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Library Research Award

Library Research Award

Professor Berkley Laite

Ezra Lehman Library will present the 2024 Library Research Award to the undergraduate student researchers who write the best literature review as a part of their research with a faculty mentor.  The Library will present a $1,000 first prize award and a $500 honorable mention award. The competition will take place in the Spring Semester of academic year 2023-2024, in coordination with Minds@Work, Shippensburg University's annual student research conference.

Special thanks are owed to the late Professor Emeritus Berkley Laite ('67) and his wife Carol Laite ('65) who originally created and funded the early years of the Library Research Award. 

Timeline and Procedures

Timeline & Required Dates

Friday, December 15, 2023: Noon deadline for Fall submissions.

Monday, February 5, 2024: Noon deadline for Spring submissions.

Saturday, May 4, 2024: Presentation of award winners at 2024 Student Awards Program.

Application Procedures

  • Students conducting research under the guidance of a faculty mentor are eligible to apply for the Library Research Award. Examples include:
    • Recipients of the Undergraduate Research Grant
    • Students in Senior Seminar
    • Students in Capstone Courses
    • Students doing Honors Capstone Projects
  • All Literature Reviews must be a minimum of 1000 words (Times New Roman, 12pt font) and should be prepared with proper citation and style format appropriate to the discipline. Beyond these requirements, the literature reviews will be evaluated based on the following four criteria:
    • The review and works cited list consistently follow one citation style and contain minimal errors.
    • The review develops relationships between ideas tied to the broader purpose of the literature review while clearly flowing through the progression of these ideas.
    • The review clearly describes and analyzes sources while integrating the sources into the writing.
    • The review supports the claims made with appropriate sources.
  • Applicants must be available to attend the award presentation.
  • Sorry Submissions for the 2024 Award are now closed

Literature Review Evaluation Rubric

Past Winners

2023 - First Prize

Cole Pearson, Class of 2026, Chemistry

Research Title: "The Use of Psychedelics in Therapies Targeting Alzheimer’s Disease: A Literature Review"

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Christine Senecal

2023 - Honorable Mention

Cosette Curtis, Class of 2026, Social Work

Research Title: "Challenges of Women’s Reproductive Health: A Review of Current Literature"

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Christine Senecal

2022 - First Prize

Nicholas Kornilow, Class of 2025, Biology

Research Title: "Aspartame in Relation to Health Effects Upon Consumption"

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Christine Senecal

2022 - Honorable Mention

Meghan Sharpe, Class of 2022, Political Science and Communication Journalism

Appellate Brief Title: "DeLuca v. Monroe County School District"

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Sara Grove

2021 - First Prize

Maria Maresca & Vincent Wijaya, Class of 2023, Political Science

Appellate Brief Title: "Pearson v. Jefferson County School District"

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Sara Grove

2021 - Honorable Mention

Matthew Morine, Class of 2025, Applied Physics

Research Title: "The Ethics of Brain-Machine Interfaces"

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Christine Senecal

2020 - First Prize

Trevor Grohowski, Class of 2023, Electrical Engineering

Research Title: "An Overview of the Advancements of 5G Communication"

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Christine Senecal

2020 - Honorable Mention

Adam Haertter, Class of 2023, Computer Science

Research Title: "Data Encryption Standards of Today, Their Benefits, and Their Relevance to Modern Cryptography - A Literature Review"

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Christine Senecal

2019 - First Prize

Jessica Kuhn, Class of 2019, Political Science

Research Title: "The Pan American Health Organization and Aedes aegypti: A Literature Review"

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Mark Sachleben

2019 - Honorable Mention

Jack Goertzen, Class of 2019, Biology

Research Title: "The Necropotsis Pathway"

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Thomas Frielle

2018 - First Prize

Joshua Varone, Class of 2018, Computer Science

Research Title: "Improving the Performance of Web Cache Replacement with Machine Learning"

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Alice Armstrong

2018 - Honorable Mention

Jonathon Chester, Class of 2018, Geography/Earth Sciences Major

Research Title: "How Flat is Big Flat"

Faculty Advisor: Dr. William Blewett

2016 - First Prize

Rikki Sargent, Class of 2016, Psychology Major, Disability Studies Minor

Research Title: "Job Performance, Satisfaction, and Retention among Workers with Disabilities"

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Wendy Becker

2016 - Honorable Mention

Aryanna James, Class of 2016 , Biology Major, Geography/Earth Sciences Minor

Research Title: "Behaviors affecting reproductive success in the Class Diplopoda (Millipedes)"

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Gregory Paulson

2015 - First Prize

Rikki Sargent, Class of 2016, Psychology Major

Research Title: "Perceived Pressures and Time Allocation Differences among NCAA Female Volleyball Athletes"

