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What are acknowledgments?

Giving credit to those who have contributed to a piece of writing.

Acknowledgements: Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

Acknowledgements are the often-overlooked section at the beginning of a book or at the end of a research paper, in which the author graciously thanks those who have contributed to the creation of their work. This section serves both a social and an academic purpose by recognizing the hard work and dedication of others, while also providing insight into the process of writing or research.

Whether it be an editor who improved the overall structure of a novel, a scholarly colleague who offered in-depth research assistance that allowed the author to weave together complex arguments with ease, or a friend or family member who offered unwavering support throughout the writing process, acknowledgements allow writers to give credit where credit is due.

Acknowledgements: Where Credit is Given in Literature

From classic literature to modern-day bestsellers, acknowledgements have been a staple of the publishing process for centuries. Here are two examples of how acknowledgements have been used in literature to recognize the contributions of others:

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald's classic novel is dedicated to his wife, Zelda, and includes a brief acknowledgement to his editor, Maxwell Perkins, who helped shape the book into its final form. This acknowledgement highlights the importance of having a great editor to work with as a writer, and shows the deep gratitude authors often feel towards those who help make their work the best it can be.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

In her acknowledgements, Collins thanks her children for inspiring her with their love of nature, and also expresses her gratitude towards the many librarians and teachers who helped shape her as a writer. This acknowledgement highlights the many people who can inspire and support writers, and underscores the importance of community in the creative process.