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Eckles Library at the Mount Vernon Campus

Research Reflection Essay

The Eckles Prize

As part of the application for the Eckles Prize, please include a 2-3 page Research Reflection Essay. The page limit should be strictly observed. The reflective essay informs the Eckles Prize Committee about the steps you took to develop your research topic, what research strategies you used, and how you identified and evaluated the sources that you used. The reflection reveals what you learned from the overall research process and how the experience has helped shape you as a scholar.

Below are some questions to help you think about this 2-3 page essay. You do not need to address each one. They are meant to serve as a guide as you reflect on and write about your research experience.

Research Topic

  • Why did you choose your research topic, and how did your topic become an argument? Why did you think this was an important topic or argument for research?
  • Describe the interaction of your research and your developing argument.  For example, where did the main ideas of the argument come from? How did you use those ideas in unusual or original ways? Did your argument change as you researched and, if so, how?
  • Who is the audience for your research?  Why?  How does this essay appeal to the intended audience(s)?

Research Resources

  • What criteria did you use to evaluate the authority, validity, and accuracy of sources?
  • How did you determine which sources addressed your research question most effectively?
  • Describe your strategies for effectively and consistently incorporating and attributing your sources.

Research Strategies

  • Describe your initial research strategy.  How did it change or evolve over time?
  • What challenges, frustrations, successes, or highlights did you experience and how did you respond to each?
  • How would you use what you learned during this process when conducting research in the future?
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