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How to write a thank-you note

How to write a thank-you note

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Make a list of everyone you need to thank. If your thank-yous are the result of a party in your honor, write down the names of those who sent or brought a bounty, whether it came by mail, email, carrier pigeon or in person. Then add in the friends who did anything to help out with the get-together—planning, decorating, running errands and so on.


Here’s the basic template for a good thank-you note along with a few sample phrases to get you commenced. (Need more help with what to write? Express your gratitude with these thank-you messages and ideas from Hallmark writers .)

1. Welcoming. Don’t leave behind to make sure you’re using the correct form and spelling of the person’s name, as well as anyone else’s mentioned in the note.

Two. Express your thanks. Begin with the two most significant words: Thank you.

  • Thank you so much for…
  • It made my day when I opened…
  • I’m so grateful you were there when…

Three. Add specific details. Tell them how you plan to use or display their bounty. It shows them that you indeed appreciate the thought that went into it. Even if it’s cold hard cash, describe how you’ll spend the stuff.

  • Here’s a picture of me with my fresh briefcase. I look so professional!
  • I can’t wait to use the bday money you sent to decorate my dorm room.
  • The going-away party meant so much to me. Having all my friends and family in one place was something I’ll never leave behind .
  • Four. Look ahead. Mention the next time you might see them, or just let them know you’re thinking of them.

  • We look forward to observing you next month at Lucy’s party.
  • Five. Restate your thanks. Add details to thank them in a different way.

  • Again, thank you for your generosity. I’m so excited about college. I’ll let you know all about it when I get lodged.
  • We felt so blessed that you made the tour to be with us on our wedding day. We can’t wait to see you again soon!
  • 6. End with your regards. “Sincerely” is a safe standby, but for closer relationships, you might choose a warmer option.


    Attempt to send your thank-you notes out quickly. For events such as parties and showers, a good rule of thumb is to send your cards out within a month after the event. If it’s later than that, commence your note with a brief apology. “I’ve been meaning to tell you…”

    Jeanne Field likes quilting, killer sudoku and washi-tape hoarding in her free time—which she has more of now that her Two kids are in college. She hopes to live 1,000 or so more years so she can make ALL the quilts.

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    How to Write a Political Science Research Paper

    How to Write a Political Science Research Paper

    I. Choose a paper topic

    1. Find an event or topic related to this course that interests you.
  • Investigate the library’s resources and other available resources. If you choose to investigate a topic for which you must rely intensely on inter-library loans, you may not receive enough material in time to accomplish your research. You need to find an area in which there is available material. If you find there is not enough material on your topic, choose a different topic and begin a fresh search to see if you can successfully finish the research for your paper on your fresh topic.
  • Read generally in the topic area of your choice.
  • Style a precise question that you wish to research. The question that you ask is your research question. The aim of your research paper is to provide an reaction to your research question. NOTE. To be a question, your research question must end with a question mark.
  • Your question might be something like: Under what conditions will x occur? What are the causes of x? What are the consequences of x and y? How did x alter the outcome of y? You want to avoid asking self evident questions such as, “Will war in country x contort development?” Obviously war affects a country’s development and you do not need to do research to persuade the reader of this. Also, such a question is too broad for a focused research paper. “Development” is too encompassing a concept. You could not in a single paper analyze all of the effects of war on the development of an entire country.

    II. Develop a research design

  • To do this you must think through what you need to know in order to response your research question. What specific data would be helpful in answering your question? Which actors are involved? What outer and/or domestic events might affect the topic you are studying? Where will you get the data you need?
  • III. Develop a thesis

  • You must suggest a thesis in the introduction of your paper. After researching your material, you will response your research question. The response to your research question will form the basis of your thesis. The thesis is the argument that you will make in your paper. Presenting your reaction to the research question is the reason why you write the paper. You write the paper to coax your reader that your reaction is correct. You must provide the reader with evidence you discovered in your research to persuade the reader that your response is correct. You must anticipate alternative answers to your question and refute them. You must explain why your reaction is better.
  • Note that if you announce to your reader in your introduction that you “propose to explore” your topic, you admit that you have not thought long and hard enough about your topic to make a statement or suggest an argument about some aspect of the topic. If you are still “exploring your topic” when you are writing your paper and you cannot even form a question and suggest and response – you will be graded accordingly.
  • IV. Make decent citations for all data used in the paper. All papers must have references

    and a bibliography.

