Thesis & Dissertation Acknowledgements: the Complete Guide with Examples

When you look back on the journey of writing a dissertation, you will most likely realize that it was the path you did not take alone.  It is advisable to explore dissertation conclusion examples to gain valuable insights and inspiration, they can provide guidance and clarity for your own conclusion. Your mentors, colleagues, research participants, and other members have played a crucial role in your academic journey, and now it's time to express your appreciation to them.

This blog post will delve into the correct steps on how to write dissertation acknowledgements. We’ll provide practical tips on how to write them, discuss the importance of making them personal and meaningful, and show samples to help you better understand the section. 

Thesis or dissertation acknowledgements: important aspects to know

Acknowledgements are how you can show gratitude to people and organizations who impacted your dissertation. They are part of a formal section typically included towards the document's beginning ─ you can start working on it right after writing a dissertation abstract

However, it's not just about gratitude ─ including dissertation acknowledgements also adds to your professionalism, as it is considered a norm in academic writing.

Regarding length, acknowledgements are typically concise and kept to one page. While it's important to acknowledge the support you have received, it's advisable to avoid excessive details or overly lengthy recognition that may distract from the main content. Quality interaction with your acknowledgements section can make it more engaging and meaningful, showcasing your appreciation genuinely and concisely.

Professional vs academic acknowledgments: the key difference

Both types typically differ in content and tone, serving different purposes in different contexts. A correct first step is to check your university’s guidelines, as they may have rules or preferences about the order, phrasing, or layout of acknowledgements. For instance, some institutions prefer that you keep your acknowledgements strictly professional.

  • Professional acknowledgments in dissertations generally involve recognizing people and organizations that helped you greatly with your work in a professional or academic context. They tend to focus on academic contributions. Thus, you should consider those who guided and helped you during the research and writing by giving fresh perspectives, proofreading facts, and sharing their knowledge.
  • Personal acknowledgments involve expressing gratitude and recognizing the emotional support, encouragement, and understanding provided by family members or friends. They tend to have a more informal and heartfelt tone, reflecting the personal nature of the relationships and emotional aspects. Expressing gratitude towards people for their encouragement and patience can provide a glimpse into the human aspect of academic pursuits and add a personal touch to this section.

A step-by-step guide to insightful acknowledgements

While you want to keep your section with recognition short, there are quick and effective steps you may follow to learn how to write acknowledgments and ensure you get the most out of this section. 

Step 1: Reflect on your gratitude

Think about the people, organizations, and institutions that have supported you throughout your dissertation journey. Once you start reflecting, chances are you will see how many people were involved in your work. Go through the list of people who could have made a valuable impact: advisors, collaborators/co-authors, and Ph.D. professors. Additionally, mention non-professional contributors and supporters like peers, friends, and family. Funding agencies and other individuals, e.g., librarians, technical assistants, or editors, should be mentioned too, if addressed.

Step 2: Make a list 

While writing acknowledgements for thesis or dissertation, list all the individuals or entities you want to recognize. Note their names, roles, and contributions supporting your research and writing process.

Step 3: Be specific and personal

To express your gratitude in a sincere and personalized manner, be sure to acknowledge individuals or entities by name and provide specific details about their contributions. Use a heartfelt tone to convey your deep appreciation, allowing your gratitude to shine through genuinely and meaningfully.

Step 4: Follow appropriate etiquette

Follow appropriate etiquette when acknowledging individuals or entities. Use formal language and titles when addressing professors, advisors, or other academic professionals. Use professional and respectful language when recognizing funding agencies, research participants, or other external entities.

Step 5: Keep it concise

While it's important to express gratitude, keep your section concise. Avoid overly long or elaborate acknowledgements, as they may detract from the main content of your dissertation.

Step 6: Review and revise

Review and revise your section carefully for grammar, spelling, and accuracy. Ensure you include all the necessary acknowledgements and convey gratitude towards each individual or entity.

Step 7: Follow formatting guidelines

Ensure you follow the formatting guidelines provided by your academic institution or publisher. This may include placement, font size, spacing, and other formatting requirements.

Step 8: Consider confidentiality

If your research involves confidential or sensitive information, consider whether or not to include recognitions that may reveal the identities of research participants or other individuals while maintaining confidentiality as required.

