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Thesis Acknowledgements

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by paramour, Apr 11, 2007.

  1. paramour

    paramour 7+ Year Member

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    Hrm, so this has been in the back of my mind for several weeks now. 'Tis not particularly relevant to tomorrow's defense but I'm wondering if I should include an Acknowledgements page in the 'final' copy of my thesis.

    It's not a required component for my program--heck, no one's even completed a thesis defense in approximately 5 years--so I'm unsure if this is expected, standard, simply a 'nice touch' or what . . . I'm getting "a little something" for my committee members anyway, but should I also be thanking them (and any others) profusely so it's carved in stone forevermore?

    And as an aside, I don't care what anyone else says, I remain adamant that I will absolutely, positively not be providing 'complimentary' bound copies to my committee members. $75/copy seems excessive for something that is highly likely to change anyway in order to submit to journals. But, I digress . . .

    Thoughts? On the Acknowledgements section, that is! :laugh:
     
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  3. irish80122

    irish80122 DCT at Miss State U. Faculty 10+ Year Member

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    You don't get to be done with your thesis since I just spent 12 hours today working on mine and it isn't even near being done! In fact it will probably be torn apart by my advisor tomorrow, but I digress. I would include the page, it doesn't take much to do it and it is a good gesture.
     
  4. WaitingKills

    WaitingKills Rockstar 5+ Year Member

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    Acknowledgements were seen as necessary, but not required, in my program.

    I HAD to write an acknowledgement page, and acknowledge one of my supervisors for all her wonderful help when she was a back stabbing bitch who said damaging stuff behind my back to ruin my reputation. It was horrible. She would say things that I wasn't sending her copies of my progress on my thesis and when I showed her the email in question which I sent her the month before, she then stated that I should have checked up to make sure she got it (she in reality deleted it without reading it and was deflecting responsibility), even though it was never bounced back and has never had probs with her email. There were many other situations like this like lying to me about what my co-supervisor said about me and then when I stated I wanted to have a group meeting with the three of us to straighten it out, she blaitently stated that I need to focus on my thesis and don't want to get anyone 'offside' at the moment, and the meeting was completely unnecessary. Ahhh, I could go on for hours, but this isn't about my ****ty supervisor.

    I would say to include one. It'll give you the chance to thank those that you truly want to thank for their support. I did my 2 supervisors, 2 other faculty members that pulled me out of a whole that my one supervisor caused, my then boyfriend, my parents, and appropriately - the participants of the study.

    You don't have to go into depth and it'll only take like 10-15 min to write. Just do a sentence or two for each person you wish to thank.

    If your next supervisor looks at your thesis, it'll look appropriate and good for pc within the academic world.

    (sorry that this was so off topic)
     
  5. paramour

    paramour 7+ Year Member

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    :laugh: Awww, poor irish. And, sorry, but as much work (and lack of sleep) that I've put in as of late, I have to be done! I've started referring to my thesis chair as "the almighty one". I spend 9-12 hours/day on my thesis, submit it, and he tears it to shreds . . . even after he comments that he's "very pleased" and it's allegedly "excellent work". This whole process has been very trying. He keeps telling me "almost done" and "just a few more changes" for over a week now. And, here I am, the day of my defense, making revisions, albeit minor ones . . . but still!

    If it makes you feel any better, I will likely be making revisions after my defense and then I have to submit it to the dean of the grad school for him to shred & make requests before I can send it to the bindery. :rolleyes: Soo, probably another week or so before I'm truly finished writing.

    hehe, that word currently throws me for some giggles. Bindery. 'Get thee to a bindery!' Sounds naughty. :laugh:

    ANYWAY, I was leaning towards the page, but damnit, I only recently got it trimmed to < 50 pages and I don't want to bump the page count back up. This stupid paper they're making me use is expensive! Silly, eh?

    G'luck! :luck:
     
  6. paramour

    paramour 7+ Year Member

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    Thanks, Waiting!

    I honestly was considering going ahead & including it but wasn't so sure if it would be seen as overkill for a thesis as I mostly hear about it in respect to dissertations. I actually already have a rough draft of one I've been working on periodically ever since the thought initially came up, so a few tweakings and I should be good to go.

