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Basically there are three possibilities:

  1. add just a 'Acknowledgement' section as last section of you introduction chapter
  2. put it at the end - between the last appendix and the bibliography
  3. put it after the abstract page and before the table of contents

I see 1 a lot in books and 2 a lot in thesis documents. 3 is suggested by the KOMA guide (not - see edit).

To implement 3 I would just use a second abstract environment in KOMA script (with a redefined abstract name):

\documentclass[twoside,abstracton]{scrreprt}
\usepackage[english]{babel}
\title{title}
\author{author}
\begin{document}
\maketitle
\begin{abstract}
One
\end{abstract}
%\KOMAoptions{abstract=false}
\renewcaptionname{english}{\abstractname}{Acknowledgements}
\begin{abstract}
Two
\end{abstract}
\tableofcontents 
\chapter{Chapter}
text
\end{document}

How would you implement the third choice?

What is the best choice from an aesthetic/type-setting point of view?

Edit: Uh, I mixed up the numbers regarding the KOMA guide. The guide actually recommends 2:

Acknowledgements in the introduction? No, the proper acknowledgements can be found in the addendum. My comments here are not intended for the authors of this guide — and those thanks should rightly come from you, the reader, anyhow. I, the author of KOMA - Script, would like to extend my personal thanks to Frank Neukam.[..]

Hm, 'Special Thanks' vs. 'Acknowledgements' ...

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2 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Does your institution not specify where to put an acknowledgement section for your thesis? Usually they have pretty draconian rules about that sort of thing. Personally, I think that 2 seems like a terrible choice for a thesis. For papers, you typically have acknowledgement, bibliography, appendices, in that order. For a thesis, the acknowledgements should be in the front matter.

For example, one thesis guideline I'm looking at right now shows dedication, epigraph, table of contents, lists of {abbreviations, figures, schemes, tables, etc.}, preface, acknowledgements, vita, abstract, introduction, etc. So that's similar to 3 except that the abstract comes a long way after table of contents in the front matter.

I guess I don't really have an opinion about 1.

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8  
In the USA, institutions typically have draconian (and often impressively ugly) requirements for thesis formatting. In Europe, it is much more flexible, and up to the student to decide. –  Lev Bishop Sep 19 '10 at 1:40
1  
@Lev Bishop: +1 for impressively ugly. =/ –  TH. Sep 19 '10 at 2:00
    
Tes, my (european) institution does not specify it. But this really depends on your institution or faculty - even in europe ;) –  maxschlepzig Sep 24 '10 at 9:12
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I put it next to the colophon (yes, I have a colophon. I’m vain that way) in the appendix.

A colophon holds information about the software and fonts used to produce a document. I think it’s somewhat fitting to put the acknowledgements next to it since both are a list of “entities” that supported you in producing the text.

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