Peculiarities of the Dissertation for PhD: How to Compose a Really Strong Paper
As you go through the process of writing your dissertation for your PhD, you will find that there is one section that you need to write in the dissertation body that you probably do not have any prior experience.
It is very doubtful that you have ever had to write an acknowledgments section before so this is very new ground to you. You have probably seen and acknowledgments section in a book but this is different.
In an academic paper, this section needs to include everyone that you have come into contact with whilst writing your paper or who had an influence on your work.
This list can be very long as it may stretch back to the teacher that influenced your interest in your field of study which is now your area of expertise.
This task may on the face of it sound fairly easy, but in truth it can be challenging. You need to have a good memory of who has influenced your work and in addition you need a different skill set.
The first thing that is really different is that all through the process of writing your paper you have been in the role of the impartial academic narrator. You now have to write as yourself.
Who do you need to include in your declaration of gratitude?
There is a very strict order of priority.
Start with the most recent influence on your work and then work back to the first influence on you and your learning. The list may be long!
- The person who supervised your PhD work
- The members of the committee (panel) that advised you and approved your research proposal
- Faculty staff that have had a role in your education
- Students that have become friends
- Close friends
It is usual to make a point of saying that any mistakes that are apparent the paper are yours alone and not due to any endeavor of the people who have supported you.
In your dedication, be gracious, sincere and genuine in the acknowledgment of the support that you have been given. Best advice is just be nice person and make the reader feel good.
Remember that you are writing to your mentors, colleagues, friends and family, who will feel that you have valued their support no matter how much or how little they have all been part of this process.
Of course everyone on your list will see themselves mentioned in your dedication, as it is traditional that you send each person a copy of your paper. It is important that they see just how much you value them.