How to Write a Law Research Paper
The goal of any law research paper is to present new or different approaches to a problem then provide evidence to support the argument. Writing a law research paper can seem intimidating at first. Still, after you overcome the challenge of understanding the basic expectations of your paper, this task should not be any more difficult than writing a term paper.
Table Of Content 1
- Outline the Research Paper’s Expectations
- Identify or Develop a Topic
- Do your Research
- Develop a Research Draft
- Work on the Introduction
- Draft the Research Paper’s body
- Draft the Conclusion
- Edit and Proofread
Below are some strategies on how to write a great law research paper.
1. Outline the Research Paper’s Expectations
The first step to writing a law research paper is reading and understanding the research guidelines. As a novice researcher, you must differentiate casual writing from professional or technical writing. A law research paper demands strict adherence to set rules and special attention to detail. Remember that you are expected to develop a research paper of the same caliber as other reputable papers in this field.
A proper outline can help you research and write effectively by:
- Organizing your ideas. This will help you group your thoughts and answer questions like what you want your reader to learn or which idea is best for introducing or concluding your paper.
- Helping you create a flow of information by understanding how your ideas relate to each other
- Helping you take note of everything you need to begin and conclude your research
Other things you need to consider at this point include the technical aspects of your research paper like the grammar, font, writing style, referencing style, spacing and margins, footnotes and page numbering.
2. Identify or Develop a Topic
Choosing a topic can be one of the most challenging tasks when writing a law research paper. If an instructor has not assigned you a topic, it can be difficult to narrow down a topic from the several problems in your law field. Still, it would help if you chose a topic early and correctly because your topic will shape the scope of work and the concept of your research paper.
Here are a few tips to utilize when selecting a law topic.
- Choose a topic that is within the framework given by your instructor. If you are tasked with selecting a topic on your own, research and review other research papers to understand the guiding principles of specific research topics in law
- Choose a topic you like and can relate to. Researching and writing can be particularly enjoyable if you are interested in the topic you are writing about
- Ensure that there is a sufficient amount of information available to support your research. Remember that supporting your argument is crucial to any research paper, including law. If too much information is available on your chosen topic, you may need to narrow it down. If there are only a few available sources, you need to broaden the topic or find a different topic altogether.
- Select a topic in an area that requires new and different approaches. In a field, as widely studied and researched as law, it pays to stand out from the crowd. Instead of choosing a topic in a field that already has hundreds of published proposals and arguments, choose one that is refreshing and original.
3. Do your Research
After identifying a research topic, the next step is to work on a research plan. At this point, the workload can sometimes be discouraging. The best approach is to forget the entire plan and instead focus on tackling one task at a time. This way, you can conduct thorough research and write a persuasive and thoughtful law research paper.
Your primary task at this point is to read, understand and gather information on your chosen topic. Make use of all the available sources, including online sources and your local library. If necessary, you may also supplement this information with material from your textbooks and lecture notes. Make notes with all the relevant details, and remember to document the source.
You might also find it necessary to adjust some of your ideas based on the new information you will gather while researching. Adjustments are acceptable if they are within the parameters of your research topic and relate well to your initial ideas. Ensure that you organize your notes to make your work easier.
Additionally, ensure that you utilize credible sources to avoid including outdated or nullified arguments in your work.
4. Develop a Research Draft
After conducting all the necessary groundwork on your law research paper, it is time to work on a draft. This draft aims to group ideas and establish the structure your final research paper will take. Learning how to organize your ideas to flow is a valuable skill to have even in practice. A well-structured research paper is easy to read because it communicates fluently and efficiently.
Avoid including information that may overwhelm your audience. A good law research paper emphasizes the key points and the information you need to support your thesis. Remember to review your outline frequently to ensure every step you take aligns with your plan.
5. Work on the Introduction
Many writers struggle with the introduction mainly because this section seeks to achieve several goals with only about one-third of the written material. A good law research paper introduction will first capture the reader’s attention before explaining the importance of the thesis.
It is critical to note that many readers will discard or continue reading a research paper depending on their feelings about the introduction. For this reason, it is important to be brief and concise but interesting when writing the introduction to your law research paper.
Another key element of a good introduction for a research paper is that it describes the problem and why it is important without giving too much information. It is critical to note the difference between having an introduction that is too brief the reader fails to understand what your paper is about and one with too much information that almost covers what the main body of the paper is about. A good introduction aims to strike a balance between the two.
Remember not to waste too much time trying to develop the perfect introduction at the beginning of working on your paper. A better method would be to first work on the draft introduction then work on the finer details later.
6. Draft the Research Paper’s body
A law research paper body takes up the majority of the available information and will mainly dwell on the analysis of the research topic. Remember to review the research guidelines to determine the depth and length of this section.
In this section, organize your relevant ideas in a hierarchy, then provide facts with detailed examples to support your argument.
Here are some tips on writing a proper body for your Law Research paper.
- Relevance- every idea in the body of your research paper should support the paper’s thesis. If a paragraph is out of place or fails to relate to the main topic, it is irrelevant and should be omitted.
- Evidence- remember that, if you write without including supporting evidence, you will only be making claims and coming up with ideas but not stating facts.
- Logical order- organize your paragraphs sequentially like you would when building a wall with blocks so that your work flows naturally.
- Use the relevant transition words and phrases –use the necessary transition words to link paragraphs or to refer to similarities or differences in your ideas.
7. Draft the Conclusion
Every experienced writer or researcher will use the conclusion of their paper to leave a lasting impression on the reader. Your law research paper should not be any different. Use the conclusion to summarize your main points and help the reader understand the relevance of the thesis.
Remember not to introduce new ideas or discuss questions that are not part of the paper’s body. You don’t have to worry about new ideas you wish to introduce in the paper. Remember, this is just a draft. Note them down separately, then introduce them in the body of the paper, carefully linking them to the main topic.
8. Edit and Proofread
The last step in writing a Law research paper is to edit and proofread your draft to create the final paper. You can use the first round of proofreading to ensure that your ideas follow logically and are discussed conclusively. It would be best if you also used this round to ensure that well-documented and credible sources back your suggestions and recommendations.
In the next round of proofreading, check for grammatical errors, repetitions, punctuations and tone. Additionally, compare the paper to the outline to ensure that you did not leave out anything. Remember that you can proofread as many times as is necessary until you achieve the desired results. You may also use a third party if necessary.
After making all the necessary changes and going through the paper one more time, your Law Research Paper is finally ready for submission.