  • Go after the citation style used in the American Political Science Review. (The APSR is the preeminent journal for political scientists.) You can find hard copies of the APSR in the periodicals section of the Bailey-Howe library (on the 2nd floor). You can find electronic copies of the journal by going to the library webpage then select “General Reference” then select “Journals and Magazines” then select “JSTOR” then come in JSTOR and select “browse the journal” then select “political science” then select “American Political Science Review” then choose a volume and an issue and finally… select “view article”. Alternatively, you can go after the style of footnotes introduced in the Chicago Manual of Style .
  • You will see that the APSR uses parenthetical references to the author and the date in the assets of the text. Then the finish citation for each reference is listed in alphabetical order in the bibliography.
  • Plagiarized papers will be reported to the Committee on Academic Honesty. Below you will find an example of plagiarism that you must not repeat.
  • General X believed that … (no footnote or parenthetical reference).
  • If you have interviewed General X, you must footnote the date and place of your interview. If you have not personally interviewed General X, then the only way that you can know what he believed is from reading someone else’s work. You may not take credit for the work someone else did. You must cite your source.
  • If, however, you think General X should have thought that, or most likely thought that, but you have no evidence and no sources, you may not write such a statement in a scholarly paper. In this case, no one cares what you think General X should have thought. Your assertion that the General thought something without suggesting any evidence is merely a figment of your imagination. Do not attempt to suggest that figments of your imagination are the result of scholarly research.
  • You cannot submit a “paper” that is merely a string of quotes from various sources. When you write a paper, your thesis (the argument you make to response your research question) should reflect your own (original) thinking. You should arrive at your thesis as a result of piecing together the evidence/data you have compiled. You must do the work for your paper. You must evaluate, analyze, and suggest judgments on the evidence you suggest – and your evaluations must be based on the accumulated evidence, not wishful thinking.
  • Your sources must be varied. Reading several Internet pages does not constitute careful, scholarly research. Your research sources should include scholarly, journalistic, and primary materials.
  • Scholarly sources include books and journal articles. You can search for books related to your topic on Voyager at Only reading books, however, is not good enough. Books often take much longer than journal articles to publish and therefore the information found in books is frequently less current than the information found in journal articles. The best way to find journal articles is through “ArticleFirst”. To access “ArticleFirst” go to the library webpage then select “General Reference” then select “Journals and Magazines” then select “ArticleFirst”. Then search for journal articles related to your research question.
  • Journalistic sources include the LADB, newspapers, and magazines. Newspapers such as the Fresh York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Christian Science Monitor, The Economist are all good sources for international news. If you can read the language of the country you are studying, then consult the major newspapers from that country on the Internet.
  • Primary materials include official documents, government hearings, treaties, State Department bulletins, speeches, memoirs, interviews, World Bank and International Monetary Fund statistics, government statistics. A good source for Statisctical data on Latin America is The Statistical Abstract of Latin America available in the reference section of the Bailey/Howe Library call number HA935.S79. Also check out the World Development Indicators (available on Sage under “Find Articles and More” then “Alphabetical List of Databases” *NOTE: you must be in the library to access this database).
  • The reference librarians are a good resource and you should consult them for questions about sources.
  • V. Write the paper

  • Proofread the paper. Rewrite the paper. Ask your roomie to proofread the paper. Rewrite the paper again. Ask your mom to proofread the paper. Rewrite it again. The more times you proofread and rewrite the paper, the better the paper will be and the higher your grade will be.
  • Reminisce, for your paper, you need to add something to the work of other authors, you should not just repeat someone else’s thesis.
  • Organize your paper in the following way:
  • Introduction. Begin the paper by identifying your research question. Then explain why your question is significant. Suggest your thesis – a quick version of your reaction to the research question (one or two sentences).
  • Literature Review. Discuss the existing scholarly literature that relates to your question and explain why the existing literature does not adequately address the question you pose, thus telling the reader why your research had to be conducted and why your paper must be read if the reader is interested in the response to your significant question.
  • Data. Present your evidence so that it supports your thesis (that is the reaction to your research question)
  • Conclusion. Summarize your findings and restate your thesis, which answers your research question. Do not add fresh information in the conclusion – all evidence should be in the Data section.
  • You may not write “this year …” or “this week…” You must specify particular dates. A reader should understand your time framework whatever date they happen to read your paper.
  • * To write a sophisticated paper, you should conduct your research in light of the significant theories of political science. You might ask a question and suggest an response that either confirms or disconfirms a theory in the discipline. You might research a question and detect that there does not exist any good theory in the field to suggest insight into your research question. In this case, you might analyze the existing literature and explain how your research offers a hypothesis to explain why some phenomena occur.

