Papers must have been prepared to meet requirements of a course in any academic department at Duke University or of an independent study project for credit at Duke University. They may take the form of an analytical or creative essay or of a research paper. Edited, annotated versions of one or more documents with a narrative introduction are also acceptable. To be considered for the award a paper must be based largely or wholly on sources in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library and must be nominated by a faculty member. Faculty should use this nomination form to nominate a student for these awards.
There is no minimum or maximum length requirement for papers. All papers must be formatted double-spaced with standard margins. One clean copy (without writer’s name, course, professor, grade, or marginal notes), accompanied by a completed faculty nomination form, must be submitted to the Director of Research Services, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, 103 Perkins. Awards will be made each fall for papers submitted for courses or credits taken during the previous academic year. Deadline for submissions is May 15.
Papers will be judged by a committee consisting of the Director of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library and two faculty members. In evaluating the papers, they will look especially at degree and effectiveness of the author’s use of Rubenstein Library materials. Other criteria will include originality, quality of analysis and interpretation, clarity and persuasiveness of the paper’s thesis, excellence of writing style, integration of research findings with broader scholarship, and thoroughness of documentation.
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