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How to Create an Effective Thesis Statement in 5 Easy Steps

Creating a thesis statement can be a daunting task. It’s one of the most important sentences in your paper, and it needs to be done right. But don’t worry — with these five easy steps, you’ll be able to create an effective thesis statement in no time.

Step 1: Brainstorm Ideas

The first step is to brainstorm ideas for your paper. Think about what you want to say and write down any ideas that come to mind. This will help you narrow down your focus and make it easier to create your thesis statement.

Step 2: Research Your Topic

Once you have some ideas, it’s time to do some research on your topic. Look for sources that support your ideas and provide evidence for the points you want to make. This will help you refine your argument and make it more convincing.

Step 3: Formulate Your Argument

Now that you have done some research, it’s time to formulate your argument. Take the points you want to make and put them into one or two sentences that clearly state what your paper is about. This will be the basis of your thesis statement.

Step 4: Refine Your Thesis Statement

Once you have formulated your argument, it’s time to refine your thesis statement. Make sure that it is clear, concise, and specific. It should also be arguable so that readers can disagree with it if they choose.

Step 5: Test Your Thesis Statement

The last step is to test your thesis statement. Does it accurately reflect the points you want to make? Is it clear and concise? Does it make an arguable point? If not, go back and refine it until it meets all of these criteria.

Creating an effective thesis statement doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With these five easy steps, you can create a strong thesis statement in no time at all.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.


law dissertation meaning

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How to Make a Law Dissertation?: Step-by-Step Guide

To get the best Law Dissertation Writing Help Contact us at +91 9795971160 .

Read the whole article to understand how to write a good law dissertation .


A law dissertation is an official piece of writing generally done by a student pursuing a doctorate at any university. It’s a document that has details about the topic selected for research by the student and is approved by the professor or guide. It is an official document and has specific requirements to fit into the dissertation. It should be drafted properly and should be in the proper format according to the universities pattern. The dissertation should have relevant information related to research done by one. This article gives a general overview of basic law dissertation writing help to a law student.

Law Assignments Help Law Dissertation Help PhD Assistance Moot Court Memorial Help Publications in: UGC Care Journals ISBN Scorpus Journals Free Law Notes

What is a Law Dissertation?

A dissertation is a formal term for a thesis. It is an official, lengthy piece of writing. It is generally written by a PhD student at uni. A dissertation is a piece of writing that enhances a different point of view as an outcome of the study. This is typically processed as part of a necessity for a better academic degree. The writer’s study and findings are proffered in the thesis.

A dissertation must conduct fundamental legal research. To review articles and essential laws. If needed the individual should take surveys to get precise results. Legal research helps to get to a broader aspect of the topic as sometimes it is not possible to get from theoretical experience. Good legal research leads to a systematic finding and ascertainment of the law and advances it.

To provide the law dissertation writing help , we have briefly explained, the structure of a law dissertation.

How to Write a Law Dissertation?

Structure of a law dissertation:.

