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Useful Expressions For Dissertation

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Useful expressions for acknowledgement: samples and examples

Expressing gratitude

  • I am deeply grateful to someone
  • I am indebt to someone
  • I want to thank someone
  • I would (particularly) like to thank someone
  • I would like to express my gratitude to someone
  • I would like to express the deepest appreciation to someone
  • My deepest [heartfelt] appreciation goes to someone
  • I would like to show my greatest appreciation to someone
  • Special thanks (also) to someone
  • I would like to offer my special thanks to someone
  • I owe a very important debt to someone
  • I owe my deepest gratitude to someone

Acknowledging comments and support

  • Discussions with A and B have been illuminating [insightful]
  • I appreciate the feedback offered by someone
  • I have greatly benefited from someone
  • I have had the support and encouragement of someone
  • I received generous support from someone
  • My intellectual debt is to someone
  • someone gives insightful comments and suggestions
  • someone has been (greatly, extraordinarily) tolerant and supportive ...
  • someone gives me constructive comments and warm encouragement
  • someone made enormous contribution to ...
  • someone's support [encouragement, suggestions, comments] were invaluable
  • someone's meticulous comments were an enormous help to me
  • Advice and comments given by someone has been a great help in...
  • I am particularly grateful for the assistance given by someone

  • Without his/her guidance and persistent help this paper [dissertation, thesis] would not have been possible.
  • Without his/her encouragement [help, guidance], this paper [dissertation, project] would not have materialized.

  • I thank someone for permission to use [include] ...
  • I would also like to express my gratitude to someone for their financial support.

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It’s very common for students to use long words they don’t understand very well in their essays and theses because they have a certain idea of what academic writing should be. Many students believe that academic writing is wordy and convoluted, and uses a lot of jargon. This leads many students to fall into a trap of imagining that the longer the word, the more impressive and intelligent their writing will seem.

We often see long sentences and multisyllabic words where shorter sentences and simpler words would do. Some students even use Microsoft Word’s thesaurus function to replace a common word with a more complicated word. This is a risky move, because unless you’re very careful, the new word may not carry quite the same meaning as the original, even if it’s similar.

The result can range from funny to confusing, which defeats the purpose of academic writing: to be as clear and concise as possible, using just the right words to convey your argument. Using uncommon words, instead of making your paper seem smarter, generally detracts from your ideas.

To avoid this, using linking or transition words that signpost your arguments can help to clarify your views and show the reader what to expect from certain paragraphs or sentences. These words give structure to the whole, helping you to organise your ideas and assist the reader in understanding them.

We have prepared some flashcards containing linking words you can use in academic writing.

CLICK HERE to download these FREE flashcards

Below is a handy list of words that are both useful and appropriate to academic language.

Describing similarities




Not only… but also

In the same way


Showing cause and effect


As a result


Hence (never ‘hence why’)

Since (try to avoid ‘as’ when showing cause and effect)




This suggests that

It follows that

For this reason

Comparing and contrasting




On the other hand



On the contrary

Showing limitation or contradiction

Despite/in spite of

While (not whilst!)

Even so

On the contrary





Emphasis, addition or examples

To illustrate

To clarify

Further (not ‘furthermore’)

First, second and third (not firstly, secondly and thirdly)

For instance




In fact


In addition


To summarise

It can be concluded that

As can be seen


Given the above

As described



We have prepared some flashcards containing linking words you can use in academic writing.

CLICK HERE to download these FREE flashcards


Pro tip

The best way to get better at writing academic language is to read academic writing. You’ll pick up all sorts of useful tips from published papers in your area of study.