The journey: Its challenges and how you overcame them

It's fairly corny to think of the dissertation as a journey, but when you finish it and look back, it's a pretty good analogy. The reflecting move, which is typically the first paragraph of the acknowledgments section, is where you can let the reader know a little about your journey through the process, its challenges, how you overcame them, and what you learnt. This story is important because of the thanking move that follows. After all, it helps the reader understand why you're thanking certain people and/or organisations and how they helped you with your journey. In terms of word count, this part of the acknowledgments section will probably be around 30% of the word count dedicated to the acknowledgments section. Since such sections tend to be between 100 and 200 words, we would suggest writing between 30 and 60 words. Of course, if you're university or department has told you how long this section should be, take their advice!

To complete this part of the Acknowledgements section, you need to address the following three questions:

What challenges did you face?

Some of the more obvious challenges include: (a) the dissertation being a new process; (b) getting access; (c) time pressures; (d) learning new skills/techniques; and (e) financial pressures. Each of these is discussed in turn:

How did you overcome these challenges?

In order to overcome some or any of the challenges mentioned above, did you?

What did you learn through the dissertation process?

In overcome the challenges that you faced, did you learn any of the following skills/techniques?

Having explained you dissertation journey, its challenges, how you overcame these, and what you learnt, you need to move onto the second part of the acknowledgement section: thanking people.

1 2 3 4 5 6