Western Research Day


LIBRARY RESEARCH AWARD In conjunction with Western Research Day (WRD), Library Services is offering a Library Research Award in the amount of $200 to the student who demonstrates outstanding accomplishment in the use and application of library resources and services. Submissions can be made through the WRD portal and will be judged on the overall quality of the project or paper, the sophistication of the bibliography or works cited list, and evidence of growth demonstrated through a brief, reflective research process essay (rubric appended).

The essay (500-750 words) should describe the process of using information and library resources and explain the research strategy used and the progression of the topic from the proposal development stage through research and submission, addressing three themes: Process–Choosing your focus and developing your search techniques.




Process–Choosing your focus and developing your search techniques.

  • How did you think about and refine your preliminary research topic? How deeply or widely did you explore your topic area before deciding on your thesis? Did the library help develop your ideas?
  • What specific library search tools (i.e. databases, books) did you use and why did you choose them?
  • What aspects of your original ideas had to be adapted due to limitations in sources or other obstacles you discovered along the way? How did you overcome this challenge

Sources–Selection and evaluation of resources.

  • How did you evaluate your selected materials for objectivity, authority, accuracy, currency, and comprehensiveness?
  • Did you seek out a wide variety of source types and/or formats, such as primary or multimedia, during your research process?
  • Did you seek sources from various perspectives? Were you able to recognize bias or contradictions in information sources? How did you balance these viewpoints with your own?
  • Did you seek guidance from experts, such as librarians, faculty, or archivists, in how to locate or best use the resources available to you?
  • If appropriate to your project, did you use materials from or visit other libraries and/or archives?


Synthesis–Your understanding of library research and how you may have grown as a researcher.

  • What did you learn about finding and evaluating information on your topic or in your discipline?
  • Is there a particular tool that you felt was invaluable to your research during the creation of this project?
  • What changes might you make when researching future projects, or what advancements do you see in your search techniques that you believe have made you a more successful researcher?