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What is the nature of the location where it occurred? How did it occur? What are the parties complaining of? What are the parties claiming?
What are the injuries or harm? What will the defence to the claim likely be? During this process, note whether some facts or legal issues may be determinative.
For example, an impecunious defendant, or the expiration of a limitation period, may make the rest of your research academic. Determinative issues should be given priority when you start your research. Include important factual terms as well as legal concepts in your list of key words.
Proper identification of the issues and of key words and subject headings at this stage will expedite your research, and permit a more accurate and thorough analysis of the law. As you proceed through the steps legal writing research plans below, constantly refer back to your initial characterisation of the issues.
It is common for a researcher to change her definition of the issues as she progresses with the research project.
If your research is for a seminar paper, you will need to develop a thesis. Then, in order to develop your thesis, you must spend time thinking about your research data in a variety of creative ways.
Organisation of research material In a simple, single issue research project, you can keep all of your material in a single paper folder or electronic folder without any problem. However, for a more complex research assignment, keep separate sub-folders for each issue of law, or use electronic tags for each issue of law.
Put copies of relevant sources in the appropriate folder, together with notes indicating whether these sources have been updated. In addition to these relevant sources, keep general research notes, including the problem assigned, your research strategy, the issues and sub-issues identified, and your notes on which sources have been reviewed or rejected and which sources must still be checked.
Highlighters and sticky notes are useful for annotating research documents. If you prefer working with electronic copies, use the highlighting and annotation features of the word processor or electronic reader to capture this information. It is common to be working on several projects at once, or to come back to your work after a period of time.
Annotations will greatly increase your efficiency. Instead of re-reading the whole case to remember why it seemed important, you can quickly refer to a few highlighted passages and your notes regarding the issues to which the case relates.
Research bibliography In order to conduct your research in an orderly fashion, it is necessary to keep a list of the sources you have reviewed. A complete research bibliography will contain the following information: It will enable you to quickly prepare a bibliography.Legal Research and Writing (): Legal Research and Writing is a two-unit course taught as a simulation.
Students work on a legal problem starting with an initial interview, and they conduct fact investigation and legal research related to that problem. Students receive rigorous training in reading. LexisNexis Digital Library can increase mobile access and research productivity while helping you save legal subscription costs and manage title usage.
LexisNexis ® Mobile Solutions A variety of LexisNexis apps and legal mobile sites help you make informed, on-the-spot decisions. How to Write a Research Plan A good research plan (roughly ten pages) should include the following information: topic, background, objectives, methods, data and execution.
Perspectives: Teaching Legal Research and Writing is an electronic journal published by Thomson Reuters two times a year for legal research and writing instructors and law firm and law school librarians.
The journal provides a forum for discussing the teaching of legal research and writing, focusing on research materials, tools and theories. Suggested Lessons for Legal Research and Writing Classes The following CALI law lessons have been reviewed and are also recommended for legal studies and paralegal students.
Faculty should download the Teacher's Manual to read the peer review of this lesson.
Finally, remember that legal research is a recursive process. As you read more and learn more, you may have to adjust your question. Again, this is perfectly natural. However, it leads to the next important point about executing a research plan.