The thesis acknowledgement is the part of the thesis in which the writer thanks or offers a special mention of the people who were important in the creation of the project or in the academic or personal development of the writer. Although thesis acknowledgements are optional, they provide the writer an opportunity to express gratitude for the people who helped him or her achieve the completion of the project.
Students who choose to include thesis acknowledgements should format them in a way that is compatible with the style manual they are using. Usually, writers will place their thesis acknowledgements on the page after the title page, allowing the table of contents, the body of the thesis, and the end materials to stand together uninterrupted. Depending on the requirements of the style manual and the length of the thesis acknowledgement, a writer may choose to align the text in the center or on the left side of the page and to position it upward or downward.
The student should decide carefully the length of the thesis acknowledgement. If a certain person has acted in an outstanding way in the creation of the thesis project, the writer may choose to mention only that person with a phrase of intense gratitude. On the other hand, if the writer has many people to thank, he or she may group them into categories and thank each category in a paragraph. For example, the writer may state, "I would like to express gratitude to those who helped build the equipment that allowed me to run my experiment; without them, I could not have written this thesis. They are [names of contributors]." In the next paragraph, then, the writer may thank the people who helped in the writing or editing stages of the project.
When a student is writing a thesis acknowledgement, the goal is to show readers that he or she worked with a significant network of academic and personal supporters.