  • ABSTRACT: – An abstract, the type of overview, gives readers an introduction to one’s thesis. It is a concise summary of one’s thesis in which one defines one’s study’s goals and objectives, methods, outcomes, summary, and strategic development.
  • TABLE OF CONTENT: – The contents table includes the primary and subheadings of one’s document, as well as the ‘references’ and ‘annexures’ segments. This ought to be linked directly to the entire program and generated by the system by the Microsoft wizard.
  • INTRODUCTION: – The whole first section ought to contain a description of the problem’s background in addition to an issue statement. The objective of the research should be clear, then the query question. One’s entire analysis initiative and subsequent sections must be responses to the query question you posed. One must provide precise definitions for the terms used in the task. One would also reveal one’s presumptions and overall results objectives.
  • LITERATURE REVIEW : – This is probably the most significant and critical aspect of one’s analysis. Inside this section of your thesis, one will go over the qualitative research in a similar way that you did earlier. This section reflects one’s efforts and work.
  • METHODOLOGY: – This section of the thesis focuses on how one found the assets and how one implemented the findings. One will reveal the study questions, establishing, attendees, information gathering, and information analysis procedures when composing a quantifiable thesis. Whether one is writing a quantifiable thesis, this section would then concentrate on the study concerns and postulate, both sample and population data, equipment, information gathering, and market research.
  • SAMPLE SIZE: – The sample size must be appropriate, not too compact or too massive.
  • DATA COLLECTION TECHNIQUES: – (Enrollment, Surveys, Interviews, Findings Directed) Data Analysis: Data must be analyzed as per the article’s requirements. The information must be compiled once it has been collected. The overall number of parameters utilized will be considered in the research, as well as the relationship between them will be examined.
  • FINDINGS: – It is yet another critical point within a research project because it takes into account one’s cognitive innate talent or mental prowess. In the findings section, one repeats the study questions as well as talks about the findings.
  • CONCLUSIONS: – One would then summarize the research and concisely describe the findings and results in the dissertations’ concluding section. Highlight the importance of explaining why one’s research results play a part in the academic world and how they can be implemented.
  • RECOMMENDATIONS/ SUGGESTIONS: – It is the final section of one’s analysis, and it contains a section titled “Recommendations for future research,” wherein one suggests an additional study to make clear the difficulties.   Describe the reason why one thinks this study is necessary and also what form that should take.
  • APPENDICES: – This is a chapter in which one will incorporate data from one’s article that one has supplemented. It is a type of additional material that doesn’t inevitably add anything to the primary content of the paper. It would include the questionnaire, charts, tabular, graphs, and any additional data sources that require further explanation.
  • BIBLIOGRAPHY: – Use the citation style suggested for one’s field of research, and list all references utilized during the writing and research steps.

How to write a law dissertation

Differences between bibliography, footnotes, and reference

Bibliographies, footnotes, endnotes, and references are contributors and related substances for components used during studies that must be acknowledged. If indeed the supplies are not addressed, the work is considered copyrighted.

  • BIBLIOGRAPHY: – The list of all sources and references is always found at the end of the research.
  • FOOTNOTES: – This is always noted in the footer at the bottom of the document. It displays citations for every document individually.
  • REFERENCES/ SUGGESTIONS: – These have always been usually found after publications or sections.

In this article, the author tries to provide law dissertation writing help to law students. Therefore, we can say that to do the desired dissertation legal research is necessary. The drafting of the document is essential in the dissertation. One should always mention all the cases and citations properly or else the document will be considered plagiarized and will not be valid. This article gives a general overview of a dissertation. Every university may have a different format of its own for dissertations for the students pursuing a PhD. It should clarify the idea of research and the basic purpose for doing such research.

  • Article by Law Notes – Published on 5 th October 2020 “How to write Dissertation and synopsis” ( https://lawcolloquy.com/publications/blog/how-to-write-dissertation-and-synopsis/25 )
  • Article by Law Dissertation Structure “LAW DISSERTATION STRUCTURE” ( https://www.lawdissertation.co.uk/law-dissertation-structure )

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Legal Dissertation: Research and Writing Guide

About this guide, video on choosing a topic, tools on westlaw, lexis and bloomberg, circuit splits, research methodologies, additional methodology resources, conducting a literature review, beginning research, writing style guides, citation guides, ask a librarian.

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About This Page

Choosing a topic can be one of the most challenging aspects of writing an extensive paper. This page has resources to help you find topics and inspiration, before you get started on the in-depth research process.

Related Guides

Citation and Writing Resources

Legal Research Tutorials

Secondary Sources for Legal Research

Methods of Finding Cases

Methods of Finding Statutes

Current Awareness and Alerting Resources

Compiling State Legislative Histories

Locating International and Foreign Law Journals

This guide contains resources to help students researching and writing a legal dissertation or other upper-level writing project. Some of the resources in this guide are directed at researching and writing in general, not specifically on legal topics, but the strategies and tips can still be applied.

The Law Library maintains a number of other guides on related skills and topics that may be of interest:

The Wells Library also maintains guides. A few that may be helpful for managing research can be found here:

Choosing a Topic

This video discusses tips and strategies for choosing a dissertation topic.

Note: this video is not specific to legal dissertation topics, but it may still be of interest as an overview generally.

The Bloomberg/BNA publication United States Law Week can be a helpful resource for tracking down the major legal stories of the day.  Log into Bloomberg Law, in the big search box, start typing United States Law Week and the title will appear in the drop down menu beneath the box. This publication provides coverage of top legal news stories, and in-depth "insight" features.

