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University of Texas University of Texas Libraries

Signature Course Information Literacy Award

Information Literacy Award

About the Award

The Signature Course Information Literacy Award celebrates excellence in library research and the practical application of the Learning Outcomes for Information Literacy. Up to three awards are given each year for research projects submitted in a UGS 302, UGS 303, or TC 302 course (depending on the number of nominations). The first place winner receives $300, second place receives $200 (if awarded), and third place receives $100 (if awarded). Honorable mention (if awarded) does not receive a monetary prize. Winners in group projects split the award. All winners receive a certificate of recognition and have their work archived and made accessible through the Texas ScholarWorks Digital Repository. The panel of judges consists of librarians from Teaching and Learning Services and staff at the Sanger center and the Writing Flag office. The awards are presented in April each year. 



Deadline and Eligibility

Nomination deadline: January 24, 2025

All materials must be submitted by: January 31, 2025

Students can submit research projects from any Signature Course (UGS 302, 303, TC 302) completed in spring, summer, or fall of 2024. If you are entering with a paper from spring or summer, we recommend submitting your materials at the end of that semester.

Enter to Win

Faculty-nomination or TA-nomination Student self-nomination or after faculty nomination            

Step 1: Complete the nomination form, which includes a one-paragraph justification for your nomination. Tell us what was exemplary about this student's (or group's) research. Consider the research process and the quality and use of sources. Remember that the award is granted on the basis of research skills and information literacy, not writing.


Step 2: The Libraries will contact the student(s) for the work nominated and confirm your nomination via email.

Step 1: Complete the self-nomination form. You can submit the documents (project, bibliography, and research strategy essay) required in step 2 via this form or to 

Step 2: Submit your documents either in the self-nomination form or to

Required Documents:

  • A final version of the project as of the day it was turned in (no further revisions should have been made since submission to faculty or TA).
  • A bibliography or other appropriate listing of sources
  • An essay describing your research strategy

Research Strategy Essay

Write a 400-600 word essay describing your research strategy. Discuss the steps you went through to gather and use the information needed for your project. 

You might discuss how you:

  • chose a topic or research question
  • decided what keywords to use and how they changed during your research process.
  • chose databases to search
  • decided what type of sources (ex: peer-reviewed literature, statistics) you needed and why.
  • determined the credibility of your sources
  • sought help with your research (from a librarian, professor, TA, or other).

It is not necessary to cover all of these topics. Discuss those that are relevant to your research process. 

For group projects, only one essay is required. Include your name(s).

Step 3: Ask your faculty member or TA to submit a one-paragraph statement supporting your self-nomination to (you don't need to do this if you were already nominated by your prof. or TA).

The statement should:

Tell us what was exemplary about this student's (or group's) research. Consider the research process and the quality and use of sources. Remember that the award is granted on the basis of research skills and information literacy, not writing. 

Project requirements:

  • Written projects should be double-spaced; there is no minimum or maximum length.
  • Digital projects: If the project still lives online and is widely accessible, please provide a link to the online content. If it is not available online, please provide a DVD or CD of the web-based projects.
  • Please include your name on all documents
  • Faculty and/or TAs may submit more than one nomination for the same course. Please use a separate form for each nomination.
  • Group projects may be nominated. Only one form is needed for the group. If a group project wins, the prize will be split amongst group members.
  • Any type of research project may be nominated, including multi-media projects.
  • Individuals must be current University of Texas undergraduate students to be eligible.
  • Eligible projects must have been submitted as an assignment in a Signature Course (UGS 302, UGS 303, TC 302) during the prior calendar year.
  • Students must agree to contribute their work to the Texas ScholarWorks Digital Repository. Students will retain copyright and the work will be available online.  
  • Students can win this award one time while enrolled at UT. 

Evaluation Criteria

Successful projects will:

  • Make use of library resources and collections in any format.
  • Demonstrate effective application of information literacy and fluency principles:
    • determining information needs
    • evaluating and analyzing information
    • managing, organizing, and synthesizing information
    • applying information in the context of the project
  • Provide appropriate and accurate citations and credits.
  • Demonstrate originality of thought, mastery of content appropriate to class level, clear writing,and overall quality of presentation.


For more information, please contact Sarah Brandt,

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