I am compiling my thesis, and have noticed that the LaTeX template that I am using provides space for a dedication.

Whilst I do have an individual whom I want to credit with being a source of inspiration for my research and career motivation, I'm curious as to if honours theses normally include a dedication, and if I would be better to wait until I write my doctorate.

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    In my university, honors theses do normally include a dedication, the length can be varying from just a few sentences to up to a whole page. – yoyostein Oct 26 '15 at 9:32
  • It will unlikely cause a detriment to your grade, and it's a chance to recognise any assistance in a way that will be appreciated. In my thesis (physics, condensed matter), I made a special note of my advisor (for going above and beyond to keep me focused on a main goal, but also for allowing me many opportunities to delve into specific elements much further than was necessary to achieve the main goal - leading to my "further work" section being much more complete and informed) and some open source communities (particularly those behind key programming libraries) that made my work possible. – Jake Oct 26 '15 at 10:10
  • Besides the suggestions in answers: look at some recent previous honours theses from your department/university. See what is commonly done by other students in your position. If you check ten and none of them has a dedication? Then probably don’t give one. But if at least a few of them do, then you should be fine to give one. – PLL Oct 26 '15 at 17:44

Dedication generally comes in your front matter section in your thesis. It will depend on your university rules and guidelines. Generally "dedication" is not mandatory in most of universities. However it is advisable to check with your academic office.

Quoting from Harvard guidelines for thesis writing,

Front matter may include: acknowledgments of help or encouragement from individuals or institutions; a dedication; a list of illustrations or of tables; a glossary of terms; one or more epigraphs—pertinent quotations at the beginning of a dissertation or a chapter

My personal opinion is that dedication gives emotional touch. It is good to have dedication page in your work.

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    Thanks for your advice. I opted to include a dedication. – thomasfedb Nov 7 '15 at 16:38
  • That is good :) – Dexter Nov 8 '15 at 5:09

To be absolutely sure, ask your advisor/supervisor – but they’ll probably advise that it is up to you, depending on the university’s guidelines.

Adding a dedication for, as you say, is a source of inspiration for your work, is a very kind and apt addition to your thesis. I agree with Dexter, that is a good thing to include.

I had dedication pages in my honours, masters and PhD theses, and these had no negative affect on the peer review that my work went through to be assessed (here, a thesis is peer-reviewed for assessment). One reviewer even noted that it was a “nice touch”.

Another to consider is that a “to the point” dedication for the inspiration for your work could garner positive exposure to the influential person’s work – which is also a very nice thing too.

But, when it comes down to it, it will be the academic content of your thesis that will truly matter.

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