If you have a general idea of the area of law you wish to write about, check out the Practice Centers on Bloomberg. From the homepage, click the Browse link in the top left-hand corner. Then select Practice Centers and look for your area of law. Practice Centers are helpful because they gather cases, statutes, administrative proceedings, news, and more on the selected legal area.

Bloomberg has other news sources available as well. From the homepage, click the Browse link in the top left-hand corner. Then select News and Analysis, then select News or Analysis, and browse the available topics.

If you know what area of law you'd like to write about, you may find the Browse Topics feature in Lexis Advance helpful for narrowing down your topic. 

Log into Lexis Advance, click the Browse Topics tab, and select a topic.  If you don't see your topic listed, try using the provided search bar to see whether your topic is categorized as a sub-topic within this list. 

Once you click on a topic, a box pops up with several options.  If you click on Get Topic Document, you'll see results listed in a number of categories, including Cases, Legislation, and more.  The News and Legal News categories at the right end of the list may help you identify current developments of interest for your note.  Don't forget about the filtering options on the left that will allow you to search within your results, narrow your jurisdiction, and more.

Similar to Lexis Advance, Westlaw Edge has a Topics tab that may be helpful if you know what area of law you'd like to write about.

Log onto Westlaw Edge, and click on the Topics tab.  This time, you won't be able to search within this list, so if you're area is not listed, you should either run a regular search from the main search bar at the top or try out some of the topics listed under this tab - once you click on a topic, you can search within its contents.

What is great about the Topics in Westlaw Edge is the Practitioner Insights page you access by clicking on a topic.  This is an information portal that allows you quick access to cases, legislation, top news, and more on your selected topic.

In United States federal courts, a circuit split occurs whenever two or more circuit courts of appeals issue conflicting rulings on the same legal question. Circuit splits are ripe for legal analysis and commentary because they present a situation in which federal law is being applied in different ways in different parts of the country, even if the underlying litigants themselves are otherwise similarly situated. The Supreme Court also frequently accepts cases on appeal that involve these types of conflicted rulings from various sister circuits.

To find a circuit split on a topic of interest to you, try searching on Lexis and Westlaw using this method:

in the search box, enter the following: (circuit or court w/s split) AND [insert terms or phrases to narrow the search]

You can also browse for circuit splits on Bloomberg. On the Bloomberg homepage, in the "Law School Success" box, Circuit Splits Charts appear listed under Secondary Sources.

Other sources for circuit splits are American Law Reports (ALR) and American Jurisprudence (AmJur). These publications provide summaries of the law, point out circuit splits, and provide references for further research.

"Blawgs" or law-related blogs are often written by scholars or practitioners in the legal field.  Ordinarily covering current events and developments in law, these posts can provide inspiration for note topics.  To help you find blawgs on a specific topic, consider perusing the ABA's Blawg Directory or Justia's Blawg Search .

Research Methodology

Types of research methodologies.

There are different types of research methodologies. Methodology refers to the strategy employed in conducting research. The following methodologies are some of the most commonly used in legal and social science research.

Doctrinal legal research methodology, also called "black letter" methodology, focuses on the letter of the law rather than the law in action. Using this method, a researcher composes a descriptive and detailed analysis of legal rules found in primary sources (cases, statutes, or regulations). The purpose of this method is to gather, organize, and describe the law; provide commentary on the sources used; then, identify and describe the underlying theme or system and how each source of law is connected.

Doctrinal methodology is good for areas of law that are largely black letter law, such as contract or property law. Under this approach, the researcher conducts a critical, qualitative analysis of legal materials to support a hypothesis. The researcher must identify specific legal rules, then discuss the legal meaning of the rule, its underlying principles, and decision-making under the rule (whether cases interpreting the rule fit together in a coherent system or not). The researcher must also identify ambiguities and criticisms of the law, and offer solutions. Sources of data in doctrinal research include the rule itself, cases generated under the rule, legislative history where applicable, and commentaries and literature on the rule.

This approach is beneficial by providing a solid structure for crafting a thesis, organizing the paper, and enabling a thorough definition and explanation of the rule. The drawbacks of this approach are that it may be too formalistic, and may lead to oversimplifying the legal doctrine.


Comparative legal research methodology involves critical analysis of different bodies of law to examine how the outcome of a legal issue could be different under each set of laws. Comparisons could be made between different jurisdictions, such as comparing analysis of a legal issue under American law and the laws of another country, or researchers may conduct historical comparisons.

