In this lockdown, many of us are picking up the pen (or opening new word documents, if you will) to write our hearts out, be it our critique of legal developments or even suggestions. We have all found ourselves staring at our laptop screens with hundreds of Google Chrome tabs open, wondering how to synthesize all that information accurately into concise sentences. We have realised that in drafting, following the Issue-Reasoning-Argument-Conclusion (or the IRAC method) is not always the solution!
The team at CBCL recognizes how important yet tricky legal research and writing can be. So, we’ve decided to compile our experiences and knowledge to aid those who are yet to truly experience the joy of writing or those who wonder why they see frequent rejections for their papers. We present to you, our Primer on Writing Research Papers and Blogs. With this, we seek to build on our experiences of what to do and what not to do, picked up from The CBCL Blog, the commemorative NLIU Trilegal Summit Book and the newly launched NLIU Journal of Business Laws. All published by CBCL. The Primer contains much-needed step-by-step guidance on legal research and writing. It primarily deals with four aspects.
First, it begins with how to choose a topic. The topic of your article is crucial in determining whether readers or reviewers will be inquisitive enough to read it. It is the foremost step in legal research and writing. The Primer guides you in choosing an appropriate topic which will attract readers and ensure a hassle-free process for you in researching and writing on the topic later.
Second, the Primer explains the difference in research papers, blogs, legislative comments and case comments. Each of these forms of publication warrants a distinct strategy in your research and writing. We, at CBCL have been publishing all four of these forms of publications, through the NLIU-Trilegal Summit commemorative book, The CBCL Blog and the NLIU Journal of Business Laws. As reviewers, we are aware of the distinct styles in structure and flow in them. The Primer guides you in understanding these differences to help you accordingly to decide your strategy.
Third, the Primer helps you to understand how to develop an academic writing style. It breaks down the various parts of an article, such as the abstract, introduction, main body, suggestions, conclusion among others and explains what is expected in each of them. It helps you consolidate your research into an organized structure and give your article the much-required flow.
Lastly, the Primer gives you a sneak-peek into how publishers evaluate your article. We not only tell you the criteria that decides whether or not your article will pass the review, but also give you a more in-depth understanding of them.
The team at CBCL has curated this much-needed Primer, in recognizing the significance of the skills of legal research and writing. We realised that there is a gap in guidance to develop these essential skills. Therefore, our team has objectively analysed all our past publications, articles which have been rejected, our scoring criteria and what our editors look at while confirming a publication, to bring to you this comprehensive Primer. At CBCL, we have consistently taken steps to foster interest in research and writing among law students and practitioners. We hope that the Primer serves the purpose which was intended.
P.S – Look out for the specific “CBCL Tips” across the document.