Explain how each person and/or organization helped

Some of the typical types of help mentioned by students include:

Decide what order to thank people in

This is very much a personal thing, so we wouldn't want to guide you too much here. Some students first thank those people that helped them most. Others want to make a point of thanking the reader (usually their supervisor) first. Some just thank people in the order that first comes into their heads. If we find any academic research on 'the effectiveness of order thanking in dissertation acknowledgments? or such like, we?ll let you know!

Be strategic: Thank key people even if you feel they let you down in some way

Most student at the undergraduate or master's level that have been through the dissertation process have first-hand (or second-hand) experience of a supervisor that was completely rubbish, a tutor that couldn't be bothered to help, or some other advisor that would never give you a straight answer to a simple question. Some of you may be familiar with the phrases: 'this is your own work?. "I cannot guide you". "What do you think"? Whilst the dissertation is your responsibility, sometimes you are let down by people whose help you need most. There are also cases of organizations that mess students around and even pull out at the very last minute. However, snide comments or criticisms of individuals and/or organizations seldom help, even if they are very therapeutic! Our advice is not to leave key individuals out of the acknowledgments section. Always think of a constructive way to thank key people. For example, if your supervisor never answered questions directly, leaving you frustrated, write something like: "Professor Smith [for example] always encouraged me to think independently, which helped me to focus on those aspects of social media marketing [for example] that were of particular interest". Hopefully you can be completely genuine in your acknowledgments, but where this is difficult, think (and thank) strategically!

Think about ways to express your thanks

We've put together some of the common ways that students thank people, groups and/or organizations in the acknowledgments section. Feel free to use any of these phrases in your dissertation.

General thanks

I am grateful for all the support I received?

Thanking an individual or group

I will always be grateful to?

I owe my gratitude to?

I would like to acknowledge?

I would like to thank?for the help and guidance [s/he] has given me.

This dissertation would not have been possible without?

I cannot thank them [him/her] enough.

I have been fortunate that my advisor?

[Name] deserves a special mention.

I would like to single out [name].

Most of all, I would like to thank?

I am indebted to?

Special thanks to?

Regrettably, I cannot acknowledge them by name.

Intellectual help

[Name] has challenged and enriched my ideas.

I would like to thank [Name] for introducing me to?

Moral support

I would like to thank [Name] for being there for me?

Copyright help

I would like to thank [organization name] for permission to include copyrighted [tables, graphs, photographs].

If you would like us to add more of these kinds of phrases, please leave us feedback.

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