When using a comparative approach be sure to define the reasons for choosing this approach, and identify the benefits of comparing laws from different jurisdictions or time periods, such as finding common ground or determining best practices and solutions. The comparative method can be used by a researcher to better understand their home jurisdiction by analyzing how other jurisdictions handle the same issue. This method can also be used as a critical analytical tool to distinguish particular features of a law. The drawback of this method is that it can be difficult to find material from other jurisdictions. Also, researchers should be sure that the comparisons are relevant to the thesis and not just used for description.

This type of research uses data analysis to study legal systems. A detailed guide on empirical methods can be found here . The process of empirical research involves four steps: design the project, collect and code the data, analyze the data, determine best method of presenting the results. The first step, designing the project, is when researchers define their hypothesis and concepts in concrete terms that can be observed. Next, researchers must collect and code the data by determining the possible sources of information and available collection methods, and then putting the data into a format that can be analyzed. When researchers analyze the data, they are comparing the data to their hypothesis. If the overlap between the two is significant, then their hypothesis is confirmed, but if there is little to no overlap, then their hypothesis is incorrect. Analysis involves summarizing the data and drawing inferences. There are two types of statistical inference in empirical research, descriptive and causal. Descriptive inference is close to summary, but the researcher uses the known data from the sample to draw conclusions about the whole population. Causal inference is the difference between two descriptive inferences.

Two main types of empirical legal research are qualitative and quantitative.

Quantitative, or numerical, empirical legal research involves taking information about cases and courts, translating that information into numbers, and then analyzing those numbers with statistical tools.

Qualitative, or non-numerical, empirical legal research involves extracting  information from the text of court documents, then interpreting and organizing the text into categories, and using that information to identify patterns.

Drafting The Methodology Section

This is the part of your paper that describes the research methodology, or methodologies if you used more than one. This section will contain a detailed description of how the research was conducted and why it was conducted in that way. First, draft an outline of what you must include in this section and gather the information needed.

Generally, a methodology section will contain the following:

  • Statement of research objectives
  • Reasons for the research methodology used
  • Description and rationale of the data collection tools, sampling techniques, and data sources used, including a description of how the data collection tools were administered
  • Discussion of the limitations
  • Discussion of the data analysis tools used

Be sure that you have clearly defined the reasoning behind the chosen methodology and sources.

  • Legal Reasoning, Research, and Writing for International Graduate Students Nadia E. Nedzel Aspen (2004) A guide to American legal research and the federal system, written for international students. Includes information on the research process, and tips for writing. Located in the Law Library, 3rd Floor: KF 240 .N43 2004.
  • Methodologies of Legal Research: Which Kind of Method for What Kind of Discipline? Mark van Hoecke Oxford (2013) This book examines different methods of legal research including doctrinal, comparative, and interdisciplinary. Located at Lilly Law Library, Indianapolis, 2nd Floor: K 235 .M476 2013. IU students may request item via IUCAT.
  • An Introduction to Empirical Legal Research Lee Epstein and Andrew D. Martin Oxford University Press (2014) This book includes information on designing research, collecting and coding data, analyzing data, and drafting the final paper. Located at Lilly Law Library, Indianapolis, 2nd Floor: K 85 .E678 2014. IU students may request item via IUCAT.
  • Emplirical Legal Studies Blog The ELS blog was created by several law professors, and focuses on using empirical methods in legal research, theory, and scholarship. Search or browse the blog to find entries on methodology, data sources, software, and other tips and techniques.

Literature Review

The literature review provides an examination of existing pieces of research, and serves as a foundation for further research. It allows the researcher to critically evaluate existing scholarship and research practices, and puts the new thesis in context. When conducting a literature review, one should consider the following: who are the leading scholars in the subject area; what has been published on the subject; what factors or subtopics have these scholars identified as important for further examination; what research methods have others used; what were the pros and cons of using those methods; what other theories have been explored.

The literature review should include a description of coverage. The researcher should describe what material was selected and why, and how those selections are relevant to the thesis. Discuss what has been written on the topic and where the thesis fits in the context of existing scholarship. The researcher should evaluate the sources and methodologies used by other researchers, and describe how the thesis different.

