Research Consultations are Really, Really Great and They Will Almost Definitely Improve Your Paper

Researching a paper can be intimidating. In my experience, this emphatically applies to many situations where the paper in question is for a law school course. Most law students have only just recently become familiar with the fundamental sources and strategies of legal research, and applying them to a lengthier treatment of a multidimensional (and often interdisciplinary) topic adds another layer of complexity.

Research Consultations are Really, Really Great and They Will Almost Definitely Improve Your Paper

Fortunately, your friendly neighborhood librarian is here to help, in the form of a research consultation. We are available to meet with you one-on-one to give you highly individualized advice on researching your paper. This includes help with many different aspects of the paper-writing process, including refining your thesis, checking for preemption, developing a research plan, identifying relevant resources, finding authorities that support your arguments, and more.

Efficient, high-quality research can make a big difference with any paper. Research can be very path-dependent, and the strategies you choose earlier in the process will lead you to different sources, and those sources will inevitably shape your arguments and ideas in the final product. Impeccable research isn’t just something you do to build an impressive footnote count! (Although a consultation will undoubtedly help you with that as well.)

Research consultations are not only extremely helpful, they are also very easy to schedule. To do so, you can hit us up at lawreference@gsu.edu, email your personal librarian, or simply stop by the reference desk. With that high degree of convenience in mind, I’m going to close out this blog post by stridently demanding that you stop whatever you’re doing and schedule a research consultation right now. I mean, don’t you want to write a better paper?

Resources for Final Exams & Papers

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Flickr photo by Jesse Michael Nix

By Tiffany Williams, Reference GRA

Preparing for final exams and final papers remotely add an added level of stress to an already daunting task.  Fortunately, the Law Library offers an array of online resources and tools to ensure that your new study environment does not hamper your ability to have a successful and triumphant final exam period.

Students may utilize the library’s research guides to begin strategizing the best way to tackle their final papers.   There are guides in more than 25 subject areas, ranging from Alternative Dispute Resolution to Wills, Trusts, and Estates.  In addition to a comprehensive list of both Federal and Georgia-specific primary sources, the guides also provide links to several secondary resources like treatises, statistical reports and data sites, and blogs.

Students can also take advantage of the library’s online research databases.  HeinOnline, for example, offers thousands of law review articles which not only help students to develop a greater understanding of the law surrounding their topic area but also serve as a great way to find references to primary law authority. Pro Tip: Footnote scouting is a great way to find relevant and useful sources to help guide you in your research.

The reference desk is also a great way to obtain further direction in completing research as you begin mapping out the direction of your final written assignments.  The reference desk staff is offering reference desk services during finals via online chat and email from 8:30AM – 7:00PM Monday through Thursday and 8:30AM – 5:00PM on Friday.  Whether your question involves locating an online version of a print resource or simply obtaining guidance in figuring out where to start in your research, the reference desk chat is a priceless resource to be included in everyone’s final exam/final paper toolkits.

For final exam preparation, one of the most invaluable resources is the library’s online study aids.  Check out an in-depth review of the Law Library’s online study aids in this Featured Resource blog post. The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instructions (CALI) also provides students access to over 1,000 interactive legal tutorials and lessons across 55 topic areas.  CALI lessons serve as a great way to supplement your course study by filling-in the areas in which you may not have obtained a strong understanding of the substantive material.

We wish you the best of luck on your finals!