozen or two, look it over again and delete the names that affected your success the least.
2. Identify the Role of Each Acknowledged Party
You cannot type a ‘THANK YOU’ with a list of names from the previous step underneath and be done with it. If you want the best acknowledgement for a thesis, you need to infuse your gratitude with small personal touches for every person and organization.
Start with adding a short note to your list. It can be anything from funding a particular experiment or travel grant to valuable insight and advice, unwavering support, patience, constructive criticism and more. If you notice the roles repeating or overlapping, consider combining gratitude for the people who had similar effects on your work into one passage.
3. Choose Acknowledgement Phrases for a Dissertation
There’s no point in searching and copying thesis acknowledgement quotes. It’s a highly personal part of the dissertation, and it should come from your heart. Otherwise, you may as well go without it.
Still, there are some useful opening phrases you can alter and tweak to help you start the acknowledgement:
- I would like to express my deepest gratitude;
- I cannot begin to express my appreciation for;
- I am deeply indebted to;
- I very much appreciate;
- I would like to extend my sincere thanks to;
- I gratefully acknowledge the assistance of;
- I had great pleasure working with;
- particularly helpful to me was (were);
- I’d like to recognize the assistance of.
These phrases usually come at the beginning of passages before introducing the people and organizations you’re thanking. The second half of the paragraph should include the particulars of the help you received, as we’ve discussed in Step 2.
4. Stick to the Proper Style and Format
While acknowledgements may look like personal letters of thanks, they are still part of your thesis. Therefore, you should follow the same formatting and style guidelines you use throughout the paper. You should use first-person pronouns (I or we), but keep your writing formal and professional without lapsing into personal or informal language.
You should check the formatting guide when it comes to the word limit for acknowledgements. Usually, the rules are flexible enough to accommodate anything from a single passage to a three-page acknowledgement. If possible, we suggest you stick to a single page, as it’s considered best practice in academic circles. Besides, having a word limit will help you be more concise and specific in your gratitude.As you can see, it doesn’t take much to write acknowledgements for a paper. As it will likely be one of the last pieces of a larger work, it will be a pleasant distraction from your research rather than a chore. Follow our simple four-step process, and your acknowledgement will shine.