The following video gives an overview of conducting a literature review.

Note: this video is not specific to legal literature, however it may be helpful as a general overview.

Not sure where to start? Here are a few suggestions for digging into sources once you have selected a topic.

Research Guides

Research guides are discovery tools, or gateways of information. They pull together lists of sources on a topic. Some guides even offer brief overviews and additional research steps specifically for that topic. Many law libraries offer guides on a variety of subjects. You can locate guides by visiting library websites, such as this Library's site , the Law Library of Congress , or other schools like Georgetown . Some organizations also compile research guides, such as the American Society of International Law . Utilizing a research guide on your topic to generate an introductory source list can save you valuable time.

Secondary Sources

It is often a good idea to begin research with secondary sources. These resources summarize, explain, and analyze the law. They also provide references to primary sources and other secondary sources. This saves you time and effort, and can help you quickly identify major themes under your topic and help you place your thesis in context.

Encyclopedias provide broad coverage of all areas of the law, but do not go in-depth on narrow topics, or discuss differences by jurisdiction, or  include all of the pertinent cases. American Jurisprudence ( AmJur ) and Corpus Juris Secundum ( CJS ) have nationwide coverage, while the Indiana Law Encyclopedia focuses on Indiana state law. A number of other states also have their own state-specific encyclopedias.

American Law Reports ( ALR ) are annotations that synopsize various cases on narrow legal topics. Each annotation covers a different topic, and provides a leading or typical case on the topic, plus cases from different jurisdictions that follow different rules, or cases where different facts applying the same rule led to different outcomes. The annotations also refer to other secondary sources.  

Legal periodicals include several different types of publications such as law reviews from academic institutions or organizations, bar journals, and commercial journals/newspapers/newsletters. Legal periodicals feature articles that describe the current state of the law and often explore underlying policies. They also critique laws, court decisions, and policies, and often advocate for changes. Articles also discuss emerging issues and notify the profession of new developments. Law reviews can be useful for in-depth coverage on narrow topics, and references to primary and other secondary sources. However, content can become outdated and researchers must be mindful of biases in articles. 

Treatises/Hornbooks/Practice Guides are a type of secondary source that provides comprehensive coverage of a legal subject. It could be broad, such as a treatise covering all of contract law, or very narrow such as a treatise focused only on search and seizure cases. These sources are good when you have some general background on the topic, but you need more in-depth coverage of the legal rules and policies. Treatises are generally well organized, and provide you with finding aids (index, table of contents, etc.) and extensive footnotes or endnotes that will lead you to primary sources like cases, statutes, and regulations. They may also include appendices with supporting material like forms. However, treatises may not be updated as frequently as other sources and may not cover your specific issue or jurisdiction.

