Your guide to writing a Law thesis
How To Write A Law Thesis
Writing a law thesis is a challenge. But get it right, and you could be laying the foundations for recognition as an expert in your field.
So you’ll want to be certain you’ve delivered your best effort. This guide contains all the information you need to produce an outstanding law thesis and impress your examiners.
You’ll have outlined your proposal already. Now it’s time to rationalise the elements of the paper.
- Title – be specific. Choose something arresting to excite the reader’s interest. You can come back to this at the end.
- Strong statement of purpose – what you intend to achieve.
- Background – put the work in context.
- Significance – why it’s needed.
- Description of your research – sources of information.
- Literature review – showing your knowledge of the key texts and articles debating the issues.
- Methodology – to support your findings.
- Arrangement of chapters – a logical sequence to your argument.
- Conclusion – what you’ve proved and the remaining questions. Come back to this at the end.
Although planning and research are crucial when writing a good law thesis, don’t spend so much time on this you have to rush the most important thing – the topic itself.
A law thesis requires a straightforward examination of the facts with reference to the legal framework in which they sit. A logical, convincing legal argument should be developed to underpin your conclusion. You will achieve this by:
- Analysing relevant legislation.
- Comparing case law, drawing out similarities and differences.
- Referring to other legal authorities, e.g. treaties, Regulations, obiter etc.
- Discussing legal commentary and applying it to the issues.
- Recognising and evaluating the counter arguments.
- Ensuring quotes, citations and references evidence your work.
Remain focussed on your objective. Regularly relate your points back to the original question to stay on track.
You’ve worked hard researching your area, organising your material and transferring your ideas onto paper. But to be taken seriously, it must read well. Poor sentence construction, an incoherent argument and carelessness all detract from the quality of your work. These finishing touches can be critical in improving the readability, and acceptance, of your law thesis.
- Proofreading – check for consistency in layout, style, tenses etc.
- Editing – ruthlessly cut unnecessary words. Use plain English.
- Spelling – use spell-check.
- Grammar – consult a grammar guide if in doubt.
- Punctuation – read aloud and it becomes more obvious where this is needed.
- Footnotes, references and citations – are they complete, in the correct style, in the right place?
Limit your revisions to two or three drafts. Over familiarity leading to excessive cutting can spoil the flow of the piece.