The help that the writer has received from persons or institutions during the research and writing process is often acknowledged in the finished text. Below, advice is given on how to write such acknowledgements in academic texts.
In academic writing it is appropriate to give credit to funding bodies, departments and individuals who have been of help during the project, for instance by supporting it financially or by giving feedback on the text during its composition and revising stages. Such brief written notes of thanks are called acknowledgements.
In journal articles, there may be a brief note indicating gratitude to those who have been of help, whereas acknowledgements in book-length studies (e.g. doctoral theses) will sometimes be considerably longer. Departments and publishers have guidelines and standards for how such acknowledgements should be phrased. Likewise, some funding bodies provide guidelines as to how their contribution should be credited.
Generally, acknowledgements contain the following elements:
- Full name of all individuals who are being thanked.
- A brief statement as to what kind of help the writer has received from each individual, group of people, scholarship, etc.
In some disciplines, ethical clearance or some other kind of permission is needed, and it is often stated in the acknowledgements that such permission has been granted.
A note on spelling: 'acknowledgement' can also be spelled 'acknowledgment'.