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UIC Library ENGL 161 Research Awards

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

UIC Library English 161 Research Awards

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. 

Three students are selected for the awards each semester. Monetary prizes are awarded as follows:

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

English 161 instructors help us determine excellent research papers by nominating students from their classes. Being nominated is itself a great accomplishment! Students are also welcome to participate by nominating themselves.

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

Research Process Essay

To apply, students need to write a short essay describing their research process. Please use the following prompt when writing this essay.

In your own words, please describe your research process. You do not need to answer all of these questions, but please consider some of them:

  • How did you come up with your idea? 
  • Why did you decide to write on this topic?
  • How did you find your information?
  • Did you use any library databases? If so, which ones? Were they easy or difficult to use? 
  • Did you get help from anyone? 
  • What obstacles did you experience (if any), and how did you overcome them?
  • What was your favorite part about the experience? 

Feel free to include anything else that’s relevant about your research journey. Your essay should be 1-2 single spaced pages. 

Contest Deadlines

In order to be eligible for the awards, you must submit both your research paper and a 1-2 page research process essay. Contest deadlines are as follows:

December 16, 2023: Nominations Due

January 12, 2024: Complete applications due (research paper and research process essay)

January/February 2024: Judging

End of February: Award winners will be announced