An acknowledgements page allows a researcher to express gratitude to those who have been an asset throughout the research/writing process. A project often requires collaboration, both formal and informal, and therefore, an acknowledgements page is the prime place to ensure that all those who supported you, acted as sources, supervised or provided financial assistance are recognised for their contribution. It may appear to be a daunting task to thank every person who contributed to the project in some manner. However, with a little concentration, it is easily accomplished and is a worthwhile component of the research project's final report.
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List every person who provided some means of support, including academic, financial and personal support. Be sure to list your supervisor, assistants and funding agency, as well as important family members and friends. This list can be quite substantial, but it is better to ensure that everyone is included instead of forgetting someone. If your project is the work of a group, get input from the whole group about who to include.
Group your list. Your acknowledgements page should not be longer than a page. Therefore, it is important to keep it as concise as possible. For example, if you want to thank your roommates for their emotional support, you do not have to thank each one individually. Instead, you could write "I would like to express my gratitude to the residents of 25 Smith Avenue."
Write your acknowledgement. Writing an acknowledgement requires a narrative structure. An easy way to organise your acknowledgement is to write thematic paragraphs. For example, you could include one paragraph for academic support, one for funding and another for personal influences. Use the groups you have established to determine the links. For example, you could include the department in the paragraph for your supervisor, as they both represent you academic network.
Organise your acknowledgement. There is no set guideline as to the order your acknowledgement has to use; you can start with your family and end with your supervisor or vice versa. There is no right or wrong way to order your acknowledgement, but it would be beneficial if the paragraphs are linked in some way. For example, paragraph one could be about your academic support, while paragraph two could state, for example, "Academic support aside, without my family I would have never made it to the lab everyday."
Format your acknowledgement. The acknowledgements page is one of the first pages of the project report. It generally follows the title and copyright pages. The page should be identified by a centred header.
Proofread your acknowledgement. It is important not only to ensure that there are no grammar or style errors, but also to be certain that you have correctly spelt names and institutes.
Tips and warnings
- Write an original acknowledgements page. It will sound more genuine and it is the least you can do to thank all those who supported you throughout the duration of the project.
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- George Mason University; Thesis, Dissertation, or Project Guide; Fall 2007;
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