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    Street brainy vs book clever essay

    Street brainy vs book clever essay

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    The rise of mass authorship and fractional authorship: Do too many cooks spoil the broth?

    The rise of mass authorship and fractional authorship: Do too many cooks spoil the broth?

    The archetypal photo of a researcher publishing investigate findings as a lone author is long passe. Research is now primarily a collaborative and often an interdisciplinary endeavor. Unsurprisingly, this shift is echoed in the patterns of scientific publications: the author list in many scientific fields has lengthened significantly. But the trend of numerous authorship has evolved into what is called ‘hyperauthorship’ or ‘mass authorship’ with some papers having thousands of authors. For example, a physics paper authored by more than 5000 researchers at CERN, which provides a precise estimate of the size of the Higgs boson, set the record for the largest number of contributors to a paper; while a paper on the genetic makeup of a fruit fly was credited to 1,014 authors. The publishing of papers with thousands of authors, also referred to as ‘kilo-authorship,’ has sparked discussions in academic circles about the meaning of authorship and whether the trend of hyperauthorship is making the credibility and accountability of author contribution questionable.    

    Hyperauthorship has been a norm in some scientific fields, such as high-energy physics and biomedicine, where collaborations in enormous teams is common. However, a similar uptrend is being observed in other fields such as psychology and health policy. A probe conducted by Dr. Andrew Plume and Dr. Daphne van Weijen found that over the past ten years, the number of authorships per author (Two.31 in 2013) has enhanced while the number of single-author articles (0.56 in 2013) has declined. At the same time, the average number of authorships per article has enlargened from Trio.Five to Four.15 authors from 2003 to 2013. As clearly indicated in the probe, the increase in the number of authors per article and the relative decrease in unique authorship indicate the rise of ‘fractional authorship,’ which means more number of authors claiming credit for a single published work.

    The shift in the publishing landscape toward fractional authorship and mass authorship has led some authors to have an exceptionally prolific record, with some researchers churning out an article every ten working days. Some believe that large author lists is an unscrupulous method adopted by some researchers to improve their citation record. Ernesto Priego, Lecturer in Library Science, City University London, says hyperauthorship “in addition to being impractical […] is also menacing the entire system by which academic work is rewarded.” Since a researcher’s career progression is primarily based on the publication and citation record, universities and funding bods should be wary of researchers’ exact contribution to the papers on which they have been listed as authors.

    What has led to this rising trend of hyperauthorship? Extreme competition due to the ‘publish or perish’ culture and international collaborations are deemed to be the primary reasons for the rise of mass authorship. Apart from this, the practice of senior scholars seeking ‘gift authorship’ from youthfull researchers has also led to this phenomenon. As Zen Faulkes elucidates, “We’re observing things that might have, at one point, just been a thank you at the end of the paper [become], hey, could you put my name on this paper as an author?” 

    The switching trends in conducting research warrant the rethinking of the definition of an author. The widely accepted criteria for authorship, as defined by ICMJE, are that an author should have made substantial contributions to the investigate as well as to drafting the work, and should be able to identify all co-authors on a probe and their contribution. In papers that have over a thousand authors, students who contributed in data analysis and so forward have also been added as authors to the paper. Therefore, Faulkes suggests providing up the term “authorship” and focusing on “credits” that describe with greater clarity the contribution individuals make.

    Research collaborations are critical to scientific progress. However, institutions and funding bods need to ensure that large-scale collaborations do not branch out into fractional authorship. Additionally, ethical figures can play a pivotal role in bringing clarity to the definition of authorship by defining the roles of an author and a contributor, thus preserving research integrity. 

