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Writing an Acknowledgment: Tips and Samples

written by: Amber Neely•edited by: Linda Richter•updated: 4/16/2012

You got some help either writing a paper, or someone contributed to your program, or you're just looking for a helpful way to thank someone you love for being there while you wrote your book. Sounds like you need these helpful tips and examples that can help you learn to write an acknowledgment!

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    Acknowledgement in book An acknowledgment is something that is written to express gratitude toward someone for helping you out during a time of need. They appear in the fronts of books, the ends of papers, and in pamphlets for everything from school plays to food drives and more. Writing one is nice, but sometimes it's more than that. There's a sense of obligation to write traditions for things like papers and dissertations, to recognize members and businesses in the community who have helped out non-profit organizations and community functions, and the loved ones who have supported you as you were working on your own publications. As you can see, there are a lot of different types that can be written, and there are multiple styles that they can be written in. Here are a few samples of acknowledgments that should easily be able to help you writing the perfect expression in no time flat.

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    Use in Papers and Dissertations

    Sometimes it's a nice thing to thank the people who have guided you through writing an educational piece, such as a thesis or a dissertation. For one of these occasions, there are a few different ways you can write this, but here are two of my personal favorite and widely acceptable ways to write an acknowledgment. This first one thanks a specific person, normally the professor or supervisor (in some cases, that is the same person) who helped you write the paper.

    ACKNOWLEDGMENT

    This paper could not be written to its fullest without [Doctor Smith], who served as my supervisor, as well as one who challenged and encouraged me throughout my time spent studying under him. He would have never accepted anything less than my best efforts, and for that, I thank him.

    [Your Name]

    This second one thanks more than one person, usually a series of professors, supervisors, colleges, and/or employers, and includes the ways that they helped. This is a professional way to recognize several people without making one seem more important than the others.

    ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

    I wish to thank everyone who helped me complete this dissertation. Without their continued efforts and support, I would have not been able to bring my work to a successful completion.

    Dr. T.S. Smith: for guidance

    Mr. J. Jones: for his scholarship and participation in my study

    Dr. S. Brown: for advice and the use of her lab

    Ms. C. McMurray: For formatting and editing

    [Your Name]

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    Acknowledgement of Donations

    It's considered polite to write an acknowledgment when someone donates something to a community program or non-profit organization, such as a local business donating items to a school charity auction, or an individual who has helped build a stage for a local town festival. There are quite a few different ways to write one of these acknowledgments, but just be sure that you include the name of the individual or his business. Some people also like to include what was donated, whether it was money, goods, or time and effort - but this is optional! Here's an example of what this might look like:

    ACKNOWLEDGMENT & THANKS

    Cherrywood High School would like to thank the following people and businesses for their contributions:

    Johnson's Hardware

    Mr. Alex Smith

    Jack Brown's Friends & Family

    Of course, if you wanted to include what individual places donated, you can always do that as well. Here's what that kind of acknowledgment would look like as well:

    ACKNOWLEDGMENT & THANKS

    The Cherrygrove High School drama club would like to thank the local businesses and individuals who have donated goods, money, and time and effort to the production of Little Shop of Horrors. A big thanks goes out to:

    Fresh Produce Grocery & Bakery: for donating pop, snacks, and food to our program.

    John's Pizza: for donating $1,000 to help pay for the cost of costumes and props.

    J. Jones: for building our set and being our general handyman.

    Kara McDonald: for donating $400 to help with advertising our great program!

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    Sentimental Acknowledgments

    Of course, there are the more sentimental acknowledgments. They are the ones we write to our families, our friends, our spouses... The kind that you frequently see in the beginnings of books. There really is no specific way to write these; generally they are very short and very sweet. Here are a few samples of acknowledgments with a sentimental feelings to them:

    To My Wife,

    For her constant love and support, and remembering to feed me when I couldn't remember to feed myself.

    To Julie,

    The light of my life, my rock, my safe place.

    To My Mother,

    Without her none of this would be possible.

    To Bingo,

    Perhaps the most faithful companion I've had. I love him, fleas and all.

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