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Handbooks Courses Units

LAW1104 - Research and writing

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Law

Leader: Gideon Boas


Clayton Second semester 2008 (Day)


There are two components taught concurrently. The Writing component will teach basic skills in legal writing, with an emphasis on the types of writing required for assessment in other law units, including research essays and answers to legal problems. The Research component will provide students with the essential skills to undertake research tasks required for their law studies. Students will learn to analyse a research problem into searchable components; locate and update Australian and foreign primary and secondary materials by using online and hard copy library research tools; use and cite references correctly, and evaluate the relevance and authoritative status of legal materials.


Upon completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  • design and implement an efficient research strategy to answer a legal research question, using the most appropriate online and paper-based research tools;
  • critically evaluate the relevance, quality, authority and currency of the materials that they find;
  • correctly use, attribute and cite the work of others and avoid plagiarism
  • identify the hallmarks of good legal writing, and use them to edit and improve their own writing; and
  • apply and develop their higher order thinking skills of evaluation, problem-solving, synthesis, and analysis in writing on legal topics.


1. Answer to legal problem (1000 words) - 20 %
2. Research Report, including preliminary annotated bibliography and proposed essay structure (1600 words) - 25%
3. Research Essay (approx 2,800 words) - 40%
4. Final Bibliography - 5%
5. Class attendance, preparation, participation and completion of online research quiz - 10%

Contact hours

Students will have three hours of small group seminar classes each week. Preparation for class will typically require about 3 hours a week. Private study, group work, further reading, written exercises and assessments will account for the balance of 12 hours of study time per week throughout the semester.



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