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Writing a Research Paper: Getting Started

Use this guide to learn the difference between writing a legal brief and writing a research paper.

General Resources

These titles by legal writing experts take students through the entire process of writing research papers.


Writing a research paper is a different experience than writing a brief or memorandum of law. In a brief, you start with a position, and your job is to develop the arguments in support of your position.

When you write a research paper, you must first select a topic and decide what position to adopt.  Then you must develop arguments to support your position. The final paper still presents your position and supporting arguments in order to persuade the reader, just as a brief does, but you must use a different process to arrive  at the end product.

This guide provides resources that will help you along each step of process.

Subject Guide

Renee Rastorfer
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Use this guide to become successful in your first year Lawyering Skills class and throughout your time here at Western New England University School of Law!