Citation and Writing Style

  • Legal Writing in Plain English Bryan A. Garner University of Chicago Press, 2001. Call # KF 250 .G373 2001 Location: Law Library, 3rd Floor Provides lawyers, judges, paralegals, law students, and legal scholars with sound advice and practical tools for improving their written work. The leading guide to clear writing in the field, this book offers valuable insights into the writing process: how to organize ideas, create and refine prose, and improve editing skills. This guide uses real-life writing samples that Garner has gathered through decades of teaching experience. Includes sets of basic, intermediate, and advanced exercises in each section.
  • The Elements of Legal Style Bryan A. Garner Oxford University Press, 2002. Call # KF 250 .G37 2002 Location: Law Library, 1st Floor, Reference This book explains the full range of what legal writers need to know: mechanics, word choice, structure, and rhetoric, as well as all the special conventions that legal writers should follow in using headings, defined terms, quotations, and many other devices. Garner also provides examples from highly regarded legal writers, including Oliver Wendell Holmes, Clarence Darrow, Frank Easterbrook, and Antonin Scalia.
  • Grammarly Blog Blog featuring helpful information about quirks of the English language, for example when to use "affect" or "effect" and other tips. Use the search feature to locate an article relevant to your grammar query.
  • Plain English for Lawyers Richard C. Wydick Carolina Academic Press, 2005. Call # KF 250 .W9 2005 Location: Law Library, 3rd Floor Award-winning book that contains guidance to improve the writing of lawyers and law students and to promote the modern trend toward a clear, plain style of legal writing. Includes exercises at the end of each chapter.
  • The Chicago Manual of Style University of Chicago Press, 2010. Call # Z 253 .U69 2010 Location: Law Library, 2nd Floor While not addressing legal writing specifically, The Chicago Manual of Style is one of the most widely used and respected style guides in the United States. It focuses on American English and deals with aspects of editorial practice, including grammar and usage, as well as document preparation and formatting.
  • The Chicago Manual of Style (Online) Bryan A. Garner and William S. Strong The University of Chicago Press, 2017. Online edition: use the link above to view record in IUCAT, then click the Access link (for IU students only).
  • The Bluebook Compiled by the editors of the Columbia Law Review, the Harvard Law Review, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, and the Yale Law Journal. Harvard Law Review Association, 2015. Call # KF245 .B58 2015 Location: Law Library, 1st Floor, Circulation Desk The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation is a style guide that prescribes the most widely used legal citation system in the United States. The Bluebook is taught and used at a majority of U.S. law schools, law reviews and journals, and used in a majority of U.S. federal courts.
  • User's Guide to the Bluebook Alan L. Dworsky William S. Hein & Co., Inc., 2015. Call # KF 245 .D853 2015 Location: Law Library, Circulation Desk "This User's Guide is written for practitioners (law students, law clerks, lawyers, legal secretaries and paralegals), and is designed to make the task of mastering citation form as easy and painless as possible. To help alleviate the obstacles faced when using proper citation form, this text is set up as a how-to manual with a step-by-step approach to learning the basic skills of citation and includes the numbers of the relevant Bluebook rules under most chapter subheadings for easy reference when more information is needed"--Provided by the publisher.
  • Legal Citation in a Nutshell Larry L. Teply West Academic Publishing, 2016. Call # KF 245 .T47 2016 Location: Law Library, 1st Floor, Circulation Desk This book is designed to ease the task of learning legal citation. It initially focuses on conventions that underlie all accepted forms and systems of legal citation. Building on that understanding and an explanation of the “process” of using citations in legal writing, the book then discusses and illustrates the basic rules.
  • Introduction to Basic Legal Citation (Online) Peter W. Martin Cornell Legal Information Institute, 2017. Free online resource. Includes a thorough review of the relevant rules of appellate practice of federal and state courts. It takes account of the latest edition of The Bluebook, published in 2015, and provides a correlation table between this free online citation guide and the Bluebook.
  • Last Updated: Oct 24, 2019 11:00 AM
  • URL: https://law.indiana.libguides.com/dissertationguide


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law dissertation meaning

Sep 20, 2019

Written By Billy Sexton

LLB Law Dissertation

So, you've picked your final modules, consolidated your favourite library seat, and are finally feeling like a big fish in the university pond. But you've got one more challenge on the horizon—the dissertation... 

The final year of your LLB is here, which means it’s time to put together a lovely 10,000 or so word law dissertation.

Gone are the days of first year where a casual 2,000-word essay would be enough to secure 50% of your module marks. Even the tougher second-year essays, where word counts were raised up to 3,500 words, now seem like a walk in the park when faced with the mammoth dissertation.

Many law students before you have faced this, so don’t worry. If they do it, you can too!

A dissertation is a marathon, not a sprint (so no last minute late nights) and working on your dissertation should be treated like eating salami (bear with us on this). You wouldn’t eat a whole salami at once as it’s much tastier in thinner slices.

Therefore, you shouldn’t do your whole dissertation at once. Put it together bit-by-bit, and it will be a much stronger piece of work!

Law dissertation ideas

What you base your law dissertation on is entirely your choice… to a certain extent. You will need to find a supervisor for your dissertation so you won’t be able to do a dissertation on a specific issue if there’s no lecturer at your university who specialises in that topic!

However, presuming there is a lecturer to guide you along the long and bumpy dissertation path, you have free choice over what you’d like to study. Usually, first class dissertations carry originality and research depth.

If you’re stuck for ideas or broad topic areas, let us help you out. We can’t cover every individual area of law  but here are ideas for some of the core areas:

Contract Law – The influence of the EU on contract law, including anti-discrimination directives, a comparison of contract law in different jurisdictions or penalty clauses in contracts.

Criminal Law – Philosophical issues surrounding criminal law, human rights in criminal procedure or social dimensions of crime.