Faculty Advisor: Dr. James Griffith

2015 - Honorable Mention

Shana Fentress, Class of 2016, Psychology Major

Research Title: "Parent-Child Attachment Effects on Relationships throughout Life"

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Ashley Siebert

Taylor Baker, Class of 2015, Psychology Major

Research Title: "Parent-Child Attachment Effects on Relationships throughout Life"

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Ashley Siebert

2014 - First Prize

Mark Juers, Class of 2015, Biology Major-Ecology Track

Research Title: "Early Life-Cycle Phenotype Plasticity in Northeastern Vernal Pool Ambystoma spp. and Lithobates sylvatica Communities"

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Sherri Bergsten

2014 - Honorable Mention

Rikki Sargent, Class of 2016, Psychology Major/Disability Studies Minor

Research Title: "Expressive and Receptive Language in Children with Autism"

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Ashley Seibert

2013 - First Prize

Erin Varley, Class of 2013, Exercise Science Major

Research Title: "The Effects of Caffeine on Anaerobic Performance: A Literature Review"

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Joohee Sanders

2013 - Honorable Mention

Joseph D. Hawbaker, Class of 2013, Geography Major

Research Title: "The Effects of Buildings and Structures on Microclimates: A Literature Review"

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Tim Hawkins

2012 - First Prize

Winnie Okiwaare, Class of 2012, Biology Major

Yael Y. Gau, Class of 2012, Biology Major/Concentration in the Health Professions Pre-Med

Research Title: "The Dueling Triad: Shigella flexneri, Autophagy and ATG5 in Glioma Cells as a Potential Cancer Therapy"

Faculty Advisors: Dr. Lucinda Elliot and Dr. Allyssa Bumbaug

2012 - Honorable Mention

Chad Crumrine, Class of 2012, History Major/Minor in Anthropology & International Studies

Research Title: "How Ohiopyle Was Saved: The Environmental Regulation of Surface Coal Mining"

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Allen Dieterich-Ward

2011 - First Prize

Joseph Sauthoff, Class of 2011, Criminal Justice and Interdisciplinary Arts Major

Research Title: "Scenic Designs of 'Expecting Isable,' and Directing 'An Inspector Calls'"

Faculty Advisors: Professor Paris Peet and Dr. Michael Pressler

2011 - Honorable Mention

Rebecca Rotz, Class of 2012, Mathematics and Economics Major

Research Title: "Factors Influencing Retirement Status (Retirement: When Will I Be Ready?)"

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Freddy Siahaan

2010 - First Prize

James Redington, Class of 2010, Chemistry/Secondary Ed Major

Research Title: "Determination of the Causal Agent of Rosette Disease (RRD)"

Faculty Advisor: Professor William Patrie

2010 - Honorable Mention

Corolynne Wooley, Class of 2011, Psychology Major

Research Title: "Relationship Between College Student Health Concerns and Health Anxieties"

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Scott Madey

Ashley Martin, Class of 2011, Biology/Secondary Ed Major

Nitasha Kaur, Class of 2011, Psychology Major/Biology Minor

Research Title: "Elucidating the Role of Atg5 Autophagy Protein in Growth Characteristics of SNB19 Brain Tumor Cells"

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Lucinda Elliot

Guides & Examples

Help with Literature Reviews

Literature Review

What is a literature review?

According to A Dictionary of Media and Communication, published by Oxford University Press, a literature review is a "formal, reflective survey of the most significant and relevant works of published and peer-reviewed academic research on a particular topic, summarizing and discussing their findings and methodologies in order to reflect the current state of knowledge in the field and the key questions raised. Literature reviews do not themselves present any previously unpublished research. They may be published as review articles in academic journals or as an element in a thesis or dissertation: in the case of the latter, they serve to situate the current study within the field."*

Literature reviews may be done in any field or for any topic for which there is a published body of research, although they have been typically most common in the Social and Natural Sciences. A literature review can be simply a summary of the contents/arguments of the sources, but are more likely to have a thematic organization that includes both summary and synthesis. They may also uncover areas and issues which invite fresh examination.

In the sections below are some examples of literature reviews in various fields. Do not be alarmed at the length of some of the examples; your review should be 3-5 pages.

*"literature review"  A Dictionary of Media and Communication. First Edition by Daniel Chandler and Rod Munday. Oxford University Press Inc. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press.  Shippensburg University.  14 October 2011  <http://www.oxfordreference.com/views/ENTRY.html?subview=Main&entry=t326.e1550>

Citing Sources

ACS Style (American Chemical Society)

APA Style (American Psychological Association)

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ASA Style (American Sociological Association)

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Chicago Manual of Style

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CSE Style (Council of Scientific Editors)

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