A Contrastive Study on the Generic Structure and Socio-pragmatic Proclivities in Acknowledgements

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Tuğba Elif Toprak Yıldız, Yasemin Aksoyalp


The present study aimed to investigate the rhetorical organization of acknowledgements
accompanying Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) dissertations written in English by native speakers
of English and Turkish, and gain insights into the underlying socio-pragmatic proclivities. To
this end, the macro-textual analysis of 136 PhD dissertations was conducted in light of Hyland
and Tse’s (2004) coding scheme. The findings revealed that more than half of PhD dissertation
acknowledgements in both corpora consisted of only thanking move while the most commonly
used step was thanking for academic assistance, followed by thanking for moral support.
Moreover, the findings of the study also revealed that the acknowledgement section in PhD
dissertations goes beyond being merely a part of a given dissertation and reflects social and
cultural characteristics as well. The findings were discussed, and the implications were made.

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