    I, thankfully, am truly grateful for the work of my chair . . . and maybe a few other people to some lesser extent. The almighty one (see previous post) has been absolutely awesome this entire time. If it wasn't for him, I would not even have been able to investigate something semi-related to my main research interests. I could gush for quite some time about the guy--which I refuse to do because it will sound like I have a huge crush on him . . . and mayhaps I do (purely academic, of course--I swear!). ;) That, and it irks people that I like him so much when they have difficulty working with him. Ah, well. Their loss, my gain.

    Thanks, again--between you & irish, I now won't feel like a complete nitwit to include it. :)
     
  7. KillerDiller

    KillerDiller 7+ Year Member

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    Maybe you can just make your acknowledgements at your defense. Each department does their defenses differently, so it will depend on how yours is organized, but it may be a more public way of thanking the faculty who helped you. Are you using a power point presentation? Slipping a slide in at the end thanking everyone is even easier than writing an extra page for the bound copy.
     
  8. psychwanabe

    psychwanabe 7+ Year Member

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    In my program there aren't any requirements for an Acknowledgements page, but I intend to put one in. I think you (and everyone else who has already commented) are spot-on with the idea that, required or not, it's a nice touch. Professional, obligatory. You never know when that small thing will be remembered! ;)

    Okay, and I know this is off-topic, but I have to thank you both for these comments. I have been going through hell and back dealing with my mentor on my thesis (and in everyday life in general). I want to just hand it to over and say "Here! write the damn thing yourself!!" This person has been making my life a living hell in more than one way, and the fact that I have to give over my baby and let it be ripped to shreds every other week is making me want to poke my eyes out!!

    Thanks for making me feel at home in the madness! :oops:
     
  9. paramour

    paramour 7+ Year Member

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    Good suggestion! But, I actually have opted not to do an electronic presentation during my defense--due to advice from my committee. Although it is technically public, no one but the committee members usually show up and since they apparently prefer a more 'conversational-discussional' type o' thing, so be it! I can certainly add that as a slide during my presentation at our research conference next week, however. In the meantime, I now have an extremely lengthy & wordy acknowledgement thanking anyone & everyone who ever assisted me the last two years, as follows:

    "Thank you for your support." :laugh:

    Well, not quite, but that's all it really boils down to anyway.



    And, during my consideration of this oh, so important page, I started remembering all the people who made it difficult for me to progress further at one time or another during this cursed process. I then imagined some interesting methods of conveying my gratitude to those who hampered me, including:

    (a) "I would like to thank x, y, and z, for supporting me, encouraging me, blah, blah, and blah . . . but, alas, I cannot!"

    or getting right to it with

    (b) "I would like to thank my thesis advisor for being an evil wench/bastard and a, b, and c. I also wish to thank y for truly screwing me over by doing d and e. And, I really want to thank z for simply hampering my life in general and making it extremely difficult to do anything. Finally, I acknowledge that the inter-library loan people were extremely unhelpful and added much stress because they were unable to process requests in a competent manner. Oh, yeah, and a big ole' shout out to those students who thought they would be smartasses, which resulted in a number of records being removed from the final analyses. Thank you very much! :smuggrin:

    Ah, the possibilities . . .
     
  10. paramour

    paramour 7+ Year Member

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    Please note that this particular sentence was not meant to convey any dislike for my thesis chair, but thought I would add it since apparently I'm one of the few around who doesn't dislike the person in this position. hehe, now I truly am grateful! However, I do have a prof who could definitely fit in this particular sentence--we were required to write the research proposal in her class and I was ready to throttle her by the end of the semester.
     
  11. KillerDiller

    KillerDiller 7+ Year Member

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    Hahaha, that would be incredible! If acknowledgements were entirely honest I probably would have had to thank the cafe at Borders first and foremost.
     
  12. psychwanabe

    psychwanabe 7+ Year Member

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    lol - too true. "And a special thanks to my favorite barista at Starbucks, who's brewing skills made it possible to stay awake and finish the 4,974th revision of this paper." :laugh:
     
  13. JockNerd

    JockNerd 5+ Year Member

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    "Acknowledgements page"? Acknowledgments go in the Author Note, third paragraph.
     