Step 9: Get feedback

Consider getting feedback from your advisors, peers, or other trusted individuals to ensure you crafted your section well.

Remember, while you learn how to write dissertation acknowledgements, take the time to sincerely appreciate the support you have received while adhering to academic standards. If you find yourself pressed for time or in need of professional assistance, consider the option to buy dissertations. This way, you can ensure a well-crafted dissertation while still showing sincere appreciation for the invaluable support you have received.

Phrases to help you get started 

You may need guidance regarding the tone of appreciation you should follow. To get a glimpse of what it looks like, check a few dissertation acknowledgements examples:

  1. "I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to [Name] for their generous contributions to this dissertation. Their thoughtful input and constructive criticism have been instrumental in improving the rigor and validity of this study."
  2. "My deepest gratitude goes to [Name] for their unwavering support and commitment to excellence. Their thought-provoking insights and scholarly contributions have significantly enriched the content and impact of this dissertation."
  3. "I would like to extend my sincere thanks to [Name] for their meticulous review and feedback, helping me to refine the methodology and analysis of this dissertation."
  4. "I am deeply appreciative of the contributions made by [Name] towards the literature review, providing valuable insights and suggestions that have strengthened the theoretical framework of this research."

Acknowledgments dos and don’ts

By keeping specific dos and don'ts in mind, you can create a thoughtful and genuine section to show appreciation toward people who impacted your research journey.


✔️  Include full names. Make sure  to list all professional acknowledgements with their full names, titles, and roles.

✔️  Differentiate acknowledgements. Appropriately anonymize or group research participants and non-individual acknowledgments.

✔️   Mention both academic and non-academic contributions. Recognize not only the academic contributions, such as mentorship, guidance, and funding, but also any non-academic contributions, such as emotional support, encouragement, or assistance with logistics.

✔️ Use a positive and appreciative tone. Express gratitude using positive and appreciative language. Avoid negative or critical language, and focus on highlighting the positive impact of the support received.

✔️ Be inclusive of diverse contributions. Acknowledge how individuals with diverse backgrounds helped you with their perspectives and expertise, recognizing the value of their input. 

✔️  Consider cultural norms. Be mindful of cultural norms and expectations when expressing gratitude, and adapt your acknowledgements accordingly if you are writing for a specific cultural or international audience.


   Don't exclude relevant contributors. Recognize all those who have made a significant contribution, regardless of their role or position, and avoid excluding anyone who has genuinely contributed.

❌ Don't be  overly emotional or informal. Maintain a professional tone and language, avoiding overly emotional or informal expressions.

❌ Don't be lengthy or overly detailed. Keep your section brief and focused, avoiding lengthy narratives or overly detailed descriptions of contributions.

❌ Don't disregard specific guidelines. Follow any specific guidelines or requirements your institution or department provides for writing acknowledgements. For instance, check a general dissertation outline example provided by your institution and the requirements for the acknowledgements section.

Closing thoughts

The acknowledgements section of your dissertation is vital where you can express your deepest appreciation towards the individuals and entities who have impacted your academic accomplishment. By keeping it concise and sincere, your acknowledgements section can serve as a genuine expression of appreciation, showcasing the significant role of those who have guided you while writing a dissertation. For a convenient and professional approach, consider using a dissertation service. This allows you to rely on experts who can help you create a meaningful acknowledgements section. Last but not least, remember to say ‘thank you’ sincerely and convey the profound impact of their contributions to your academic journey. 


Whom should I express gratitude in the acknowledgements section?

You may express gratitude towards individuals or entities who have provided support, guidance, or assistance in your research, writing, or academic journey.

Where is the appropriate place to include the acknowledgements section? 

It is typically included towards the thesis or dissertation beginning, after the title, and before the abstract, or as per the guidelines provided by the specific academic institution or publisher. 

How long should I make an acknowledgment section? 

The length can vary, but it is typically kept concise and usually ranges from a few paragraphs to one page.

Why do I need an acknowledgements section in a thesis or dissertation?

The purpose is to express appreciation and acknowledge the support and guidance individuals or entities provide. It is a way to recognize and credit those who contributed to the presented work.

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