The Ames Library Artistic and Scholarly Research Strategies Award

Congratulations to the previous winners of The Ames Library Artistic and Scholarly Research Strategies Award:

The Ames Library has established an award to recognize outstanding information access strategies used by students in the development of their scholarly and artistic/creative projects while at IWU.  One award of $500 will be given to the winning essay at the end of the academic year.  Funds for this award are made possible by the generous contributions of donors to The Ames Library at Illinois Wesleyan University.

In this age of electronic information, research in support and development of artistic, scientific and scholarly projects has become a more complicated process. Sources may come in a multitude of forms – print, microfilm, sound recordings, oral histories, websites, or images.  Evaluating and integrating these sources into one’s research or creative process can take increasing time and effort.  This award was created to acknowledge those students who take the time to develop a thoughtful, methodical, and scholarly approach to the gathering of pertinent background information needed for their work, as well as to encourage students to develop excellent research techniques.

All students who complete an artistic, scientific, or scholarly project during the current academic year are eligible to submit their application for this award.  Projects may be started in previous academic years but must be completed in the academic year in which the award is given.  The work may be done as part of independent study work, honors classes, the John Wesley Powell Research Conference, or other academic work.  All submissions must be accompanied by a letter of support from the faculty member who taught the course or served as a supervisor for which the paper/project was submitted or completed.

Evaluation Criteria
The applications will be reviewed by The Ames Library faculty based on how well the applicant demonstrates the reflective and effective use of scholarly and/or creative materials.  A successful application should address the following four questions:

  • How did you determine the information or creative needs of the project?
  • How did you evaluate sources used in the project?
  • How did you manage, organize and synthesize the information?
  • What methods did you use to assure that proper citations and credits were made in the project (e.g., APA, MLA).

Evaluation Committee
Submissions will be evaluated by The Ames Library faculty members.

Required Application Materials and Procedure
Applications will consist of:

  • Application cover sheet
  • Letter of support from the faculty member or instructor
  • A 500-700 word essay describing your research process, strategies, sources used, how your research skills developed, and how your research contributed to the quality of the final product. Check here for some Essay Tips
  • A digital copy of the project submitted via e-mail, or if file size is prohibitive, on thumb drive or CD, to University Librarian’s Office, 201 The Ames Library
  • A signed agreement that allows your project to be archived in our Digital Commons

Application Deadline

Application deadline is 12:00 p.m. March 18, 2011.  Incomplete applications will not be accepted and late applications will not be considered. Applications will not be returned; please submit copies of the research project or paper.

Projects may be e-mailed to Karen Schmidt ( or hand-delivered to the Office of the University Librarian, 201-A The Ames Library. 

updated 1/13/11