EU Law – Immigration and the law, the law of the European Convention for Human Rights and how this affects human rights within national borders or the impact of the EU on environmental legislation.

Public Law – Public understanding or law and education, state responsibility or historical developments in public law.

These are just a handful of suggestion and may or may not tickle your fancy. It’s best to talk to a range of potential supervisors to get a feel for how they could help you. Start looking early though, as supervisors get snapped up pretty quickly!

Law dissertation structure

Your university should tell you how to structure your dissertation, but usually an introduction highlighting the objectives of the dissertation should also put forward any issues or knowledge the reader will need to be aware of in order when they progress.

Next up is your methodology and literature review. This basically means pointing out what you’re going to research and how and summarising the key arguments already out there.

Then comes the juicy bit—the evidence. This should be what you discovered from your research and a detailed analysis of this.

Finally, the conclusion should outline what you discovered and your conclusion of this.

Writing a law dissertation can be stressful and it’s highly likely you might lose a bit of sleep over it. But at the same time it’s a great opportunity to stick your teeth into a subject you’re really passionate about and gain some good marks that will contribute significantly toward your overall degree mark. 

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How to Write a Law Dissertation – Structure, Types & Example

Published by Alvin Nicolas at December 22nd, 2022 , Revised On May 26, 2023

A law dissertation project is undoubtedly the most challenging academic assignment law students must complete before being awarded a degree.

This post aims to look at the steps of writing a law dissertation, the structure a law dissertation generally follows, the different types of research methods a student can choose from, and a reference to a law dissertation example.

We are confident that students can write a flawless law dissertation paper once they have carefully read and comprehended this law dissertation guide with examples.

Whether you are an undergraduate, Master or a PhD student, you must be mentally prepared to tackle your law dissertation project, which is an extensive research study based on qualitative, quantitative or mixed data.

So without further ado, here are the essential steps of writing a law dissertation paper.

Structuring & Writing a Law Dissertation Step by Step

1. follow the correct structure.

The structure you should follow when writing the paper is available in the dissertation handbook that your university or personal tutor will provide. Strictly follow the layout and the criteria as explained in the handbook document. The fundamental parts of a dissertation include an abstract, a literature review, a research methodology, data analysis and interpretation, conclusions, recommendations and references.

2. Carry Out the Initial Research

Conduct preliminary research and get used to spending long hours in front of your desktop to read through past law dissertation examples so you know the quality you must produce to achieve your desired grade. Read articles and journal papers on law topics that align with your interests.

3. Choose an Appropriate Law Research Topic

Once you have identified the broad research area you wish to research, start listing the possible research law problems or law dissertation topics you would like to investigate to make your mark in the profession. Be patient with this process, as your chosen topic should be narrower and more specific.

4. Develop a Research Proposal

Next, create a research proposal on the selected topic to develop a research plan to guide you through the entire dissertation writing process . Generally, Masters and PhD students must complete and have a research proposal approved before they can start working on their dissertation paper.

A research proposal can be best described as a research map guide document that briefly explores the research’s steps. The fundamental components of a research proposal are the introduction, literature review, proposed methodology, expected results, a project timeline and a list of references.

5. Law Dissertation Introduction Chapter

The introduction chapter is where you state your research problem, the background information, and the significance of the research problem. The introduction chapter establishes the research aim and objectives you will address as part of your research.

The length of the introduction chapter varies according to the overall allocated word count for the dissertation. Typically, your introduction chapter will be approximately 15-20% of the total dissertation word count.

6. Law Dissertation Literature Review

Find the existing literature relevant to your topic of research. Use this information as evidence and analysis for any arguments you make in the paper. The literature review chapter allows you to dive deep into your chosen research topic to determine how other research studies concluded.

Every paragraph of the literature review chapter should address the issue you are exploring from a unique angle so you can establish your authenticity as a researcher.

7. The Research Methodology

Arguably the most crucial chapter of the dissertation is the research methodology. It is where you justify your choice of the type of research you have chosen to proceed with. For example, you could base your research on qualitative, quantitive or mixed data. At this stage, you will also need to decide whether you will base your project on primary data, secondary data, or both. Ensure to include the research tools used during research, the philosophy of the research approach and the ethical limitations involved in this chapter.

