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POLB50: Canada's Political Institutions

Consult this guide to find resources for your research assignment.

Welcome to UTSC Library!

Welcome to UTSC Library!   Use this guide to begin your research for POLB50.   Use the menu on the left of the screen to navigate this guide.

Evaluate Your Sources

Evaluate and choose your sources carefully.   It's important to choose high quality sources in order to write good essay.    (Choosing good sources can help you get better marks!).  Consider the following criteria:

  • Relevance:    Is the source relevant to your topic?
  • Authority:   Was the source written by someone with relevant academic qualifications?
  • Timeliness:   Is the source up-to-date enough to still be relevant to your topic?
  • Assignment Instructions:  Did your instructor ask you to use a particularly type of sources and/or avoid others?  If yes, use the type of sources your instructor has requested.

Want to learn more?   See  Source Evaluation Checklist.   Got questions?   Talk to your TA,  or instructor.   

UTSC Library Undergraduate Research Prize

The UTSC Undergraduate Research Prize honours UTSC students who have excelled in research, scholarship and creative activities in the classroom and beyond. This prize will recognize the research and creative activities of undergraduate students, their overall contribution to the University of Toronto Scarborough, and illustrate the role of the library in the research process. The project may take many forms such as a traditional paper, a database, a website, digital project or creative expression. 

The UTSC Undergraduate Student Research Prize is a financial prize sponsored jointly by the UTSC Library and UTSC Office of the Vice-Principal Research. It is open to all students who are currently registered as UTSC students and have completed their first year of study. 

Recipients of the UTSC Undergraduate Research Prize will be recognized at the UTSC annual faculty and staff Celebration of Distinguished Services in June. Prize winning projects and/or recipients will also be featured on the UTSC Library website and OVPR website and invited to be archived on TSpace.


The prize is open to all undergraduate students who meet the following criteria:

  • currently enrolled at UTSC;
  • completed their first year of study (completion of 3.5 credits)
  • student is principal investigator;
  • individual or group research projects completed within the previous year (Spring 2020/Summer 2020, Fall 2020 or Winter 2021)
  • participated in meaningful engagement with their liaison librarian (for example active participation in course research workshops or in depth research consultations)


What are students being judged on? 

The prizes(s) will be awarded primarily on the basis of the quality of the research project(s) and the illustration of the use of scholarly resources in the research process. Please refer to the detailed judging rubric for additional information.

The Judging Committee shall consist of UTSC faculty members, and be chaired by representatives of the UTSC Office of the Vice-Principal, Research and Innovation.

How to Apply

Application for the UTSC Undergraduate Research Prize will be made by the undergraduate student and will consist of the following:

  • Personal data: Full name, UTSC department, current program, unofficial transcript, dates of library research workshop/consultation(s);
  • 2-page description of research project using clear, non-specialist language such that a general scholarly audience can understand the research. Include also the wider implications of the project as well as a note on the student's other research accomplishments;
  • A written statement (letter or email) by a librarian familiar with the applicant regarding the student's engagement in the research process (e.g. active participation in course research workshops or in depth research consultations);
  • A signed reference letter on departmental letterhead from a U of T Scarborough faculty member or course instructor regarding the student's engagement in the research process as applicable (e.g. conceptualization of research design, execution of research, data collection, interpretation of data, etc.);
  • A copy of the submitted research assignment (e.g. paper, website, presentation). If the research assignment cannot be submitted in an electronic format (e.g. a video, music performance, artwork) please email Sarah Forbes.

Applications must be submitted electronically as a single PDF file to

Application deadline: Thursday, April 8, 2021 11:59 PM EST
Winners announced: End of May/Early June 2021
Prizes awarded: June 2021
End of May/Early June 2021 -- Winners announced
June 2021 -- Prizes awarded


Up to 3 cash prizes of $1000 will be given out annually, one each for projects in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Sciences. The judges evaluate the projects on their quality and reserve the right to award prizes in one, two, or all three of these categories.

More Information

Contact your liaison librarian or review our Frequently Asked Questions.