Thesis Thanks Page

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Acknowledgements are non-consequential in that a student is not evaluated on them, unlike the rest of the prose they have laboured over.

Some acknowledgement pages give away the secret of their authors’ difficulty with formal prose, and it doesn’t matter—by the time anyone reads them, the author has been found acceptable.

That this was not done was due to my inability to express quantitatively the relationship I sought.” Irving Isaacson ’36 wrote an economics and sociology thesis on “Would a System of Government Ownership, Properly Administered, Provide the Necessary Flexibility in Our Price System?

” By the mid-1930s, he wrote in his thesis, the Great Depression had taken a “terrific toll — in life, in health, in security, in money, in suffering, and in want.” Acknowledgments and dedications in senior theses were rare up through the 1950s.

If footnotes are used, the work can be done there, for example, with footnotes that state “I am indebted to xxx for several discussions that helped me to focus this section”.

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Without footnotes, more formal provision of a ‘personal conversation’ reference will do the same work.(Mount Holyoke College photograph) Paul Bomely ’76, writing a government thesis on “Mark-up Sessions and Congressional Decision-making: A Case Study,” dedicated his thesis to “Martha” for “her advice, her patience, and her faith, because she always understood.” “Martha” was Martha Brown ’76, then Paul’s fiancée and a fellow government major. Terrance Amsler ’96, writing an English thesis on “Negotiating Public and Poetic Ground: The Poetry of Mahon, Carson, and Mc Guckian,” dedicated his thesis to his mom, “who, for every hour I spent typing, you knit two, purl two, making me a vest of Irish wool and familial love.” Roger Thies ’55 put a cover page on his biology thesis, “A Study of the Effects of Ultraviolet Light on Bacterial Viruses” that said, “This Is Thies’s Thesis.” He wasn’t done being inventive with his name.Paul and Martha were married just a couple weeks after their graduation, on June 19, 1976, and will celebrate their 40th anniversary this spring. When he married Nancy Tanner, they joined names as Nancy and Roger Tanner Thies.Paul Wason ’76, writing a biology thesis on “The Domestication and Early Dispersal of Cotton as It Relates to the Possibility of Pre-Columbian Contacts Between the New World and the Old,” thanked a legion of friends for helping with typing (lots of people were thanked for typing back then) noting that “no matter how much planning is done, there is always a rush at the end.” At the end of his thanks to all his friends who helped, Wason added, “Thanks, also, to others who offered to help.” Brooks Motley ’06 wrote a geology thesis on “Sedimentation in Linnévatnet, Svalbard, During 2004–2005: A Modern Process Study Using Sediment Traps.” He toasted his adviser, Mike Retelle, by saying that “the next Interface Pale Ale in a leaky Zodiak is on me.” The “leaky Zodiak” refers to a brand of rubber boat. Paul Phillips ’18 of New Gloucester, Maine, Chrissy Mc Cabe ’16 of Bronxville, N. I., sip their “Interface Pale Ale” last summer during research work in Svalbard with Professor of Geology Mike Retelle.(Photograph by Mike Retelle) Robert Pladek ’76 wrote a government thesis on “Politics of the Funnies: The Influence of Political Cartoons on Public Perception of Political Leaders.” The project required a survey, which he did by enlisting a crew of Bates friends, who, he noted in his acknowledgments, sacrificed a “Saturday morning to stand out in the cold.” They were Jim Geitz ’77, Liz Mac Kie Venturato ’76, Lisa Dimock ’77, Rick Dwyer ’78, Brenda Flanagan Pladek ’76, Sue Archard Robert ’76, the late Polly Howlett ’76, Bill Nagel ’76, Rich Rothman ’79, Bruce Penney ’76, and Jan Malatesta Penney ’77.Most thank funders, supervisors, close colleagues and family. This means it is effectively a snub if someone important is not thanked.Typically the structure moves from thanking the most formal support to the least formal thanks as detailed above–funders, supervisors, other academics, colleagues, and finally family.But acknowledgements do matter because in amongst the celebration the right people need to be thanked in the right sort of way.The acknowledgement pages I have looked at vary considerably.Robert Blake ’55, in his thesis on “An Investigation of Paper Chromatography as a Means to Identify Plant Genotypes,” included a Lewiston business in one of the first acknowledgments, thanking Saunders Greenhouse, which used to be on Main Street in Lewiston near the Veterans Bridge, for their “kind cooperation.” Nicholas Steverson ’15 wrote an English thesis on “’To my Virginity!’: Queerness, Silencing, and Dominicanity in Díaz’s To Julia, Kim, Megan, Cristal, Anwar, Ayman, Alli, Aisha, Sam, Brett, Erryl, Kelsey, Munir, Prosper, Fabi, and all the folks at Tree Street for giving me a home in Maine, for giving me a way to be proud of my work every day, for understanding that I had to do this one last weird thing before I could be there all the time.” Tree Street Youth Center was founded by Julia Sleeper ’08 and Kim Sullivan ’13. “When we recover a sediment core or sediment trap from the bottom of a lake we’re researching for the first time, or if it’s the first core for a student’s geo thesis, it’s a tradition to drink the clear water above the sediment,” he explains. Hopefully, the bottom water is fresh and cool, not rich in reduced sulfur, that is, with a rotten-egg smell.” Retelle notes that a former honors student, Wes Farnsworth ’11, has “carried on the IPA tradition” for his doctoral thesis in Nordaustlandet, in northeastern Svalbard.


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