8. Data Analysis & Interpretation

Once the dataset is ready, it is time to analyse and interpret the results. Dissertations based on secondary data usually do not require statistical software. On the other hand, where primary and quantitative data are involved, software such as SPSS, STATA, R-Studio, and Excel is almost inevitable.

Do not rust this part of the paper because the significance of your research is directly related to the quality of analysis and interpretation.

9. Conclusion & Recommendations

The conclusion chapter can be a short one. Here you present the results of your research and link them back to the research objectives as set out in the introduction chapter. Avoid introducing anything new at this stage of the writing. Only reinstate your original findings and connect them with the research problem you were supposed to investigate.

10. References

Follow the appropriate referencing style guide. For example, most UK universities require students to use the Harvard Referencing Guide. However, always check your handbook to be sure about the style you must follow. Other referencing style guides include MLA, Oxford, IEE, APA, and more. Use in-text citations where applicable and create a list of references.

11. Title Page & Abstract

Create a title page with your name, module code, programme name and date of submission. Create an abstract which is a summary of your entire research.

12. Contents, Tables, Figures & Abbreviations

Generate the contents table using the Microsoft contents feature. Use the format as instructed in the dissertation handbook.

Provide the list of figures and the list of abbreviations separately so the reader can quickly find their desired figure or abbreviation details.

13. Proofreading

Proofread and edit the paper before submission. Look for grammatical, language, structural, coherence and factual mistakes to ensure it is error-free before submission.

Law Dissertation Example

Here is a law dissertation example for inspiration. Do not copy the content of this sample paper. Instead, use it for reference and guidance purposes only.

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Frequently Asked Questions About the Law Dissertation

How long is a law dissertation.

The length of your law dissertation will depend on many factors, including your academic institute, academic level, and country of study. Undergraduate and Master’s level law thesis papers are usually 8000 to 15000 words long. PhD thesis can be up to 100,000 words long.

How many chapters a law dissertation has?

Like other academic subjects, a dissertation for a law topic has five fundamental components: the introduction, the literature review, the methodology, the analysis & interpretation, and the conclusion. Always follow your university’s structure to ensure you stay focused.

How can I get help with writing my law dissertation?

We have several qualified law essay and law dissertation experts at Essay UK . Whether you are interested in business law, contract law, tax law, property law, employment or another area of law, our specialists can complete your dissertation to the highest possible quality. Please read about our law dissertation writing service to see how we can help you manage your looming deadlines.

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The thesis or dissertation introduction is positioned immediately after the glossary or the table of contents if the front matter does not include the glossary.

Visualizing and compressing information in the form of diagrams, drawings, or tables helps improve the readability and understandability of a document. Graphic inserts, which deliver information more accurately and quickly and give diversity to typography, are a good alternative to only words written. 

There is no definitive answer to the question of how long a nursing dissertation should be. Several factors combine to influence the length of a dissertation. A dissertation in the humanities and engineering is usually longer than in business and finance.

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Llm dissertation in law.

law dissertation meaning

Key information

Module overview.

The dissertation is a supervised piece of research on a topic to be agreed between the student and the chosen supervisor. The dissertation provides students with the opportunity to develop an original piece of academic work in an independent, albeit supervised, way.

The topic of the dissertation can relate to any subject-area covered in any of the modules of the LLM programme. Typically, the dissertation aims to tackle a theoretical, doctrinal, jurisprudential or policy issue that is relevant in contemporary legal scholarship and/or legal policy affairs. As such, students are invited to propose a topic for the dissertation that closely matches their study interest, or practical actual or prospective work or professional experience.

Typically, the dissertation is expected to be bibliographic, on the basis of library, internet, and archival research. In exceptional cases it may contain some original empirical evidence, that the student is expected to collect and analyse independently, subject to supervisor's approval and the student's capacity in the relevant research methodology.

The dissertation entails that the student will develop and demonstrate their analytic, argumentative, writing and presentation skills. The length of the dissertation will be maximum 12,000 words.

Objectives and learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:

  • Acquisition of detailed knowledge in a particular topic
  • Development of critical understanding of a particular topic
  • Development of the capacity to plan and carry out independent research work

Method of assessment

  • Dissertation: 100% (12,000 words due in September)

Important notice regarding  changes to programmes and modules .

Dr Catriona Drew

Public International Law; international legal history (particularly self-determination of peoples), and legal theory

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