Do you think it should be included only at the end of the examination process? Graduates’ gratitude: The generic structure of dissertation acknowledgements.
Some examiners get irritated when names of top scholars whom the candidate probably met and chatted with at a conference are acknowledged with the hope of influencing the examiners.
Some examiners questioned the role of GOD in a thesis and want scientific evidence to support claims of divine assistance!
He offers his reflection on the acknowledgements, and the results of his research on whether or not acknowledgments influence examiners–do click on the link to his interesting article.
I am beginning to get the notion that acknowledgments humanise the examination process.
As an example, not mentioning the supervisors or not writing enough about the supervisors tends to be perceived as a lack of humility–the reaction to this is that the examiners tend to be less tolerant of the student’s mistakes.
On the contrary, some examines think that the supervisors should not be acknowledged at all until the successful completion of the thesis.
When my own student’s thesis was returned with compliments on the acknowledgments, I was interested in how the examiner reconciled this knowledge of the student with the result they awarded.
I was furious when a doctoral examiner was extremely critical of a single mother I knew by being picky on aspects which the other examiners commented were exemplary– I wanted to tell the examiner ! As an examiner myself, I become very inquisitive when a candidate writes paragraphs of praise for distant relatives and merely pens 2-3 lines on the supervisor.
Thus, the final outcome is purely based on the content.
Some, like me, tend to be more formative in the assessment if the acknowledgments show struggles.