The Title Page and Acknowledgements Section of Your Dissertation
In giving you in-depth advice on how to write a dissertation, don’t think that we’ve forgotten about last-minute considerations like formatting. Academic documents, particularly something as heavy as a dissertation lays immense importance on formatting and standardization to it easy to read and review. Today, we’ll be delving into how you should write the title page and acknowledgements section of your dissertation.
Unsurprisingly, this is the first thing that your evaluator or any reader will see when they encounter your dissertation. It must contain important information that give the reader an idea of what they are about to look at.
Let’s spend some time to deconstruct this.
The format of the title page will surely differ to an extent, based on the journal of publication, university, and citation style used. But there are some common elements:
Title of the dissertation
Academic writing is objective and direct, so your title too should be such. Rather than going for a dramatic title, focus on letting the reader know what exactly they’re dealing with. Use keywords that highlight the scope, purpose and methods used in your research. For example:
A New Determination of Molecular Dimensions
The Difference Between the Democritean and Epicurean Philosophy of Nature
An Alternate Historiography of the Boer Wars
[If your dissertation has a subtitle, you may include that as well.]
Author information and affiliation
Your title page should also shed light upon you as the researcher, and your qualifications and affiliations. You will be expected to specify the following details
- The name(s) of the researcher(s)
- The name of the university and department that the researcher is affiliated with
- Year of submission
- The programme under which the dissertation was undertaken
Other optional elements that vary depending on specific guidelines
- Your primary advisor’s name
- The type of article
- Word count
- A brief description, in the form of an abstract.
No dissertation can be completed solely by one person. Surely, you’ve had help along the way; whether it’s through moral support or people advising you on the actual thesis itself. The acknowledgements section is when you thank all these people for supporting you from day 1. It is not just an expression of gratitude, but also a way to honestly assert that you had help along the way.
This section is one of the few points in a dissertation where you have the liberty to be personal. So feel free to use personal pronouns and wax poetic. There’s no right or wrong here, so long as you adequately acknowledge all the help you’ve received along the way.
Who can you thank?
- Your supervisor and other academic advisors
- Other researchers that you may have worked with (who are not credited as authors)
- Technicians and other administrative staff
- Students or interns who may have worked under you
- Peers and colleagues who may have helped you
- Friends and family
Include funding details
In additional to acknowledging the intellectual labor and moral support that helped you finish the dissertation, thank your financial backers. These include any grants or scholarships you’ve won, funding bodies, or even private donors.
How to write it
An acknowledgements section is usually just one page, and the length depends on the number of people you want to that. You don’t have to think too hard about an introduction or a conclusion, and you can simply begin by saying, “I’d like to thank” and elaborate on how they contributed to the project.
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