Writing Law Dissertations

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-06-30
  • Publisher: Longman Pub Group

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


How should you choose your dissertation topic? What is the best research method to adopt? What is going to make your dissertation achieve the best grades? This book provides a guide to various stages of the research and writing process for law students, and answers the many questions that face first-time researchers.

Author Biography

Julie Mason is a Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Central Lancashire.

Table of Contents

How to Begin
What is 'research'?
What is a 'dissertation'?
How to choose your dissertation topic
Specific suggestions for getting you started
Identifying the key issues and marginal issues in your dissertation
Is the research viable in practice?
Putting pen to paper
Getting Along With Your Supervisor
Choosing your supervisor
When to choose
What can you expect from your supervisor?
The role of the dissertation supervisor
Devise your own 'learning contract'
At the beginning of your supervision
Writing the dissertation
Meeting your supervisor
Reviewing draft chapters
How much supervision?
Making the most of constructive criticism and formative feedback
Common problems with supervision
Selecting Suitable Approaches to the Conduct of Dissertation Research
Resistance to methodological discussion
Positive reasons for engaging in methodological discussion
Recognising the implications of the tension between different research methodologies
Avoiding the pitfalls of selecting an inappropriate methodology
Black-Letter Approaches to Doctrinal Research
Towards a provisional working definition: black-letter law as legal formalism
Other features of the black-letter approach
The centrality of classic textbooks
Insulating the dissertation topic from & #145;external & #146; factors
Setting and answering the question: what is the legal position on X?
The requirement to reveal a system of underlying principles ordering legal rules
Searching for coherence and systematic order
Legal principles and rules are largely determinate
The standpoint of black-letter analysis
Wider strategies of selective exclusion
The focus on law in books
Deductive methods of reasoning from first principles
Law as a distinct and unique discipline
The restricted character of black-letter forms of criticism of law
Questions of evaluation: the advantages and problems of black-letter analysis
Sociolegal Approaches to the Conduct of Dissertation Research
Defining sociolegal studies
The diversity of topics and themes addressed by sociolegal studies
The emphasis on law in action
Policy and the power of ideologies
The diversity of research methods used in sociolegal studies
Ethical and other normative dimensions
Strengths and criticisms of sociolegal approaches
Comparative and Historical Methods
Comparative approaches
Comparative historical approaches
Historical methodologies more generally
Sociolegal histories of criminal justice
The legal regulation of property and housing
International and comparative sociolegal histories
Public law, civil liberties and human rights
Social welfare and family policy
The legal regulation of professions
Black-letter versions of legal history
Further Reading and Bibliography
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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