To be eligible to win, applicants must:
- be a University of South Carolina, Columbia undergraduate at any class level and in any discipline
- have completed the research project at the University of South Carolina, Columbia during the previous Summer, Fall, or current Spring term. Course assignments, independent studies, or other research projects are accepted.
- agree to contribute to a display about their research mounted by library staff for public exhibition
Applications must include the following:
- Application form
- A 500-700 word essay describing your research process and use of library collections, resources and services | essay suggestions
- A letter of support from the supervising faculty member | support letter guidelines
- A final version of the research project. Submitted either as a website, on a CD or DVD delivered to Undergraduate Research Award Review Panel, Thomas Cooper Library Reference Desk, or if less than 1MB emailed as an attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- List of sources consulted | bibliography tips
In preparing your application package, please use paper clips, envelopes or folders not staples or binders. Applications are considered property of the University Libraries and will not be returned.
Incomplete applications are not accepted for consideration.
A panel of University of South Carolina faculty and librarians will judge entries based on the submitted project, research essay, and bibliography. The panel is interested in the quality of the project, and evidence of the applicant's research process and personal learning. Winning entries will demonstrate an applicant's exceptional ability to discover, select, evaluate, and synthesize information in the creation of a project in any media exhibiting sophistication, originality, or unusual depth or breadth in the use of library collections and services.
In a 500-700 word personal essay, reflect upon your experience with the research process for this project and use of library collections, resources, and services. The following questions are offered as a guide to developing your essay. You are not required or restricted to addressing just these questions.
- In what ways did using the library influence the development of your ideas for this project? How did you think about and refine your initial topic?
- What did you discover about the tools and techniques for research in the library? Why did you use the tools and techniques that you did? What discoveries did you make by chance or serendipity and which through careful planning.
- What did you learn about finding, selecting, and evaluating information on your topic or in the discipline? Did you have trouble finding some kinds of information? Describe your decision-making process for solving any challenges you faced.
- What lessons about the research process did you take away from the experience?
Support Letter Guidelines
Faculty sponsoring an applicant should submit a letter of support commenting on how the student's work meets the award criteria. The student must have a letter of support from the supervising instructor to submit a complete application package.
The review panel is especially interested in how the student's use of library collections, resources, and services contributed to making the project comprehensive, original, or unique.
Letters may be submitted to email@example.com as a message or an attachment.
The letter will become the property of University Libraries, University of South Carolina and may be used in an exhibit.
When preparing your bibliography:
- Format your bibliography using a style guide appropriate to your project's discipline. Consult the Libraries' style guides for APA, Chicago Manual of Style, MLA, and Turabian examples of how to cite some common sources.
- Cite all sources you used even if you did not directly quote from them.
- If your bibliography is really long, consider organizing your sources into categories or you can organize it alphabetically.