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How to Write acknowledgments for a Dissertation

If you’re thinking about what you should write in dissertation acknowledgements, that is a sign that you’re done. Congratulations! You’ve done the work, and now you are working on the final tops of your work and deciding who you want to acknowledge.


In the end, deciding on who to honor and the best way to do it is vital.

Find out what your school requires

The first step is to consult with your institution to determine whether there are any rules or restrictions on what you should write in the acknowledgments of your dissertation. Some universities have word or page limits.

Other people may limit the variety of things you can say in general, but for the vast part, I’ve encountered no restrictions. Universities realize that it’s a community effort for success and want to provide you with ample opportunities to acknowledge those who have been a part of your achievement.

Know Whom to Thank

The process of completing a dissertation is a time of celebration. Tell those who matter to you that you value them.

It is recommended to begin with formal relationships before moving on to personal ones. Remember that there’s a part that is political to acknowledgments, so make sure to not leave out those at your institution that contributed to the institution. The following are the people you should consider giving thanks as a nice gesture:

  • academics;
  • colleagues;
  • chair;
  • members of the committee;
  • funders;
  • library professionals (generalists and specialists), editors;
  • supervisors;
  • classmates who have contributed in a way.

The acknowledgment portion of your dissertation can also be an excellent way to acknowledge people in your life who influenced your decision to attend college and spend the time to compose this work. This could include:

  • Teachers who have passed on;
  • Family: parents spouses, children extended family members;
  • Friends;
  • If you’re religious and believe in God, then expressing gratitude to God (using any name that is appropriate to your faith) is acceptable too;
  • Pets (I observed a student thanking her cat for keeping her company through the long, slumbering nights of work at her desk).

I’ve heard of someone asking to thank a therapy professional. This is perfectly fine, however, I would suggest getting the therapist’s permission before doing so.

My top suggestions for writing your own acknowledgments of your thesis

  • Do not spend too much time on these. The acknowledgments section is not something worth spending a lot of time on. And, since they appear at the very beginning of your dissertation It’s tempting to start writing your acknowledgments first. This is fine however, it could provide a great opportunity for a lot of unneeded procrastination. That’s why I suggest you.
  • Note your acknowledgments after the conclusion of the first draft of your thesis. There’s no need to compose your dissertation in the order in which it is written. If you manage your acknowledgments at the conclusion you’ll have less chance to waste time on an area that only needs a little thought.
  • Do not stress about the acknowledgments. The acknowledgments are only to you and anyone near to you whom you would like to thank. There are many more important areas to pay attention to!
  • Keep in mind that you can modify your thesis after you have submitted your thesis for your viva. Like everything else within your dissertation, you are able to change your thesis after you submit the thesis for your viva. The final “final” copy is when you send your dissertation to an institution for archiving. This is a good reason to not waste the time writing it from scratch the first time.

Dissertation acknowledgments Length

I’ve never witnessed acknowledgment sections that go past one page. Make sure to thank the people who truly helped you in the process.

When to Write Dissertation acknowledgments

I’ve seen an astonishing number of students submit drafts of their proposals, with acknowledgments already written. It’s possible that the thought is, “the more sections I complete now, the less I’ll have to do later.” It can be tempting to complete the acknowledgments section without any references.

Although there’s nothing wrong with writing acknowledgments in advance in time, it’s recommended to save them separately from the final draft of your dissertation proposal. Recognizements are to be completed retroactively. your committee members and Chair might be a bit irritated to be acknowledged before they’ve completed the task of aiding your dissertation procedure.


In your dissertation, the acknowledgment area is the most restricted area of your document. There aren’t any specific headings or word counts required. I would suggest that you take your time, and think about the people who supported you on this challenge and offer them the respect they deserve.

It is possible to present them with a gift card or invite them to dinner, which is great for them. However, an acknowledgment of your dissertation is a lasting reminder to the world at large that these individuals really did make an impact in your life as well as your future. A few proud parents have framed their acknowledgment pages for their children! Make sure you make it enough to be worthy of framing.

Also, remember that even though this is your chance to show appreciation to others, however, the manner in which you do it (and the effort you give to the process) will reflect the person you are. Although you may get bored of writing, it’s worthwhile investing the time and effort in this piece, since it will tell everyone whom you read it to tell them about the person you truly are as an individual.

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