Such formal thanks are usually in the first paragraph or two.
Interestingly, our Guide to Theses and Dissertations states that you should “Only acknowledge people or institutions that have contributed to the content of your thesis” (14). I have seen people thank their dog for sitting at their feet for hundreds of hours, the cat for its companionable choice of the thesis draft as a place to settle down for a nap, and God for creating a magnificent universe available to be studied.
'References' are notes (or, citations) made by the writer or writers when quoting other authors or when supplying additional information that supports (or otherwise expands on) something claimed in the text in question.
They may appear at the bottom of the page or in a separate section at the end of the text.
This makes sense according to the logic of incremental progression because the informal thanks to family are often the most heartfelt.
Close family members are often the people who gave the most (although some supervisors are likely to feel this is not true).
You can simply include an acknowledgements page in your paper.
Or, if the project is multimedia, you can include them at the end of a video presentation.
Here are some useful phrases that have already become an industry standard for production of this dissertation section: “I have been lucky enough to have a chance to spend a few years of my life holding this research” “I am deeply grateful to some people who did their best to put me on the right track” “I owe a sincere thank you to …” “The research for this study was generously funded by…” “I am particularly indebted to…
for instrumental support and advice in the development and publication of my research” “I owe a huge debt of gratitude to [my family] for immense support, love, and patience” “Special thanks is reserved for …” “I would also like to extend thanks to …” Even the most experienced researchers may get stuck with completing a good acknowledgement page, especially if they have many people to give thanks to.