Encyclopedia articles, well-sourced Wikipedia. Usually, you should not cite to a tertiary source in your essay. Use these sources to find primary and secondary sources. Look at footnotes, citations, and indexes in tertiary sources. These are great for finding books, articles, and legal cases that are relevant to your topic. Also take note of the names of authors, who may have written multiple works on your topic. Speak to a librarian. If you can, go to a law library, which will have more specialized resources.
A librarian can help you locate sources and navigate through state and federal case law reporters and books of statutory law. He or she may also provide you with access to subscription-only legal search engines. Consult specialized search engines. Different academic fields often use different search engines.
In the Unites States, law students typically use HeinOnline. Google Scholar is an excellent free resource for books and case opinions.
Also find search engines for related fields, such as history or political science. Ask your librarian to recommend specialized search engines tailored to other disciplines that may have contributed to your topic. Gather sources and read them. Highlight or make note of important arguments, facts, and statistics. When you sit down to write your essay, you will want to be able to easily refer back to your sources so that you can quote and cite them accurately. Create an outline for each relevant source.
Write down the structure of the argument and any helpful quotes. This will help you condense the argument when you reference or summarize the source in your essay. Never cut and paste from the web into your notes or essay. This often leads to inadvertent plagiarism because students forget what is a quotation and what is paraphrasing.
When gathering sources, paraphrase or add quotation marks in your outline. Plagiarism is a serious offense. If you ultimately hope to be a lawyer, an accusation of plagiarism could prevent you from passing the character and fitness review.
Look for arguments on both sides of an issue. Law is a political subject, and any law adopted by a democracy is the product of debate. Thus, you should be able to find rich counter-arguments on both sides of any legal issue. Write your thesis statement. Your thesis statement is the argument you are making.
A thesis statements should be phrased as an argument, often using the word "because. An outline typically begins with the thesis statement, and then lists each argument and counter-argument that will be addressed in the essay.
Under each argument and counter-argument, include a bulleted list of facts from your research that support the argument. Note the source of each fact for use in your citations later. Begin your introduction broadly.
Briefly situate your topic within its greater historical context with a broad introduction. For example, if your topic is the exclusionary rule of evidence in the United States, open your essay with the importance and impact of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution.
Finish your introduction with your thesis statement, which is the narrow question your essay will address. An effective introduction takes the reader out of his world and into the world of your essay. After reading your introduction, your reader should know what you are going to discuss and in what order you will be discussing it.
Be prepared to revise your introduction later. Summarizing your essay will be easier after you have written it, especially if you deviate from your outline. An essay is more than an outline with the bullet points removed. Explain each section of your outline in complete sentences, and remember to do the following: State each argument of your essay as a statement that, if true, would support your thesis statement.
Provide supporting information drawn from primary and secondary sources that support your argument. Remember to cite your sources. Provide your own original analysis, explaining to the reader that based on the primary and secondary sources you have presented, the reader should be persuaded by your argument. A strong piece of writing always addresses opposing points of view. You should accurately paraphrase any counter-argument to an argument you put forth, and then use evidence and analysis to argue why your reader should be persuaded by your argument and not by the counter-argument.
A conclusion briefly summarizes your argument without restating each individual point. Conclude by strongly restating your thesis statement.
Review your essay prompt. The prompt provided by your professor should include instructions for the formatting of your essay. Make sure that your work complies with these instructions to avoid having points deducted from your grade.
Use the correct citation format. Law school journals and some undergraduate courses might require the Bluebook format, which is the traditional format for legal writing.
Make sure that your margins, spacing, font, and page numbers comply with the prompt. Check the font of the body of your essay, as well as the footnotes, if applicable. If a heading is required, review any guidelines for formatting your heading. You may need to revise your work to meet those requirements.
Read the essay backwards. Start with the last sentence and read it. Then read the next one, slowly moving toward the beginning. This forces you to pay attention to the sentence construction without allowing you to get caught up in the flow of the argument.
It is great to get some background information in the opening. Make sure that you link the question in the introduction with the question mentioned below by using some essential terms throughout the text. People, please write my law essay for me! Think where your essay may or will go.
Try not to get lost in your thoughts. What mechanisms or reforms would you use in your essay? Which one you would prefer to omit and why?
Are you going to draw on any comparative authorities? When you summarize the extent of your argument, you need to supply a simple outline of the structure to help the reader of your essay to understand the entire message of your essay. Imagine that your essay is a map, and there you should mark where the starting and the final point is and follow your map to write as more structured paper as it is possible.
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