I’m trying to learn for my Law class and I’m stuck. Can you help?

My Guidance for Your Research Paper – will be checked for plagiarism

1. Your paper should be no longer than 10 full pages, including footnotes. It is actually harder to write a 10-page paper than it is to write a 15- or 20-page paper. You must be clear and avoid the filler that is often contained in longer papers. What is filler? Filler is extra “stuff” that just fills pages but adds little or no value to your paper.

2. Introduction

3. Thesis Statement: Immediately after your introduction, you should present a clear thesis statement. In simplistic terms, a thesis statement is the main point of your paper that tells the reader what you intend to argue later in your paper. Your thesis should take a position on a debateable topic. The thesis statement should not be longer than two sentences, and normally one is sufficient.

4. Road Map: Immediately after your thesis statement, provide a clear road-map to let the reader know where you are going with your paper. For example: “My paper will first briefly explore . . . , followed by . . . . Finally, I will defend my thesis by . . . .“ (And please be sure that your paper has a logical structure. The best way to do this is to outline it before you start to write it.)

5. Background: Next, provide a brief but clear background of your topic.

6. Argument/Defending Your Thesis: Defending your thesis should be the meat of your paper. It is where you should focus your time and energy. Conclusory statements must be supported with research or analysis. Also, do not use provoking language that amounts to merely an opinion, such as: “Those who support capital punishment are idiots.” (This actually came from a student). I also suggest that you explain the arguments that proponents of the majority’s position or status quo use to support their position and then explain why it is wrong and your position is right. (Did they miss something? Misinterpret something? Overlook critical results or statistics?)

7. Conclusion: Pull your points together to draw a conclusion for your reader.

Finally, a few other points:

Formatting: Double-space your paper and use a 12 point font of your choice. Do not include a title page, abstract, endnotes, or bibliography/reference page.

Topic: Choose a topic that interests you–but it must deal with a topic that we cover in this class. If you don’t feel passion for the subject matter, choose another topic. If you are having a difficult time finding a topic, look through the lessons for ideas.

If you have any questions, let me know.



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