Research Essay Guidelines

  • Write an essay of 500-750 words in which you describe the research process you employed as you crafted your paper or project.  
  • In the essay, summarize your research strategy, planning process and personal learning. Judges will evaluate your work primarly on the strength of evidence in these three categories. (The quality of the research paper or project, while significant, is secondary) 

In addition, judges will evaluate your submission on the following:

  • sophistication, originality or unusual depth or breadth in the use of library collections, including (but not limited to) databases, primary sources, printed resources and materials in all media
  • thorough use of library services, including (but not limited to) Document Delivery Services, librarians' office hours, reference librarians' face-to-face or virtual assistance (IM/text/email) and research consultations with appropriate subject librarians
  • exceptional ability to evaluate, locate, select and synthesize library resources and then use them in the creation of a project in any media that shows originality and/or has the potential to lead to original research in the future
  • significant personal learning and the development of a habit of research and inquiry that shows that the student has acquired information literacy skills that will serve him or her in the future