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    You should always go after your heart in research

    You should always go after your heart in research

    This interview presents the perspectives of an early-career researcher who conducts research, publishes papers, attends academic conferences as part of his PhD, travels to different parts of the world to help educate researchers about open research and science policy, blogs actively, serves as a peer reviewer, and makes time for several other activities including this interview! Jonathan (Jon) Tennant dived head very first into palaeontology research, i.e., his very first love, even when it required him to switch disciplines. And during this journey, he discovered his passion for all things related to scientific communication and policy, especially open science. He is among those researchers who realize the true potential of networking and utilize it to actively participate in dialogue on some of the most critical issues in academic research — all this alongside managing a requiring research schedule. I spoke to Jon about his interests both within and outside research. I particularly dreamed to understand how he is able to pursue serious research as well as be involved in other activities, and learned that the primary driving force behind Jon’s work is his passion for science and the need to ensure that more and more people are informed about the most significant developments in academic publishing.

    Jon is presently a final year PhD (palaeontology) student at Imperial College London in the Department of Earth Science and Engineering. His research concentrates on patterns of biodiversity and extinction in deep time and the biological and environmental drivers of these patterns. Jon is also sultry about science communication and strongly believes that science should be in the public domain. He takes a deep interest in following and talking about how current trends in open science influence science communication. He also maintains a blog, Green Tea and Velociraptors, and tweets actively about topics close to his heart. 

    In the very first of this three-part interview series, Jon talks about the importance of interdisciplinarity in research, based on his practice as a researcher. He explains how he came to develop an interest in science communication and policy, and goes on to talk about his peer review practice.

    Let’s talk about your life as an early-career researcher. Why did you determine to transition inbetween disciplines during your academic journey?

    I originally began university as a planetary geologist! During my 2nd year however, I was seduced by the dark side of science (dinosaurs) thanks to meeting Prof. Phil Manning, and switched to mainstream geology in order to take his class. After that, I was set on getting a PhD in palaeontology, but realized that a purely geological background wasn’t sufficient for much modern palaeontological research, as much of it is geared towards biological sciences. So I made the treacherous switch to the life sciences for a 2nd masters which, combined with my affinities for rocks, formed the flawless basis to launch into palaeontology!

    How effortless or difficult would you say is it for researchers to switch disciplines?

    Hmm, that’s a good question. I think the level of difficulty would depend on why you would want to switch, how related or integrated the two disciplines are, and what sort of opportunities are available. There are no rules here, but you should always go after your heart in research. The difficulty will always be discovering what you need to do to give yourself the best chance to do what you love in the future, and sometimes making a big switch is good for that. I would also say that a lot of it is down to your mentality. You have to be open to the possibility that you might be making a big switch in your life and stepping out into the unknown. For some, this will be titillating, and others it might be scary. My advice is to embrace it the switch, adapt, and excel.

    More and more researchers are taking to multidisciplinarity, either by switching flows or by specializing in more than one discipline during their research. What role do you think interdisciplinarity plays in academic research today?

    Research thrives on interdisciplinarity! I can’t think of anything more significant than collaborating with others in order to expand your skill boundaries. For example, modern palaeontology includes aspects of chemistry, molecular biology, geology, zoology, ecology, and even particle physics, so it’s super integrative. These are less individual decisions however, I think. Interdisciplinarity isn’t about individual choice. It’s more about recognising what is required in order to advance the field, which we work on collectively as a research community. By isolating research fields, we neglect to learn from what others are discovering, and that isn’t helping to progress anything.

    How and when did you develop an interest in science communication and policy?

    After my 2nd Masters, I was unemployed for a few months while waiting for an adequate research chance to pop up. During this “down time”, I embarked blogging and using other social media to develop some abilities in this arena. I was fortunate enough to get a job in science policy with The Geological Society of London, which was a fascinating practice and, for me, cemented the links among research, communication, and policy. Importantly, it provided me with a fully fresh perspective on the value of research than I’d otherwise just got at university. In particular, how research interacts more broadly with society – beyond “science for the sake of science”. I commenced my PhD two days after that job finished, and went into it with an entirely different perspective on research than before the position.

