FWD: Undergraduate Writing Up Research

From: Freeman, Louise Margaret (lfreeman@mbc.edu)
Date: Fri Apr 27 2001 - 10:27:03 EDT

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    In my experience, "acknowledgements" (I assume you are talking about the final
    slide of your talk) are generally reserved for people who helped with the
    research in a concrete way... funding agencies, faculty advisors, lab
    technicians. I have never seen anyone acknowledge God in that format.
    However, many people writing a thesis put a "dedication" section before
    introduction, not unlike the dedication line of someone writing a book. In
    those sections I've seen people thank spouses, parents, children etc., who
    provided emotional support during the research. I've also seen people honor
    deceased family or friends in that manner... "Dedicated to the memory of...."
    and yes, I've seen religious people acknowledge and thank God in that context.
     I assume you will be submitting a formal paper of some sort to your advisor,
    so that might be the more appropriate way to acknowledge God. You might check
    other theses submitted to your department for guidelines as to how dedications
    are handled.

    I have also seen graduate students thank family and friends at the "public
    defense" of their thesis, (where family and friends were invited to attend,
    sort of like a mini-graduation ceremony.) A more personal acknowledgement of
    God might be more appropriate in that context, but I don't know if that's the
    kind of setting you're presenting in. But I don't see how any reasonable
    person, atheist or not, could object to a student thanking God in the same
    context as others might thank earthly parents for their support and

    Then again, there's no guarentee that a faculty advisor is a reasonable

    Best of luck with your decision and presentation.

    Louise Freeman

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