Library Research Prize Winners

On Wednesday May 22, the library celebrated three winners of the 2019 Library Research Prize during the annual First Year Program Writing Showcase. The winners were, Deyana Atanasova, for the essay “Spiraling Slacktivism,” Danielle Comp, for “You Can’t Deny Suffering: An Argument for the Existence of Chronic Lyme Disease,” and Kacie Koenig, for “Cannabis, Public Perception, and Regulatory Policy.”

Now in its third year, the Library Research Prize is awarded to First-Year Writing students whose researched essays demonstrate excellence in the application of information literacy skills, including expertise in the discovery, evaluation, and use of information tools and resources. In addition to these essays, students must also submit a research statement that reflects on the use of library research tools, sources, and services at each stage of the research process, emphasizing what was learned.

From both the research statement and the essay, librarian judges sought evidence of learning through experimentation and exploration at each step of the research process.  Here are some of the judges’ highlights selected from the winning entries:

Deyana Atanasova, “Spiraling Slacktivism”

Deyana Atanasova explores the various positive and negative effects of social media on activism, including ways in which social media could distort or dilute the core message of grassroots movements. In her research, she developed an optimal keyword search strategy that included alternative and more specific language used by authors to communicate the concept of ‘activism’ (e.g. “marches” or “protests” ). She also described the use of multiple criteria for evaluating the usefulness of search results, including their focus on the main concept (“slacktivism”); geographic scope; date of publication; and the author’s aim to incorporate findings from a variety of source types (e.g. scholarly articles, books, websites, a master’s thesis).

Danielle Comp, “You Can’t Deny Suffering: An Argument for the Existence of Chronic Lyme Disease”

Danielle Comp advocates for the recognition and support of the existence of a chronic form of Lyme disease by the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In her search strategy, Danielle used Boolean operators effectively to find information relevant to the themes she’d identified in her mind map. She also used a variety of sources to support her argument, including personal anecdotes, news sources, consumer and practitioner health information, government websites, popular and peer-reviewed articles; and she documented them appropriately in an extensive bibliography.

Kacie Koenig, “Cannabis, Public Perception, and Regulatory Policy”

Kacie Koenig focuses on the relationship between federal drug policy and public perception of cannabis. Kacie’s essay and thoughtful reflection on the research process shows an adherence to the tenets of information literacy, which are to recognize when information is needed and to have the ability to locate, evaluate, and effectively use that information. She identified which databases would be useful by utilizing the library’s research guides and choosing the Criminal Justice Database. Kacie also incorporated law, sociology, and psychology resources to provide a comprehensive view of her subject.

First Year Library Research Prize Winners with Terry Taylor

All three winners were honored and presented with their Library Research Prize certificate and check for $50.00 by Terry Taylor, Associate University Librarian, at the celebration held in Courtelyou Commons.

In addition to thanking our winners and all the other Library Research Prize entrants, the Library expresses its sincere thanks to all the faculty and staff of DePaul University’s First-Year Writing Program, and especially to Erin Workman, Director of First-Year Writing, and Victoria Hohenzy, Assistant Director of First-Year Writing, for making this research-writing collaboration possible!

If you would like to know more about the Library Research Prize for First-Year Writing or the library’s instructional program for first-year students, please contact Fi Rismiller, Instructional Services Librarian.

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