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University of Oregon
UO Libraries

Libraries' Award for Undergraduate Research Excellence


Research Process & Scholarly Growth Essay

This essay is essential and the single most important component of your application. It will evaluated by multiple reviewers, including library specialists in your discipline, a dedicated team of undergraduate research professionals, and our independent reviewer. The essay must be written specifically for this award application and address your research information discovery process and your intellectual growth.

In an essay of 750 – 2000 words (not including the Bibliography or abstract), reflect on your research process and sources. Ensure you have this essay ready to submit with your final paper/project and the recommendation letter from your faculty member or advisor.

Consider the following questions as you construct your essay:

  • What strategies did you use to find scholarly research for your paper/project?

  • How did library resources and services facilitate your research?

  • How did you refine your topic in light of the information you discovered? 

  • How did specific library services and resources contribute to your research?  Were certain sources particularly important?

  • What decisions did you make in the course of your research regarding avenues of inquiry to pursue or not to pursue?

  • How does your research project show evidence of independent inquiry or creativity in your use of information?

  • What images, multimedia, and/or data sources did you use and how did those support your research project?

  • How did this paper/project contribute to your scholarly growth? To your subject area?

  • How did you grow as a scholar as a result of your involvement this project?