This Article is written by Ipshita Goyal. She is 2nd year B.A. L.L.B ( Hons.) Student from Maharshi Dyanand University and Senior executive and Editor-in-chief at Legalthirst.
In the practice of law, nothing is more important than your ability to put together the quality of written work. You can express what you possess in terms of your innovative thinking, critical analysis, originality, and command of language by writing research papers. You have to back your knowledge by writing some solid research papers as only reading will not suffice the purpose of you being in a law school or college.
What does a research paper mean?
A research paper is an essay in which you explain what you have learned after exploring your topic in depth. In a research paper, you include information from sources such as books, articles, interviews, and Internet sites, these are known as secondary research. You also use your ideas, knowledge, and opinions. Most of your paper (as a rule of thumb, at least 80%) must be in your own words, these are known as Primary research.
So, the primary requirement of a research paper is to collect data and information on a topic, take a stand on that topic, and provide the necessary evidence to support your position in that report. The true essence of your report or research paper lies in the objective that it wants to convey.
A good research paper conveys the findings of the research in a concise and crisp form without being muddled by the wordplay of the author. Your research paper selection (if you are sending it to the repudiated journal for publication) is based on peer reviews.
Guideline to writing a Research Paper:
- Choose a Topic
- Research on the topic/ Library Research.
- Analyze and Plan by Narrowing your topic
- Make notes
- Drafting and Editing
- Preparing the final Text
Choose a Topic
Choosing a topic is the first and foremost important step in your research paper writing. Ask yourself a question: Do you have enough research on this Topic? It should be new, unique, and according to time. Your research paper should be pertinent to the career that you would be choosing.
Pick something in which you are interested: Doing your research on a topic that you enjoy is more likely to give a better result. For example, If you are interested in constitutional law and want to pursue it as a career choice then go ahead with a topic that involves constitutional principle or a thesis or idea. Stick to it and don’t digress.
Always Consult: even if you are a master in a subject or you are interested in it might not come out with a good research paper. Therefore, always consult with your colleagues, teachers, and elders, etc. They can inspire you with new ideas and knowledge.
Last but not the least, never hesitate to change the topic: if you have selected a topic and started your research on it but after you realize that it isn’t the right topic due to any reason, don’t worry, change the topic and restart everything.
Research on the topic/ Library Research.
Now it’s time, to begin with, your research work for your paper. Remember Research, not just Google: Don’t just google because books should be your primary areas for research, read them as much as you can. It will not only give you a deep knowledge but also help you to connect things better and understand the loopholes in your research.
The college library has the best resources to do your research. Look for a variety of sources, such as books and periodicals. Books provide a broad perspective, while the recent articles provide up-to-date information. You can also search for the articles from many newspapers, magazines, and scholarly journals in the library’s research databases, such as EBSCOhost.
You can also research from various sources like web pages of Commission Sites, government web portals, or different journal articles of Hein Online, Manupatra, Economic & Political Weekly, SCC Online, Kluwer Arbitration, or books like an encyclopedia, interviews,
newsletters, blog posts, etc.
Give time to your research and sit down with an issue or topic: Your information must vary so try to use five sources for your information.
There are some specific Online Search Engines for specific subjects:
- SCC Online, VakilSearch: For Caselaw
- Kluwer Arbitration: If research is on Arbitration
- Manupatra: For Judgements of SC, HC or all Indian Courts, Orders of Tribunals, bills of center and state gov., Acts, circulars, ordinances, and reports.
- Economic & political weekly: Economic & Political Weekly (EPW) publishes analysis of contemporary affairs side by side with academic papers in the social sciences.
- Jstor: JSTOR is a digital library currently JSTOR provides access to more than 12 million academic journal articles, books, and primary sources in 75 disciplines.
Analyze and Plan by Narrowing your topic
Analyze the plan and always try to narrow your topic. If you are writing an exposition, prepare a flowchart for your convenience so that you do not miss any point.
Annotate your research: After researching o all points and once you have gathered all information about a topic, through primary or secondary sources, print it out (if from a secondary source) or if it is from a book then mark reference note using sticky note paper on that page of the book and highlight the main key points using a highlighter. Use slips of paper tucked into pages to mark book pages.
Identify what is the goal of the paper: There are two types of research papers:
- Argumentative Research paper
- Analytic Research paper
Argumentative research paper argues on a point of view that is debatable and is logical and takes a position on a contentious issue.
For example: Whether the new Farmer’s Bill is in the interest of farmers.
Analytic research paper offers a fresh look at an important issue. The subject may not be controversial, but you must attempt to persuade your audience that your ideas have merit.
For example Analytical study on the New Consumer Protection Act, 2019
Determine who is your audience and for whom you are writing? Who would be reading this paper? If you are writing for academic peers then you don’t need to start everything from the basics and your paper must reflect that readers already know the basic ideas and theories. On the other hand, if you are writing for the learners then you need to explain each and everything from the starting stone. Your research paper must include important explanations and examples.
Make notes and write a summary of the main points in your language so that you could remember each point and you don’t miss anything important. If you copied a paragraph then mark it with quotation marks so that you would remember that it is copied.
Finalize your outline: With the tips mentioned above, organize your plan and the entire outline of the research paper. Make an overview of your entire paper in bullet points.
Consider guidelines for formatting: Go through the submission guidelines of the paper. It is important to alter your final research according to the guidelines. It is important to look at the font size, line spacing, and Citation method.
[*Citations are acknowledgments to authors and scholars when you copy a paragraph from another source. Acknowledging the authors and scholars. It is very important while writing a research paper and there is a keyboard shortcut for that: Alt+Ctrl+F]
For example: If you have copied a line or a paragraph from M.S. Laxmikant Book then all you need to do is, at the end of the line or paragraph, mark a footnote and enter in its book name with writer and edition. Also, write page no. of the book.
There is a citation method given in the guidelines, For Example, it is given that follow Bluebook Citation 19 then refer to this particular citation format.
this format tells you to cite books, cases, and other authorities. (Refer to the module on Bluebook Citation)
This whole process saves you from the case of copyright infringement and chances of rejection due to plagiarism.
Preparing the Final Draft
The format for the research paper could be like this:
- Table of Contents
- Index of Authorities (Would include cases that you have referred to). You may also include a list of Abbreviations if you have used any after this, though it is not mandatory to do so.
- Literature Survey/Resources Used
- Research Questions/Hypothesis
- Chapters respectively
- Conclusion: This Will mainly include what opinion or judgment you, as a researcher, have formed about the topic after the research.
Disclaimer: The opinions and views in the articles and research papers published on this website; are personal and independent opinions of the author. The website is not responsible for them.
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