Each year the Carl B. Ylvisaker Library recognizes excellent student research with our Exemplary Research Award. The current student or students who submit the best research paper are awarded $1,000. The winning project is announced each year at the Celebration of Student Scholarship (COSS). Selected essays are included in New Voices and Concordia’s institutional repository.

Award Criteria

  • Applicants must be currently enrolled juniors and seniors at Concordia College.
  • Submitted academic papers must have been completed during the junior or senior year in conjunction with coursework at Concordia College.
  • If group work is submitted, all students who originally submitted the paper must be included. 
  • Group submissions will split the $1000 prize equally. 
  • A complete application portfolio will include the original academic paper, an annotated bibliography and a research process essay.
  • A complete application portfolio will be submitted online by the application deadline.
  • The successful applicant or applicants will submit a library research-based academic paper with a complete bibliography that exemplifies thoughtful, reflective attention to the research process.
  • The cited sources should be gathered from both primary and secondary literature and should reflect appropriate use of library research tools.
  • Information from these sources should be integrated with the applicant's original thoughts in a logical manner that substantiates claims and arguments or provides context.
  • Papers should incorporate a minimum of five information sources that are appropriate for the discipline and subject matter of the research paper.
  • Each source must be cited correctly according to the rules of the citation style selected for the paper.

The successful applicant or applicants will submit annotations for five to eight of the best sources used in the paper.

  • Each selected source must be cited correctly according to the rules of the documentation style selected for the paper.
  • Each annotation should be at least two paragraphs long.
  • Annotations must describe and evaluate the source, indicating a thorough understanding of the material and summarizing how a source informed the writing of the paper.

If you have questions about preparing an annotated bibliography, this document provides basic information.

The research process essay should reveal an understanding of the research process and demonstrate significant personal knowledge of methods of research and inquiry.

  • The essay should describe specific library tools used, search strategies employed, and resources consulted. Examples include library databases, initial search terms, and additional terms discovered. The essay should evaluate how resources and strategies were or were not successful.
  • The essay should demonstrate how information from a variety of sources were brought together to substantiate the author’s claims. 
  • It should acknowledge sources that provided a contradictory position, and describe how that information informed a revised hypothesis or led to further inquiry.
  • The essay should acknowledge the importance of the ethical use of information (e.g. describes the importance of citing sources, details the ways in which sources are incorporated and documented, etc.).

Evidence of these reflections must be apparent in the research paper.


View the Evaluation Rubric.


Submit your application for the Exemplary Research Award.