Legal Research and Writing I - Capstone – JURI 690

CG • Section • 12/17/2019 to 05/25/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

This course develops the fundamental requirements in writing an LL.M. thesis in the context of international law. The student will select a topic under the supervision of a faculty member. Following the selection of a topic, the student conducts research aimed at narrowing and refining the thesis, and the faculty member provides feedback that assists the student in formulating a research and writing plan. The student prepares and submits a written outline of the research thesis, and the faculty provides substantive feedback. Lastly, the student submits a preliminary draft of the paper.




In this course, the student will begin the process of researching and writing his/her legal scholarship. The student will select a topic, conduct research aimed at narrowing and refining the article, and formulate a research and writing plan under the supervision of a faculty member. The faculty member will provide the student with substantive feedback that will be incorporated into the preliminary draft of the paper.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the topic selection process.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the Bluebook citation method.
  3. Employ research techniques to narrow selected topic.
  4. Design a research plan, including selecting resources for a law review article.
  5. Identify resources that will be used in the law review article.
  6. Design the format for the law review article.
  7. Begin drafting the law review article.
  8. Analyze all of the preceding in light of a distinctly evangelical Christian worldview.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (4)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be at least 250 words, demonstrate course-related knowledge, and include at least 1 citation written in current Bluebook format. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 150 words and include at least 1 citation in current Bluebook format.

Law Review Article

The student will draft a law review article following the current Bluebook citation format. The student will choose the topic and develop a research and writing plan that includes a bibliography. In addition, the student will create an outline that will be used to begin drafting the article. The student will submit a rough draft followed by the first draft of his/her law review article.

Thesis Proposal

The Thesis Proposal is a 1-page document that demonstrates a narrowing of the topic into a thesis using 1 of the 3 narrowing techniques the textbook suggests.

Research and Writing Plan

The student must write a 1–2-page explanation of the refined thesis. At least 10 academic sources must be attached as a list and cited using current Bluebook format. A writing plan must also be included that outlines when the parts of the article will be drafted.

Statement of Purpose and Outline

The student must create an outline following traditional or casenote/comment format explaining how he or she plans to accomplish his or her goals. The student must also submit a 1-paragraph statement of purpose that focuses on what he or she wants to accomplish.

Rough Draft

The student will write a rough draft of the article consisting of 4–5 sections. The rough draft must include a complete Background and Analysis section.

First Draft

The First Draft will be the first complete draft, consisting of a completed document and incorporation of the critique provided by the instructor.

Note: LL.M students must add an additional 2,500 words of writing in their First Draft. This is a Pass/Fail component of this assignment. This is not required of JM students.

Bluebook Quiz

The quiz will cover the basics of current Bluebook citation. This quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 25 multiple-choice, true/false, and short answer questions, and have a 2-hour time limit.