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Methods For Writing Legal Research Papers

Students who are doing their major in law studies are often assigned to write

legal research papers

. Things are not too difficult with these research papers but things become really difficult when it comes to documenting the sources properly. Students are usually in this last stage of writing. There are many ways for documenting sources in the paper; therefore, it is recommended that you first ask your teacher about the citation method for your college or university.

Another important thing that you should know that citation method for legal research paper on court is totally different from a general paper. So, if you want to know the difference then you can consult the following guide to cite sources in court research paper.

How to cite the final decision taken by the court?

  • The first most important thing that you should do is to jot down the case name, year it was filed and finally decided, the name and the volume number of the reporter that is used to read about the case.

Keep in mind that you will have to document your sources in two places, first; in the content of the research paper, second; in the end of the paper. Therefore, we can divide the overall citation into two segments.

How to cite within the text of the paper?

At the end of the sentence, you will write down (Name v. Name, year). For example; you have to cite the case that was decided in the year 1986 and the contenders were George and Thompson then your citation would be something like this: (George v. Thompson, 1986)

You can also go with an alternative citation method within the text which is:

If you have mentioned the case name within the sentence already then you can write the year of the case in the parenthesis only. For instance;

“In the case of George v. Thompson (1986), the judge claimed that the Thompson was guilty of the offence”

How to cite within the reference list?

Standard method for citing sources in a reference list:
Name v. Name, volume number, reporter abbreviation, page no (name of the court). The idea will become clearer with the following example.

Thompson v. George, 867 R.E, 3d 433 (NC App. Ct. 1986)

All possible methods for citing sources in a legal research paper on court have been provided to you. Now, its up you how you use them to improve the overall quality of your assignment. It is advisable that before adopting any method you must first ask for the citation guideline from your teacher so that you know what kind of assignment he or she is expecting from you.

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