GUIDELINES FOR WRITING ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
A page of acknowledgements is usually included at the beginning of a Final Year Project, immediately after the Table of Contents.
Acknowledgements enable you to thank all those who have helped in carrying out the research. Careful thought needs to be given concerning those whose help should be acknowledged and in what order. The general advice is to express your appreciation in a concise manner and to avoid strong emotive language.
Note that personal pronouns such as 'I, my, me …' are nearly always used in the acknowledgements while in the rest of the project such personal pronouns are generally avoided.
The following list includes those people who are often acknowledged.
Note however that every project is different and you need to tailor your acknowledgements to suit your particular situation.
Other academic staff in your department
Technical or support staff in your department
Academic staff from other departments
Other institutions, organizations or companies
* If you wish to acknowledge the help of family members or friends make sure you restrict the wording of your thanks to a relatively formal register.
Study the two examples below. In each one, the acknowledgement of a friend and a family member has been expressed in an inappropriate manner. Read the acknowledgement and then answer the questions that follow.
I wish to thank my boyfriend Jack for his assistance with the statistics used in this report.
This sounds too personal. Why? Type your suggestions here.
How could it be improved? Type your revised version here
I would like to thank my mother for providing me with delicious dinners when I came home late from the university.
This sounds too personal. Why? Type your suggestions here.
How could it be improved? Type your revised version here.
Common expressions used to acknowledge assistance
The following vocabulary/phrases are often used when expressing acknowledgements and they may be of help when writing your own acknowledgements.
|I would like to express my very great appreciation to ***|
I would like to offer my special thanks to ***
Advice given by *** has been a great help in ***
I am particularly grateful for the assistance given by ***
Assistance provided by *** was greatly appreciated.
I wish to acknowledge the help provided by ***
Dr *** provided me with very valuable ***
I would like to thank the following companies for their assistance with the collection of my data:
My special thanks are extended to the staff of *** company for ***
Read through the following examples of acknowledgements taken (with permission) from past students' final year projects.
I would like to express my very great appreciation to Dr *** for his valuable and constructive suggestions during the planning and development of this research work. His willingness to give his time so generously has been very much appreciated.
I would also like to thank the staff of the following organizations for enabling me to visit their offices to observe their daily operations:
I would like to express my deep gratitude to Professor *** and Professor ***, my research supervisors, for their patient guidance, enthusiastic encouragement and useful critiques of this research work. I would also like to thank Dr. ***, for her advice and assistance in keeping my progress on schedule. My grateful thanks are also extended to Mr. *** for his help in doing the meteorological data analysis, to Ms ***, who helped me calculate the wind pressure coefficient and to Ms *** and Mr. *** for their support in the site measurement.
I would also like to extend my thanks to the technicians of the laboratory of the *** department for their help in offering me the resources in running the program.
Finally, I wish to thank my parents for their support and encouragement throughout my study.
I wish to thank various people for their contribution to this project; Mr. *** and Ms ***, for their valuable technical support on this project; Mr. *** and Ms ***, staff of *** Government Office, for their help in collecting the plant data and all the technicians who helped me in handling the instruments.
The extended essay should be written in a clear, correct and formal academic style, appropriate to the subject from which the topic is drawn. Given that the extended essay is a formally written research paper, it should strive to maintain a professional, academic look.
To help achieve this, the following formatting is required:
- 12-point, readable font (Calibri or Times New Roman);
- double spacing throughout entire Essay;
- page numbering - top right corner;
- no candidate or school name or supervisor name on the title page or page headers.
Submitting the extended essay in the required format will help set the tone of the essay and will aid readability for on-screen assessment by examiners.
The structure of the essay is very important. It helps students to organize the argument, making the best use of the evidence collected.
There are six required elements of the final work to be submitted. More details about each element are given in the “Presentation” section. Please note that the order in which these elements are presented here is not necessarily the order in which they should be written.
Six required elements of the extended essay:
- Title page
- Contents page
- Body of the essay
- References and bibliography -- if MLA "Works Cited" if CSE "References"
1. Required Title Page
The title page should include only the following information:
- the title of the essay
- the research question
- the subject the essay is registered in (if it is a language essay also state which category it falls into; if a world studies essay also state the theme and the two subjects utilized)
- word count
The upper limit is 4,000 words for all extended essays.
Please note: Examiners are instructed not to read or assess any material in excess of the word limit. This means that essays containing more than 4,000 words will be compromised across all assessment criteria. Given the holistic nature of the assessment criteria, students who write in excess of the word limit will self-penalize across all criteria.
2. Required Contents Page
A contents page must be provided at the beginning of the extended essay and all pages should be numbered. Please note that an index page is not required and if included will be treated as if it is not present.
3. Required Introduction
The introduction should tell the reader what to expect in the essay. The introduction should make clear to the reader the focus of the essay, the scope of the research, in particular an indication of the sources to be used, and an insight into the line of argument to be taken.
While students should have a sense of the direction and key focus of their essay, it is sometimes advisable to finalize the introduction once the body of the essay is complete.
4. Required Body of the Essay (research, analysis, discussion, and evaluation)
The main task is writing the body of the essay, which should be presented in the form of a reasoned argument. The form of this varies with the subject of the essay but as the argument develops it should be clear to the reader what relevant evidence has been discovered, where/how it has been discovered and how it supports the argument. In some subjects, for example, the sciences, sub-headings within the main body of the essay will help the reader to understand the argument (and will also help the student to keep on track). In structuring their extended essay, students must take into consideration the expected conventions of the subject in which their extended essay is registered.
Once the main body of the essay is complete, it is possible to finalize the introduction (which tells the reader what to expect) and the conclusion (which says what has been achieved, including notes of any limitations and any questions that have not been resolved).
Any information that is important to the argument must not be included in appendices or footnotes/endnotes. The examiner will not read notes or appendices, so an essay that is not complete in itself will be compromised across the assessment criteria.
5. Required Conclusion
The conclusion says what has been achieved, including notes of any limitations and any questions that have not been resolved. While students might draw conclusions throughout the essay based on their findings, it is important that there is a final, summative conclusion at the end. This conclusion(s) must relate to the research question posed.
6. Required References & Bibliography
Students should use their chosen style of academic referencing as soon as they start writing. That way they are less likely to forget to include a citation. It is also easier than trying to add references at a later stage. For more information on this, refer to the guidelines in the IB document Effective citing and referencing.
Writing the essay takes time but if students have used their Researcher's reflection space and reflection sessions in a meaningful way they should be well prepared to develop their arguments.