Winning at Research: New Prize Awarded to First Year Writers

The DePaul University Library has a long-standing collaboration with the First Year Program to provide information literacy instruction to students across a wide range of writing-based courses. The best writing resulting from those courses is honored and celebrated each year at DePaul’s First Year Writing Showcase.

In this year’s Writing Showcase, which took place on the evening of May 24, 2017 at the Cortelyou Commons, there was something new to celebrate, because included in the many honors was a brand new award: The Library Research Prize!

This prize was created with an emphasis on the process of research. It is awarded to student authors in First Year Program courses whose essays have been judged to demonstrate excellence in the application of information literacy skills and the use of information tools and resources.

In addition to their essays, entrants for the prize were required to submit a Research Statement, an account explaining how they went about the process of information exploration and discovery and what they learned from it. We wanted to know what worked, what didn’t, and how they progressed when exploring topics, developing a research question, identifying relevant search terms, developing an effective search strategy, choosing appropriate databases, and evaluating the usefulness of the information they found for answering their original research question.

As you can see, it’s a lot to ask!  However, two student authors came shining through, and for the first ever DePaul University Library Research Prize, our winners are:

Amanda Stocchetti: “The Effects of Gender Socialization on Individuals” (WRD-104, instructed by Hannah Lee).

Among the many valuable experiences described in her Research Statement, Amanda expressed a true appreciation for the abundance of information sources available, and wrote: “from this process I also learned what to expect of college research papers; I realized how much careful work and dedication must go into the researching and speaking about important, not easily explainable matters.”

William Asztalos: “Real Analysis of the Common Core” (WRD-104,  instructed by Hannah Lee).

In his Research Statement, William reflected on his consultations with librarians and his use of other library resources to overcome specific challenges, and wrote: “the single greatest skill I obtained from this experience was, quite simply, the ability to ask for help!”

Amanda’s and William’s Library Research Prize awards were presented at the Writing Showcase ceremony on the evening of May 24th by Scott Walter, University Librarian.

We at the DePaul University Library congratulate both Amanda and William for their great achievement, and celebrate their excellence in applying and exemplifying the principles of information literacy in the course of their research and studies.

In addition to thanking our winners, the Library expresses its sincere thanks to all the staff of DePaul University’s First Year Program, and especially to the Coordinator of the Writing Showcase, Joyce Bean.

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