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UIC Library ENGL 161 Research Awards

Information about the UIC Library Library Research Awards for the most outstanding research papers written by English 161 students.

UIC Library English 161 Research Award

Although the UIC Library has had student research awards in the past, this is the first time the library has specifically sought to recognize English 161 students. Since English 161 is the first time many students experience scholarly research, we wanted to reward students who have worked hard to write thoughtful, well-researched papers and to encourage them as they continue their scholarly pursuits at UIC. 

There are three monetary prizes:

1st prize: $500

2nd prize: $400

3rd prize: $300

To be eligible, students must be enrolled in English 161 in Fall Semester, 2020 and be nominated by their English 161 instructor. If you are an instructor who would like to nominate a student, please fill out the nomination form.

Contest Submissions

English 161 students who are nominated by their instructor will be contacted by the UIC Library. Students who would like to be considered for an award will then need to write a 1-2 page essay describing their research process. Submissions with no research process essay will not be considered.

Research Process Essay

Your instructor nominated you for this UIC Library student research award. In your own words, how do you think your paper demonstrates excellence in research? In describing your research process, consider some of the following questions:

  • How did you come up with your idea? Did it evolve at all as you started finding sources? If so, how?

  • How did you find your information?

  • Did you get help from anyone? 

  • What obstacles did you experience and how did you overcome them?

  • What was your favorite part about the experience? 

In addition to the suggestions above, feel free to include anything else that’s relevant about your research journey! Your essay should be 1-2 pages.

Contest Timeline

December 18, 2020: Nominations from instructors due 

December 21, 2020: Nominated students contacted with application instructions

January 22, 2021: Student applications due

February 2021: Winners announced.


Research papers and process essays will be read by UIC librarians and judged using a rubric based on the Association of American Colleges and Universities Value Rubric for Information Literacy.