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Have you written any "A" research papers lately?

If so, you could win $200!!

The Raynor Memorial Libraries* sponsor a research/term paper competition to recognize the importance of effective library research. The competition honors librarian Maria Dittman, who served the MU community for over 25 years and was responsible for teaching thousands of students library research skills. The Research Paper Competition awards a $200.00 prize in each of three categories: freshman-sophomore, junior-senior, and graduate/professional.

Watch for the annual call for submissions in January.

Here's how it works:

  • Eligibility: Any research paper written for a Marquette University course during the calendar year 2009 that received a grade of A is eligible. Pathfinders and bibliographical essays do not qualify as research papers. Individual papers accepted. Group submissions are allowed; however, please designate one (1) contact person for the entire group. One (1) entry per person or group. No electronic submissions.
  • Paper length: Papers must be a minimum of 5 pages for undergraduate submissions and a minimum of 10 pages for graduate/professional submissions.
  • Original Copy Preferred: The paper submitted should be the original term paper including the original cover sheet and the page where the grade is listed, if the grade is not on the cover sheet. If the original is unavailable, you may submit a copy; but it must be accompanied by a letter from the professor for the course stating that it received an A and commenting on the quality of the paper.
  • Bibliography: The research paper must include a bibliography of at least 5-10 citations and be written in a standard bibliographic format (MLA, APA, etc.).
  • Research Process Description: The most important component of the entry will be a one-two page essay description of the research process which was followed in writing the paper. See below.
  • Judging criteria:
    • thorough use of library resources
    • variety and appropriateness of sources used
    • quality of the research process description
  • Entry Form: Papers and research descriptions must be accompanied by a completed entry form.
  • Judges: Judging will be done by a panel of library staff from the Raynor Memorial Libraries.
  • Announcement of Winners: Winners are usually announced in early April.
  • Award Ceremony:  Prizes will be presented to the winners at a ceremony sometime during the third or fourth week of April 2010. Check back for details.
  • Papers Returned: All submissions are mailed back after the ceremony; copies of winning papers are retained in the University Archives and winners are invited to make their papers electronically accessible in Marquette's institutional repository,

Description of Research Process

In 1-2 typed pages, describe the process you used in doing the research for your term paper.   This description must be in essay format to be considered by the committee. Please do not use Q & A or bullet points.

Please include the following information:

  • How did you find your sources? (Indexes, databases, Google, professors, friends?)
  • How did you select the ones you used?  What criteria did you use?  What was it about these sources that made them appropriate?
  • Were there sources you identified but decided not to use?  If so, why?
  • Describe the types of sources (books, periodicals, print, electronic, video, microfilm, etc.) used and why.
  • Discuss outside sources used, if any, such as interviews, other libraries, other institutions or companies, etc.
  • What bibliographic format was used (MLA, APA, etc.)?
  • What, if any, difficulties did you run into in doing your research?
  • What did you learn about research from doing this paper?
  • Any other information that you feel will add to your description of the research process.

* Programming and awards organized and funded by the Academic Librarians' Assembly and the Library Support Staff Association of Marquette University's Raynor Memorial Libraries, and the memorial gifts from the friends and family of Maria Dittman. Special thanks to the Library Dean's Office for additional support.