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Upper Level Writing Requirement

Finding a Topic


When beginning any type of paper or note, picking the perfect topic can make researching and writing easy... or a complete nightmare. Here is some advice for picking a topic.  

1.  Pick something that interests you or you are passionate about (this is classic advice -- but so true!).  It makes the researching and writing much easier if you are interested in the topic at hand.

2.  Vet your topic.  Throw the keywords that describe your topic into Google, Westlaw, and/or Hein Online.  What types of results are you getting?  Don't pick a topic that has very little sources and materials to pick from.  It will be a struggle to find enough information to fill the pages.  But also be wary of a topic that has been overdone.  You will get bogged down researching and unable to transition over to the writing process.  You may just need to broaden or narrow your topic based on your initial research review.

Trouble Picking a Topic

Not sure what to write about?  Try researching different topics in newspapers or trade publications.  One story might catch your interest and help you determine the scope of your paper.

Interlibrary Loan

Law Databases

Carney Library Databases

As part of the UMass system, we also have access to a variety of multidisciplinary databases that the main campus provides. These resources could come in handy when you are exploring an area of the law that involves aspects of psychology, sociology, health sciences, etc.

Follow this link for a clickable list of Carney Library databases.

For more information on using the Carney Library in general, please see their orientation libguide.

Open Access Databases (Free Online)