A dissertation acknowledgment is important in the final works of a Ph.D research. After writing a scientific research, it's not easy for me to compose paragraphs to thank my supervisory committee, colleagues, fellow lecturers, etc. Could anyone help me by giving the idea how to work with it so my acknowledgment is interesting for everyone who reads it.

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    A dissertation acknowledgment is important in the final works of a Ph.D research. The existence of the acknowledgement, naming the people who should be named, is important; the content is completely unimportant. ...so my acknowledgment is interesting for everyone who reads it. This is an impossible and unnecessary task. Just focus on finishing your thesis. – Lazzaro Campeotti Jun 12 '15 at 9:41

Here is what I think about the topic. Acknowledgements section is indeed an important part of any dissertation, obviously, not from a scientific standpoint, but from an ethical perspective.

  • Even if you have a good memory, I would still suggest to keep track of various contributions that other people made to your research and your overall success during the program. If you don't want to keep track throughout your program, it is IMHO crucial to make such list before finalizing and submitting your final document to the committee. On the other hand, if your memory is not that great, then keeping track of people's help during the program is a must.

  • As I also was trying to create a nice acknowledgements section for my dissertation, I have seen and read a wide variety of examples, ranging from quite brief and formal to very personal, which read more like a life story (while some are interesting, generally, I don't think you need to strive to make that section so - it should be sincere, cover most of people, which help you appreciate, and nicely written in terms of wording; however, it is not a novel or, even, a story, so I wouldn't at all worry about the being interesting aspect). I think that both extremes (too brief/dry & life story) are not appropriate or good, so I would recommend to write several drafts to create a writeup, nicely balanced in terms of content, people coverage, style and size.

  • Since I mentioned above the size aspect, keep in mind that some universities limit the size of an acknowledgements section (usually, such limits are spelled out in a Dissertation Guide). For example, at my school, that limit was one page. Needless to say that it was quite a challenge to squeeze maximum relevant information and keep the contents/style readable and balanced.

  • thanks a lot for conveying the "how-acknowledgement-should-interest-the reader" message. – researcher Jun 12 '15 at 12:24
  • @researcher: You're very welcome. – Aleksandr Blekh Jun 12 '15 at 18:59

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