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Introduction to Research in Law

Research in law, is designed to introduce you to the skills required to develop and complete a legal research project.

Learning Outcomes

After going through this guide, you should be able to:

  • understand how to prepare to undertake a piece of research
  • understand how to get started with a piece of research
  • how to generate research ideas, research questions, and research aims and objectives
  • explain the importance of a literature review
  • understand how and why to critically evaluate the literature in the chosen field of research
  • understand the role of the literature review and referencing.

Research is a life skill. You use it every day inside the classroom and out. Which smartphone should I buy? What college should I choose? Should I have this surgery? You apply the same modes of research in your coursework for papers, presentations, discussion posts, and more. It is crucial to know how to navigate through this linear research process. In doing so, you will gain lifelong skills in information literacy.

The details for each step of the research process will vary depending on the topic, available research, and assignment or research goal, but the main idea behind each step will always remain the same. By developing a research strategy, you will be better able to focus on your topic, organise your search, manage your time efficiently, progress from general to specific resources, and understand when you have researched your topic thoroughly or if further examination is needed.

Remember that the research process takes time and effort. You should not expect to complete all of these steps in only a few hours; in fact, library research for a dissertation often takes years. By thoughtfully approaching your assignment you will be able to pick a reasonable topic, research the topic, and compose an organised piece of scholarly research.

UWC LIBRARY & INFORMATION SERVICES

University of the Western Cape,

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Bellville,

7535

Tel: 021 959 2946

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