Maria Dittman Research Award: Competition guidelines

Eligibility criteria

Any research paper or project that: 

  –   Received an A in a graded course, OR if research was not produced from a graded course, submission must include a letter of support from the supervising faculty.
  –   Was completed for a Marquette University course or affiliated program
  –   Meets the requirements for length and number of sources.
       Details about undergraduate and graduate/professional categories below.

Pathfinders and bibliographical essays are not eligible.

Previous winners are eligible.

Individual work and group work submissions are accepted. For group submissions, please designate one contact person for the group.

One entry per person, or group, per year.

Undergraduate & Graduate/Professional requirements

Undergraduate papers/projects:

  –   Must be a minimum of five (5) pages in length
  –   Must include at least three (3) bibliographic sources.

Graduate/Professional papers or projects:

  –   Must be a minimum of ten (10) pages in length
  –   Must include a minimum of five (5) bibliographic sources.

Bibliographies for all submissions must be written in standard bibliographic format (MLA, APA, Turabian, Chicago, etc.).

Submission packet

To be considered complete, your submission must include 3 items:

  1. A completed entry form
  2. A 1-2 page essay describing your research process, your research journey. More about this below.
  3. One of the following:
  • Your original graded paper or project
  • A copy of your original paper or project, and a letter of support from your professor (either a signed letter from your professor, or an email directly from the professor to the committee chair).

About the Research Process Essay

The most important part of your entry is the Research Process Essay (1-2 pages) that you will write and submit with your entry form and original, graded paper.  This essay will explain your use of library resources, discuss the variety and appropriateness of sources used, your criteria for selecting which sources to use and cite in your bibliography, and the quality of your research paper or project.  This must be written in essay format to be considered by the committee (please do not use Q&A format or bullet points).

Things to include in your Research Process Essay:

  • How did you find your sources (indexes, databases, Google, professors, friends, etc.?)
  • How did you select which sources to use? What criteria did you use to choose between sources? How did you determine which sources were appropriate?
  • Were there sources you identified but decided not to use in your final paper? If so, what were your reasons for not using these sources?
  • Describe what types and formats of source material you used and why. Did you use print or e-books, physical or electronic periodicals, video, microfilm, etc., and why these were appropriate to your research.
  • Did you use any outside sources (i.e., interviews, other libraries or institutions, etc.) for your research? If so, describe the process of obtaining data from these sources, their relevance to your topic, how you integrated them into your research process, etc.
  • What bibliographic format (MLA, APA, Turabian, etc.) did you choose to use? Is there a reason you chose one over another?
  • Did you encounter any difficulties in your research process? What kind of difficulties? Were you able to move past them? How?
  • What did you learn about the research process while doing research for your paper or project?
  • Is there any other information that you feel will add to your description of your research process?