Art of acknowledgement

My PhD thesis was prefaced with the acknowledgements that began as follows.

In Korea, during a graduation ceremony, a graduand offers her cap to the people she dedicates her academic achievement to. This ritualised tradition is meant to remind the student that she would not have been where she is on the day, had it not been for the ‘support network’ around her. Since I was young, I have always thought this is a beautiful practice. For the same reason, I enjoy reading acknowledgements in the beginning of books – so much so that I secretly rehearsed in my head what I should say in mine once the thesis was, someday, finished. Imagining the day when I write this page has helped me tide over the low-key moments of my four-and-a-half-year journey of doctoral research.

A little sappy, I admit, but I meant every word. And I still do love reading acknowledgements. I have recently learnt that there are also academic papers on acknowledgements and love reading them too.

Earlier today I saw the latest strip of PhD Comics on this exact topic shared around in my social media feeds. That reminded me of a few other good ones I have seen. 🙂



  • RT @AcademicsSay The “anti-acknowledgement” section. […] (16 October 2014)


  • RT @PabloK When the US Immigration Service makes science happen. Another entry in the joyous acknowledgement series. […] (12 December 2013)



  • RT @Not_Ophelia This is too good. From Brendan Pietsch’s “Dispensational Modernism” #acwri @AcademicsSay @AcademiaObscura (9 January 2016)


  • RT @AcademiaObscura Acknowledgments win. | @katherine_mcdon (23 November 2016)


  • RT @normative Finally, an honest academic book preface. (20 April 2017)

  • RT @RareNeilPearson Nice — but P. G. Wodehouse got there in 1910. #AGentlemanOfLeisure (31 August 2017)

  • RT @jesswade Romance is not dead, it’s just behind a paywall. 🔬 🇨🇳 💍 #sciencetwitter (11 January 2018)

  • RT @sian_troath Why I always read book acknowledgements 😂 (5 April 2019)

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