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Be sure to run a thorough preemption check on your topic before you begin research.
Importance of Topic
Writing should make a claim that is novel, non-obvious, useful, sound, and seen by the reader as such.
Topics should either:
- analyze conflicting or transitional case law and resolve the conflict;
- argue that a legal rule is unfair or inequitable;
- analyze proposed or recently enacted legislation with comments and criticism;
- apply insights from another field to show how the legal issue can be better dealt with; or
- explain the legal history of a rule or institution.
Use proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
Avoid awkward and verbose sentences.
Writing should read smoothly and provide concise, thoughtful, and authoritative analysis.
Consider all sides of the issue--articulate your position forcefully, but treat contrary arguments seriously and respectfully.
Read and cite original sources.
Continuously update your research during writing and before submission.
Writers should avoid redundancy.
Articles should take a clear position on the issue addressed and discuss and resolve the relevant issue.
To persuade the reader, answer discrete questions fully rather than broad questions shallowly.
Ideas should show that you grasp the subject matter and should be presented in logical sequence with coherent paragraph organization and sentence structure.
Your topic should be current and relevant to the present legal climate.
If the article proposes something, it should be feasible in the near future.
The text and the footnotes should support each other.
Footnotes should be used to support, expand, and clarify.
Footnotes should be of use to the reader and should not make up for textual inadequacies.
Readers should not have to refer to the footnote to understand the text.
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This book fills an important niche in legal-writing literature by teaching law students how to write scholarly papers for seminars, law reviews, and law-review competitions and how to have their work recognized.