Understanding the difference between a reference and a dissertation acknowledgement is, knowing the difference between similar and same. Same things are similar but similar things are not always the same. Sounds confusing? It is actually a very simple fact. A dissertation reference is indeed an acknowledgement of the sources used for the research but an acknowledgement is not exactly a reference.

In order to understand the difference between these two parts of a dissertation, you must know what these terms stand for. Most students are familiar with dissertation references or bibliography. This is the page which lists out the sources which was used for reference for the research conducted. It is a very systematically arranged list which must abide by the rules laid down by the manual of the dissertation format used for that particular document. This would be alphabetically arranged with all the details of the sources including the page numbers, year of publishing and also the publisher’s name.

This is, as can be most reasonably argued, is an acknowledgement of their contribution to your research. This is the most important part of your dissertation and you will be subject to prosecution if you forget to include this page. These sources are the formal guides and support of your research and must be formally credited for their contribution. Even though it is also technically an acknowledgement, the matter given under the heading of ‘dissertation acknowledgement‘ is not the same as that given in the reference page.

If you think that the sources will give you all the help you need to complete your research, you are wrong. Dissertation writing is a very long process. It takes months and sometimes years to complete. There are many other people who would be part of your process obviously and less prominently. But these are people whom you could not have done without.

To start with, you will definitely have an advisor who taught you the fundamentals of dissertation writing and guided you through the process. Then there would be your friends who offered their help in less conspicuous ways like helping you write down the draft or getting you the books you need from the library. Then there would be your family who stood by you through the tedious process and saw that you were provided with all that you needed during the research. There would also be those who contributed to your research without really knowing it; like a librarian who offered to keep the most necessary material for you.

These are people whom you cannot list out in your bibliography as they are not directly involved in your research. But they deserve to be on the list as much as your sources. That is where a dissertation acknowledgement comes into the scene. This is an informal announcement or a personal tribute to all those who helped you, unofficially, with your research. This is a very personal announcement of gratification to all those who made your research a success.

Unlike a dissertation reference page, there is no specific pattern for a dissertation acknowledgement. Hence it depends on you as to how good it turns out to be. If you want it to be written in the most beautiful words but do not know how to go about it, our writers will be able to help you with it.