Advice on Writing PhD Thesis Acknowledgement Section

The acknowledgement section of a PhD thesis simply shows how much you appreciate input and assistance from others. As you complete your project you will run into other sources such as people, places and organizations that help you gather information you need. In this case, you are personally expressing gratitude to sources that helped you complete your PhD thesis. Some students have a long list of people to thank, while others keep it simple with a basic paragraph. When you are not sure what to write or how to begin, there are several options that will help you get started quickly.

  • Make a list of sources you feel you could not have completed your work without. A few students will mention helpful sources that meant a lot to them in creating their work. This can be anything from a certain department at a university to people who work in the field related to your subject matter. Anything that helped you gain clarity while achieving the completion of your assignment can be considered.
  • Study previously written acknowledgments to get ideas on how to structure your information. Some students may not have an idea what to say or what to include. This is where good examples come in. Read over acknowledgments written by past students and examples available online. As you study the content consider aspects that stand out. What elements do you think you should mention in yours?
  • Follow guidelines if you are required to keep it a certain length. There are variations with acknowledgements to consider. If you are expected to keep it at a certain word count or length, try to stick with this guideline to help you focus on details to mention. If you are free to write it as long as you want, utilize this opportunity to give credit where it is due.
  • Take your time writing your acknowledgment and create rough drafts if necessary. Even though you are simply acknowledging people who helped make your work possible and those who supported you throughout the process, doesn’t mean your content shouldn’t look good. Put some thought into it and rewrite your content to perfect it.
  • Think about how you want it to appear in your PhD thesis and how readers will receive it. Sometimes you need to think about this from a different perspective. What do you want readers to know about how others help you complete this task?

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