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I'm finishing my M.Sc. thesis and I sent it to my supervisors so that they can read it.

In the final version, I would like to insert an acknowledgements page where I thank them. Should I include it in the last draft that I will send them, so they can read it? Or should it be included in only the final version, without their knowledge?

  • Have you included your supervisor's name in the acknowledgements? – scaaahu Jan 25 '15 at 9:53
  • Yes I did, thanking them for their willingness and support. – giuseppe Jan 25 '15 at 10:47
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There is no need to remove the acknowledgement in the final version. I know students have done so and for very different reasons, they want to "surprise" someone, they are not on friendly terms with an advisor and does not want the advisor to see it before it is printed. etc. The "surprise" aspect is, I would argue, greatly overrated. To not provide it because of a conflict is not likely to help the conflict. So, even if the reason is non-controversial, not including it might raise an eyebrow of a sensitive advisor. In the end, this is something that should not matter but some people are overly sensitive so ask yourself, are you confident that you will reach your intended effect by doing what you suggest, then go ahead, but if you do not feel so, avoid it. You will sometimes be surprised how much is read into a benign text such as an acknowledgement.

  • Yes, maybe I just wanted to surprise them, or maybe I did not want that they might see it as an attempt of flattery... I will follow your suggestion and add it in the next version I will send them. – giuseppe Jan 25 '15 at 10:50
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I would include the proposed acknowledgements in the last draft. I would also include those that net-positively helped you even though you may not be on the best terms with them. By doing so, you will be taking the "high ground".

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