Is it pertinent to my career choice? Pick something you are interested in: Whenever possible, choose a topic that you feel passionate and comfortable about. Writing about something you enjoy certainly shows in the final product, making it more likely that you will be successful writing a paper about something you enjoy.
For example, if you are really interested in Constitutional Law, write something which involves the constitutional principle or constitutional issue. Consult: if even you are a master in a subject you might not come out with a research paper. Therefore, consult. Consult with your colleagues, teachers etc. They can inspire you with new ideas. Change the topic and restart the research. Give time, Sit down with an issue or research topic. Try to use a minimum of five sources to vary your information; never rely on only sources.
Books should be the primary areas of research. Read as much as you can. It will not only give you a better insight but also help you connect things better and understand if there are loopholes in your research. Visit Library and use database: As Stated in the paragraph above, there is some specific Online Search Engine for specific subjects for example: SCC Online, VakilSearch: if you are searching for Case law Kluwer Arbitration: If you are researching on Arbitration Manupatra: it provides judgments across all subjects of law of Supreme Court, all Indian High Courts, Orders of the Tribunals, bills, central and state Acts, notification and circulars, ordinances, committee reports and more.
Contract Law Rule The rule describes which law applies to the issue. The rule should be stated as a general principle, and not a conclusion to the particular case being briefed. If footnotes count in the page limit, this is a real consideration—make sure you know the answer. Consider organization. Does your professor have a preference as to how the paper should be organized? What about the ratio between background and analysis? How about headings and subheadings? Does your professor care?
Consider content. Does your professor have any pet peeves or strong preferences regarding what should be in your paper? As an adjunct, I have answered all these questions for my students because I have strong preferences. They know what I expect regarding mechanics. They know I care little about how they format citations, but that I consider the rigor of their research to be important, that analysis is the most important part of the paper, and that I expect them to be concise, write plainly, and edit well.
Choose a Good Topic Spend time selecting your topic. This is an important decision. A common problem that students make is tackling a topic that is too large or too amorphous to analyze in the page limit. Another common misstep is to choose a paper topic that does not allow you to demonstrate course knowledge.
My best advice is therefore to choose a narrow topic that will allow you to demonstrate mastery of course material. Conduct Rigorous Research Once you identify the issue that you want to address in your paper, create a research plan.
Start by determining how will you get the necessary background information to address the subject. Spend time getting a handle on the issue. Then dig deeper into cases, statutes, articles, and other sources to inform your analysis of the topic. Most students are not rigorous when they research. On at least some level, your professor is an expert on the subject matter and will know whether you invested time in your research.
The more discrete the course subject, the more likely your professor has deep knowledge of the area and the harder it will be to impress him or her with your research. Second, determine what kind of research paper or essay you are writing. The different kinds of legal papers can include: briefs for class assignments, analytical papers term paper type , bar exam format papers, appellate briefs, and actual legal document filings.
The first three types mentioned will be discussed here. Class Assignments and Bar Exam Essays If your assignment includes reading and briefing one or more court cases, the method of briefing is easy to remember with the acronym "IRAC".
ISSUE In order to determine what the issue is, you need to know the parts of the case that are in dispute. Often, facts are included in essay questions which are irrelevant but are a trap for the unwary.
These types of mistakes are the result of "red herrings.
Read as much as you can. Often, facts are included in essay questions which are irrelevant but are a trap for the unwary. The basics Having the structure of the paper in place is a good start. They know what I expect regarding mechanics.
In essence, was the case overruled on appeal? Also, a simple flowchart represents the stages in a process in sequence.
Books should be the primary areas of research. When you write about the issue in law school assignments or bar exam essay questions, it should be in the form of a question e. The outline should be an overview of your entire paper in bullet points. Make thorough notes: include all important and relevant details and quotes and take note of the source.
My best advice is therefore to choose a narrow topic that will allow you to demonstrate mastery of course material. Focus on Analysis In the paper, you will identify the problem and explain the facts. You may need to develop your ideas in more detail, give more evidence to support your claims, or delete material that is unnecessary. Consider mechanics.
Consider mechanics. The bulk of your paper should involve rigorous analysis. The basics Having the structure of the paper in place is a good start. Here you will find information to help you improve your writing for any purpose in your law degree.
What about the ratio between background and analysis? The term red herring is used because there is no such thing as a red herring, thus the name to denote a false issue. Describe the sampling strategy Describe the intervention if applicable Identify the main study variables Describe data collection instruments and procedures Outline analysis methods Report on data collection and recruitment response rates, etc. Do not think the self-directed paper format means the professor does not care whether you understand the concepts learned in class.
What about the ratio between background and analysis? For example, when writing in APA format you must organize your paper by headings including the introduction, methods, results, and discussion. The following information is a crash course in legal citation. Analyse and Plan Certain types of writing call for a different approach. Start by determining how will you get the necessary background information to address the subject.
If so, could it be shorter? Consult: if even you are a master in a subject you might not come out with a research paper. The different kinds of legal papers can include: briefs for class assignments, analytical papers term paper type , bar exam format papers, appellate briefs, and actual legal document filings.
Step by step tutorial on the basics of researching in law. A paper usually goes through several drafts before it is submitted.