  14. WaitingKills

    WaitingKills Rockstar 5+ Year Member

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    Not always. At my uni, it was a separate page after the 'statement of access', which was after the 'Declaration of Original Work' page.

    It depends on your university.
     
  15. paramour

    paramour 7+ Year Member

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    Hmm, wonder if I can throw in SDN in PhD Comics in mine--:D
     
  16. paramour

    paramour 7+ Year Member

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    Ditto what Waiting said. There is a separate page for Acknowledgements at my university.
     
  17. CheetahGirl

    CheetahGirl Clinical Psychologist 10+ Year Member

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    I'm reviving an old thread.

    I just listed all the wonderful souls that helped me throughout my doctoral studies & well into my dissertation, and I have 35 (including my dog who passed away). And I do want to include my dog because he had a Man's name and no one but family would know it is a dog. He was badass his entire life, and gave me so much unconditional love and support that I truly feel his presence helped me navigate those late night/early morning paper writing sessions for my entire program, up until internship when he passed.

    Anyhow...personal quirkness aside. Is this just over the top, ridiculous? I have my 3 committee members, 5 really awesome faculty that really came through for me in a pinch throughout my program, 5 former professors and mentors, about 10 fellow trainees (like those in my cohort and doctoral students that went to other programs that I've become BFFs with) and I have a big family on my own (10 familial peeps to name). I really have had a football team cheering me on.

    What have others done when listing their acknowledgements for their doctoral dissertations? Would you list your folks' names and just say "Drs... XY, XX, XY, XX, XX, XY....?" or put their degrees behind each person's name (most are PhDs, but some are PsyDs and MDs).

    Any shout-outs are acceptable, rude or polite...I'll take it all. I just have been dying to write this acknowledge page for more than 7 years and don't want to diffuse the importance of anyone but let my freaking library-bound document be a testament to the deep appreciation I have and the energy I have received.

    I read someone else's acknowledgement page for a master's thesis and it seemed like the author thanked everyone under the sun...it went on for 3-pages. I don't want to be that person. But I want to express my written appreciation by listing names instead of saying " my fellow doctoral students" or "my former mentors."

    Thanks in advance.
     
  18. empathiosis

    empathiosis 10+ Year Member

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    I always read the acknowledgements section of everyone who graduates from my program and I actually think it's one of the most enjoyable parts of the dissertation. I also have come to think of it as reflective of the person. For instance, people who weren't too into the program will sometimes thank their family members and friends and no one in the program, aside from committee members. Do whatever you want, you've earned this, be yourself! I've seen people thank cats and dogs less frequently, but I've definitely seen it done, and I think it's sweet.

    If you want some examples, and you still have library privileges, just login to your library's ProQuest Digital Dissertations to see what others have done. One guy in my program thanked a ton of people, easily 35-40. I thought that was a bit much myself, but it was reflective of him. He's a super-friendly, warm-hearted guy, who felt grateful. If you're like that, this isn't the time to hide, go for it.
     
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  19. CheetahGirl

    CheetahGirl Clinical Psychologist 10+ Year Member

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    Thanks, empathiosis, for your reply - What a rough day for this turned out to be (in Paris). :( I have family in Paris and thankfully due to some FB app, they could each tell us immediately that they were okay. So scary though.



    Yes, I have read other's acknowledgements in my program, and I actually get tears when I read them. I've also been acknowledged in others' dissertations, so it's not quid pro quo, but I equally appreciated those folks' support so want to include some of them in mine. I haven't seen as many as the ones I will (most likely) add except that everyone-under-the-sun person. I consider myself a much more succinct writer now, so maybe I can get it all on there without being irritating and more endearing. But, I'll save that for some Saturday Night Fun! Writing the acknowledgement section. :zip:Woot Woot!
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2015
  20. cara susanna

    cara susanna 10+ Year Member

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    I don't think it's at all weird to acknowledge your pet. And you can list people by names--I just didn't because I was worried I might leave out someone.
     
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  21. Doctor Eliza

    Doctor Eliza Psychologist 7+ Year Member

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    I totally acknowledged my cats (who also had human names). I figured that they were significantly more helpful than a number of the faculty.
     
