I've finished my Bachelor thesis, and it's been a fairly independent work since it was a very niche topic that I didn't really have anybody to talk with about other than my advisor. I also don't want to thank any friends or family for "support", it seems a bit silly and melodramatic.

Almost all of the theses that I have read have acknowledgement sections with several people being thanked. Is it a requirement? Should I include it, and just write a sentence or two about my advisor? Is there another appropiate way to thank just him without dedicating a section to it? Should I not thank him at all? Does anybody read this stuff, or is it just skipped? Will not acknowledging anyone give the reader a bad impression of me, in the sense that I am an arrogant jerk, or of my work, in the sense that since I am not thanking anybody, I must not have used all of the ressourcess or given it a lot of effort?

  • 4
    I wouldn't define thanking someone for support as "silly"... May 22, 2016 at 18:45
  • 2
    @FábioDias while the titles are the same, I think the situations are different enough to warrant separate questions.
    – Ric
    May 22, 2016 at 20:01
  • One option might be to put the acknowledgements within another section, like in a paper, so they can be fairly short without looking quite so odd.
    – Jessica B
    May 23, 2016 at 8:00

2 Answers 2


You would of course need to check with your university/department specifically, but I can't imagine anyone requiring it.

That said, consider what part of your thesis people will actually bother to read. Bachelor theses (and even masters theses) will rarely, if ever, be read for their content except by your advisors. Maybe someone will glance at your conclusions or use your bibliography as a jumping off point.

If your family or friends were to take a look at it, they're going to see your Vita (they probably know that already) and your Acknowledgements. And they are far more likely to glance at your thesis than anyone else (just being honest).

I've on occasion, though, found the acknowledgments section very useful. It will often point out scholars who have helped out, libraries that have manuscripts, funding sources etc. and while technically that's probably mentioned somewhere in the paper and/or bibliography, but frankly seeing something like this

Much thanks to the Mr. I, the rare book collections specialist at J Library for having given me such wide access and assistance in research, and to the J Fund for Study which so graciously enabled me to spend the summer at K Library, and to Prof. L from M university, whom I met during that time, for her constant insights to N things.

can, in one paragraph, give more information that can help a young scholar interested in a similar field than the entirety of the thesis.

  • My university's formatting requirements were quite strict. I had to resubmit because I didn't put "Dedication" at the top of the dedication page (as if it weren't obvious...) I wouldn't be surprised to see the acknowledgments section required.
    – user37208
    May 22, 2016 at 21:10
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    @user37208 I suppose when it comes to academic bureaucracy, anytime I say "I can't imagine..." I really should be saying "It makes no sense, but sadly, undoubtedly someone somewhere..." May 22, 2016 at 21:12

I highly recommend including an acknowledgement section, as it is the unsung hero of any publication, for the following reasons.

  1. Thanking someone for their contribution, or your family for their help is literally the least you can do. Failure to do so is a huge faux pas and can be rightfully hurtful, just look at this list of actors who didn't thank their significant others during their oscar acceptance speeck.
  2. It is something of a record of the ways in which you wrote your dissertation and can help reconstruct some of your research, if needed. This is less likely a problem with a BA thesis, but if someone—including you later—should want to recreate your research it can be helpful to know who you were talking to.
  3. It shows the ways in which the department worked (or didn't as the case may be). In fact, you can search by acknowledgements in the proquest dissertation database.
  • +1 Not thanking can be read as follows: "I have nobody to thank for this success but myself." or "All the people that surround me are just ****s and I'd rather not have worked with them, why should I thank them?" or "I do not really care about spending time to say thank you for people who sat there for 3 hours explaining me some finer points of quantum lie groups." or "I was really in a rush to submit, and, frankly, I'd rather make sure I have a printer full of ink to print the last pages of the thesis than some dumb ackno that no-one reads." It's difficult to imagine even a neutral read. May 22, 2016 at 23:53

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