The who and how of acknowledgements

The acknowledgements section is the place to recognise and thank people who have contributed to your document. Who you recognise and the tone you use to express appreciation varies depending on the type of document. A thesis should always recognise supervisors, while a novel might thank agents and editors, and a government report might refer to other agencies.

Consider these contributors:

  • supervisors who provided academic or professional guidance
  • organisations who provided financial or in-kind support
  • individuals and organisations who provided helpful information, data or advice, or specific services
  • family and friends who provided personal support.

Consider these tips:

  • put the most important and significant contributions first
  • keep the tone consistent with the style of the document
  • keep the length in proportion with the document
  • convey a professional image.

Acknowledgements usually appear at the beginning of a document, but there is an increasing trend to place them, together with other preliminary pages, at the end of the document.

Spelling in Australia includes both acknowledgement (with a middle “e”) and acknowledgment. Remember to be consistent throughout.

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