  22. I acknowledged the clinical population in the study and my wife and family. I don't think I acknowledged any professionals. I just felt like that page was intended to be more personally meaningful. I'm glad I did it that way, but in the final analysis the most important thing was getting it done!
     
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  23. OneNeuroDoctor

    OneNeuroDoctor Clinical Neuropsychologist 2+ Year Member

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    I lost my dog during internship too. Doctorate takes such a long time and pets have such short life spans.

    Originally I had my family members names listed, including my dog who was 13-years-old. My chair eventually had me shorten my acknowledgements to include my committee, faculty, research participants, and rather than list all the family members names to indicate my family.

    What was originally a full page was narrowed down to about 1/3 of a page.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2015
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  24. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist Psychologist 7+ Year Member

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    I thanked the Flying Spaghetti Monster for giving me the strength to finish my dissertation. That was pretty much it.
     
  25. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychologist Moderator Psychologist Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 7+ Year Member

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    I had brief acknowledgments sections in my thesis and dissertation (i.e., 2 or 3 sentences). Don't remember who I thanked exactly, but I know it included my parents, advisor, and friends.
     
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  26. CheetahGirl

    CheetahGirl Clinical Psychologist 10+ Year Member

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    Really? Can you send the Flying Spaghetti Monster my way? I found this tiny revision stating 'report all your beta values' in a table already formatted perfectly. :mad:

    Suriously, would you have thanked 35 Spaghetti Monsters individually and listed their doctoral degrees behind their names? If it's important to me, go for it, right?
     
  27. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychologist Moderator Psychologist Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 7+ Year Member

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    Hah.

    To answer the second question, I only thanked one doctor (my advisor), but had it been more, I would've gone with: "Drs. XXX, YYY, and ZZZ" rather than listing degrees. But I'm slightly lazy in that respect.
     
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  28. stw2010

    stw2010 7+ Year Member

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    I acknowledged my dog Pets are wonderful sanity keepers during grad school
     
  29. CheetahGirl

    CheetahGirl Clinical Psychologist 10+ Year Member

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    As if you all cared to know the outcome.....

    So I have written my acknowledgements and have been reduced to a blithering idiot in tears. Powerful emotion there because it was a reflection of my dissertation plus my years long training as a researcher/clinician. Wow! A lot went in to that...uh, this...dissertation, training. The whole deal.

    For future reference (for anyone searching old threads), I included all 30, listed them in groups and blanketly thanked those groups. Added two more at the last second: Our Dept Administrator (WTW! How could I forget her? She did EVERYTHING...all scheduling, patched through all phone calls, etc.) and my Nanny who takes care of my kids...holy smoke...she is the Mom away from Mom! I would've had to take kids to therapy sessions...meeting subjects....waiting outside interviews...out on date nights. Yeah, she deserves some serious acknowledgment. Oh and I thanked all my patients and research participants (thanks, OneNeuroDoctor, for the heads up).

    And I included my deceased dog...but not my cat (she's just a kitten..she has not put in her time yet). Overall, I think I was succinct (...not really) and professional. No one will know it was my dog...it reads like one of my kids (who were also included). It has exceeded the acceptable page limit, but I hear it does not matter...our program lets you put in as many pages as you want (those warm & fuzzy balanced psychodynamic/CBT programs...so understanding!). :happy:

    Thank you everyone who responded!
     
  30. futureapppsy2

    futureapppsy2 Assistant professor Moderator Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 7+ Year Member

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    Acknowledgement sections are my favorite part of theses and dissertations, and I've seen many people openly thank their pets and acknowledge them as such. I've also seen people thank significant others they broke up with later, their favorite humorist authors, etc. My favorite, though, simply read: "Thank you to all my friends and family. You've done more to help me through this process than I could ever say." I thought that was inclusive and very sweet. :)

    I honestly plan to thank some of my favorite Youtubers by first name (they aren't well known in general, so a list of random first names won't spark anything), because their work really did help me through grad school.
     
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  31. hamsterpants

    hamsterpants 7+ Year Member

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    I plan to thank my friends Pinot, Cab, and Malbec (along with my pet). :cat:
     
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