Bonnie W. Oldham Library Research Prize Tips

Bonnie W. Oldham Library Research Prize


Tips to help you describe your research

Your description of research should be 500-700 words describing the research strategies you used, your use of library tools and resources, and your personal learning.

In addition to reviewing the judging rubric which lists and describes the selection criteria, it may be helpful to keep in mind the following questions as you reflect on your library research experience.

  • Were you surprised by any part of the research process or by any library resources?
  • What did you discover about the tools and techniques for research in the Library that you did not know before you began your project?
  • What did you learn about the process of finding and evaluating information on your topic—or in your discipline?
  • What discoveries did you make in the Library by serendipity? And which through carefully planned search strategies?
  • Did you keep a journal or log of your research?
  • What lessons about the research process did you take away from the experience?
  • What connections to the Ignatian characteristics of learning can you make when thinking about your research process? 

Ignatian Characteristics Applied to Research

Based on explanations offered by The University of Scranton Jesuit Center

Magis: The magis is “characterized by a restless desire for excellence” which in research might be reflected by intellectual depth of study of a subject of inquiry and/or persistence through challenges to a successful end.

Care of the Person / Cura Personalis: Cura Personalis is a Latin phrase that translates as “Care for the Person” which in research might be reflected by the researcher’s demonstrated care for their subject of inquiry which may include engaging it from multiple perspectives and/or a personal connection to the subject matter studied resulting in a personal transformation of the researcher through the research process.

Service of Faith and the Promotion of Justice: Jesuit education has as its goal to form “people for and with others” and research that reflects this characteristic of Jesuit education will illustrate through topic, methodology, findings, and/or reflection on the research process a “dedication to service, a concern for the common good,” and/or “a commitment to promoting justice.”

Contemplation in Action: Contemplation in action is characterized by “learning that is both active and reflective” which in research might be reflected by the researcher’s ability to articulate how their learning — about their subject of inquiry and/or about research itself — “motivates them to think and learn on their own” both now and in the future and/or gives the researcher an “appreciation of their own agency.”

Forwarding the Universal Apostolic Preferences of the Society of Jesus: The Universal Apostolic Preferences (UAPs) are the articulated priorities of the Society of Jesus from 2019-2029 in all of their ministries including education; research that forwards the UAPs will make a connection to one or more of the preferences through topic, methodology, findings, and/or reflection on the research process; the UAPs are:

  • To show the way to God through the Spiritual Exercises and discernment
  • To walk with the poor, the outcasts of the world, those whose dignity has been violated, in a mission of reconciliation and justice
  • To accompany young people in the creation of a hope-filled future
  • To collaborate, with Gospel depth, for the protection and renewal of God’s Creation
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