    I always like to acknowledge my boss Nic Bilham (Director of Policy and Communications at the Geological Society), who while I was at the Society, instructed me much about science policy and the value of broad and effective communications, as well as the significant role of learned societies in modern research environments. The abilities I learned during my time at the Society, and have continued to work on since, have been exceptionally valuable to my growth as a researcher. I feel very privileged to have been granted the practice and attempt to encourage others to develop in these areas, too.

    You are presently involved in several activities in addition to core research: writing and publishing academic research papers, blogging, interacting with people from the academic publishing industry, attending conferences, providing talks, etc. How do you make time for everything?

    Honestly, it’s indeed ridiculously difficult, and interferes fairly a lot with my private life at times, especially when it requires travel or working in different time zones. However, I believe that the things I work on are significant and I am blessed to dedicate as much time as I need to them. For example, I strongly believe that science communication and working to make research more accessible are significant, so I spend a lot of time blogging/freelance writing; I also think equal access to skill is imperative, so I spend a lot of my time working on things like open access. Things like blogging become much quicker with time as your writing abilities develop, but sometimes you just have to go for them when you have time! I attempt simply just to do things as they come up, and it’s fairly chaotic at times, but this also means I don’t get bored working on the same thing every day! If you believe something is significant, then it’s worth spending time doing it and committing all you have to it.

    You are also a peer reviewer for Publons; could you talk about this practice?

    So Publons isn’t a peer review platform itself, it’s a place to keep a public (or not, if you choose) record of your reviewing activities. I still find it bizarre that some researchers don’t want to receive credit for their work as peer reviewers given its enormous importance, and Publons is an awesome solution to help shift that mentality. Open is never an end, but a means, and with peer review, open becomes a powerful way of enhancing transparency for accountability, receiving credit, and permitting others to build on and re-use your work. A lot of researchers view peer review as part of their academic duty, and perhaps rightly so, but this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t receive suitable recognition for it.

    As soon as I did my very first peer review, the record went up on Publons. Sadly, many journals believe that they still have authority over how researchers use their reviews, or consider it to be a privileged or private process; therefore, most often, you can’t post the actual review itself, albeit there is a lot of experimentation in this area at the moment. This is fairly bizarre to me. How can a secretive, non-publicised, and special process be considered as objective? That’s hardly the gold standard we hold “peer review” to be.

    I’ve done five peer reviews during my PhD so far – I don’t know if that’s relatively high or low for this stage! As such, it doesn’t indeed interfere with my “schedule” too much. I’d like to think I’ve been as thorough as possible with these reviews, and they have never taken me more than a week or so to perform. All of them are on Publons, too, to the maximum extent of visibility permitted.

    At this point, it’s unlikely to comment on the influence that this has had so far – I do like the concept of Publons as on open record of “services” contributed to the community through peer review, as well as a sign that I’m not afraid for the content of my reviews to be seen. If I’m writing things that I don’t want others to see, then I very likely shouldn’t be writing them at all. Whether or not using Publons will have a positive influence remains to be seen, as I’m still a “science noob”! My overall practice with Publons has been overwhelmingly positive, albeit some publishers have limitary policies that vastly lower how we can interact with and use Publons for the good of research.

    Could you tell us more about Open Glossary?

    So the Open Research Glossary is an OpenCon spin off! Ross Mounce and I were providing a joint talk at an OpenCon satellite event in London about the importance of open data. Afterwards in the pub, someone mentioned that a lot of the terminology we used was fresh to them and it made our talk difficult to go after. Essentially, what was exposed to us was a language barrier that we had created around the “world of open.” So right then and there in the pub, we embarked drafting a “jargon list” of terms used in any aspect of open research. This ranged from core terms to those related to policy, and those to do with licensing and principles. We built a resource from this using Google Docs so that anyone could contribute, and a list of community definitions that we could adhere to. A while later, we had produced a fairly comprehensive common app essay resource, and the Right to Research Coalition were kind enough to host it. Anyone can still contribute to it here, and when sufficient fresh content has been added we will create a 2nd version.

    Thanks, Jon!

    This brings us to the end of the very first segment of the interview with Jon Tennant. In the next part, Jon shares his views on some critical topics in scientific publishing.

    Other parts in the series

    • Part Two: “Academics are resilient to switches in peer review”
    • Part Trio: The future of academic publishing and advice for youthful researchers