If you have been scratching your head, trying to work out how to approach law dissertation topics, stop worrying. These pointers will hopefully help you enormously.
Within the field of law there are many topics that can be covered. For example, the law covers the fields of –
This list is not exhaustive, but it is designed to demonstrate that there are many law dissertation topics to write about within the categories listed.
The items in this list are very broad, so you will have to narrow your research field down drastically.
You can’t just dive into a law dissertation, or any other for that matter. You need to carefully craft your proposal, and have it accepted by your tutor.
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You need to think very carefully before embarking on writing your proposal. First of all, you should decide on your area of interest out of all the possible law dissertation topics available to you and research it thoroughly.
Naturally you will need a working title for your dissertation. This can always be changed as your research continues. However, you will need to have a title for your supervisor and to help you focus your research. The title you choose should indicate what your approach to your research question will be. Your proposal should also include the key questions you will attempt to answer (limit these to a maximum of three).
Law dissertation topics are diverse, but there are key elements for all of them. You will need to provide an overview of the research you propose to conduct, and place it firmly within the current literature, any debates surrounding your topic and academic discourses. You have to give the context for your research, but you don’t have to go overboard and write too much about the sources you will be using.
Your overview should play up the strengths of the academics in your department. You need a supervisor who is an expert in the topic you are proposing. You can go online and find out what your department is researching. Make sure that you point out how your research can add to or complement this in your proposal.
Next you need to give a framework for your research. This will include your research question(s) and details of the approaches that you will take as well as the rationale for the research.
You will also have to clearly state the importance of your research.
Then, after this has been done, you will need to position your research by discussing the sources you will be using. Also, it is necessary to show that you understand the complexity of the research issues and specify areas where there are currently gaps. Of course, you will then have to attempt to fill these. In this section you don’t have to analyse the ongoing debates, but simply put your research questions into context.
This section of law dissertation topics usually has a word count of around 900 words.
Your Methodology and research design should be specified in the next section, which again should be about 900 words. Of course, when you come to write your dissertation your methodology section will be much longer. In this section you need to define the parameters of your research and your specific topic.
You will also need to discuss your overall approach, for example is it purely theoretical, or will it include your own research? Then you will have to give your rationale for deciding on your approach(es).
In this section you will also have to give your specific aims and objectives and say how long it will take for you to complete our research study.
If you do your own research, you will need to include a results section and explain the significance of your findings. This can be a lengthy section and you should not hurry it.
The reference section of all law dissertation topics should show that you have done your research well and judiciously. Don’t think of this section as an exhaustive bibliography. This section should demonstrate that you have critically evaluated texts and selected them carefully.
Think about how you will write your dissertation. You need to plan headings for sections and sub-sections, bearing in mind that these can be changed as necessary when you begin writing.
You will also need to collect the references you intend using and if necessary gather the articles you need to refer to. These may be paper photocopies, or digital copies of articles. Keep them organised in a file under appropriate section headings. you may want to file our material in chronological order. This takes time and is best done as you go along with your research. You will see the value of working in this way when you eventually start to write your dissertation topic.
After the abstract, possibly the most important section is the introduction. You will probably have to write and rewrite many drafts of this before it is perfect. Don’t try to rush the writing and editing processes as they are very important. You need to make a good impression on the reader from the beginning of the dissertation. If the introduction does not captivate the reader, he, or she, may well not bother reading further. A badly-crafted introduction will alienate your tutor and external examiners if it is allowed to remain as it is. You don’t want the reader to become bored while reading it, so make it as captivating as you can.
In the introduction you could point up relevant laws that pertain to the main arguments you will use in the dissertation. These set the scene for your research.
Take as much time as you need to phrase the research question(s) in the best possible way. Ask for help if you need it. Your tutor will give you as much help as you need to craft questions appropriately.
Make sure before you start writing up your dissertation that you are happy with your topic. You will lose valuable time if you decide, halfway though writing it that you should have been writing a different topic or taking a different angle on it.
At all stages, consult your tutor and get clarification on any point if you need it. Don’t wait until you think the dissertation is ready to submit to the university or college. It is most frustrating to be told that the dissertation needs to be completely revised because of a misunderstanding of one or more texts.
Make sure that your proofreading and editing are done meticulously as you complete each section of your dissertation or proposal. Ask fellow law students and your tutors for help with these processes. Sometimes, when you have written a piece of prose, it is very difficult to spot your errors. Even the most experienced editors and proof readers miss some errors. No one is infallible.
Go back through the dissertation checking the references thoroughly. Make sure that author’s names and initials are correct. You really don’t want an irate academic contacting you if your dissertation is published, to complain that his or her name has been spelled incorrectly, especially if he or she is your external examiner.
You also need to check all the quotes you have used. Make sure the punctuation is the same as in the original text. Also check that you have quoted the page numbers correctly.
If you are having your law dissertation bound, make sure that, as far as humanly possible all errors are corrected, and page numbers are in their exact orders. People often forget to check these.
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