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Writing a PhD Thesis Acknowledgement Section: Things You Should Not Forget

It’s hard work writing a PhD Thesis and there are many people that can help you during this process.  That is why there is an acknowledgement section in your thesis.  This tells the people that help you along the way “Thank You.”  But who do you include in this part of thesis because you don’t want to leave out anyone that was there for you during your work.



When you are writing your acknowledgements you should put them in order of who helped you from beginning to end.  So start with the first person and go to the last. 

  • The first people you should thank are the people that helped you develop your thesis.
  • Next should be anyone that helped you with your research or people you interviewed.
  • Don’t forget about the people that funded your research.  They are the most important of all.  Without them, you might not have had the money to do your research; this can be at the beginning of you acknowledgements or the end.
  • Acknowledge anyone that helped you edit your thesis. 


The acknowledgement section is reserved for the people like professors, advisors, institutions, and others in your field that helped you along the way.  The dedication is for others that were there for you.

  • You can dedicate your thesis to your family or friends.
  • Here you can thank whoever helped you and was important to you but not important enough for the acknowledgements.
  • Keep this to only a few sentences because you don’t want to go overboard.

Tips on Acknowledgement

  • Don’t stress over the acknowledgement, the hard work is all done. 
  • Don’t try to put every person you came across during your thesis.  Only include people that physically helped you.
  • Also, don’t try and fit as many people as you can on the dedication page either.  Just the people closest to you. 

The acknowledgement can be as many pages as you want but I would keep it down to only a couple.  I know it can be hard to do that because there are so many people that helped you that you don’t want to leave them out and you don’t have to.  When writing the acknowledgement, try to keep each person’s acknowledgement to only a few sentences.  This will keep your acknowledgement from becoming nine pages and you can focus on more people.