Legal Research and Writing I - Capstone – JURI 690

CG • Section • 12/17/2019 to 05/25/2020 • Modified 05/19/2022

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.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


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.

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 the Course Overview.

Discussions (4)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, you are required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each Dicussion. 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, you are 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

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

Law Review Article: Thesis Proposal Assignment

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.

Law Review Article: Research and Writing Plan Assignment

You 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.

Law Review Article: Statement of Purpose and Outline Assignment

You must create an outline following traditional or casenote/comment format explaining how you plan to accomplish your goals. You must also submit a 1-paragraph statement of purpose that focuses on what you want to accomplish with this article.

Law Review Article: Rough Draft Assignment

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

Law Review Article: First Draft Assignment

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

Quiz: Bluebook

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.