Undergraduate Library Research Award (ULRA): Tips
The most significant portion of your submission materials is the reflective essay. It should be no more than 500 words in length and double-spaced. Your essay should address the following prompts:
- Describe your research process in terms of finding and using information. How did you find source materials? How did you evaluate information? What difficulties did you encounter and how did you overcome them?
- Describe the role OSU Libraries played in your research.
Additional tips for writing the essay:
The following questions are meant to serve as possible topics that could be addressed your reflective essay.
- Research Strategies
- For the purposes of the essay, think of research in terms of seeking, finding, and using information, rather than what you did in the lab or field. What was your research plan? What successes and difficulties did you encounter and how did they influence your research strategy? How was your research process improved during this project? What lessons have you learned?
- Information Resources
- What resources did you utilize during your research? When possible, emphasize resources provided through OSU Libraries (print, digital, human, etc.). What are some of the significant resources appropriate to your topic? Describe the utility of various resources in your research. What resources were most and least “useful” to you and why? Provide specific examples of how information resources informed the development of your project. Did your approach to the topic change due to the type or availability of resources?
- Finding Information
- How did you search for information? Reflect upon the search tools and methods that you used. Did you have difficulty finding certain types of information or using specific search tools? How did you overcome problems with locating the information you needed? What have you learned about finding and using information through a variety of digital and print resources made available through OSU Libraries, the open web, or any other location?
- Evaluating Information
- How did you decide what information to use in your research? Were some resources “better” than others? Why or why not? Did you look for specific criteria when evaluating resources? If so, what were the criteria and why did you use them?