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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.

Winners, Fall 2020

Initiated in the Fall of 2020, the UIC Library English 161 Student Research Awards recognize excellence in student research that demonstrates best practices in finding, evaluating, and synthesizing sources to develop creative and impactful work. The award also calls upon students to describe their research trajectory, reflecting on their process, discoveries, and learning experience.

There were many outstanding research papers and process essays this past semester, making judging extremely difficult. Nevertheless, the winners for the Fall 2020 UIC Library English 161 Student Research Awards are:

First Place: Zane Licena, nominated by Daniel Barton
It’s Not Easy Being Green: Sustainable Development and Environmental Gentrification in Marginalized Urban Communities 

2nd Place: Preaksha Garg, nominated by Jacob Boyd
Neighborhood Segregation and Covid-19

3rd Place: Shaiva Dhani, nominated by Todd Sherfinski
The Uses of Insects in Medicine

Congratulations to them and to all of the nominated students!

Contest Guidelines

Monetary prizes are awarded as follows:

First place - $500
Second place - $400
Third place - $300

To be eligible for the Spring 2021 awards, students must be currently taking English 161. They may be nominated by their English 161 instructor or they may nominate themselves. 

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 Prompt

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

May 14, 2021: Nominations due 

June 4, 2021: Applications due

End of July/Beginning of August: 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.