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International Human Rights: Starting Out

Books for Students

Widely recommended books for law students writing papers are:

Starting Out

In a research guide for students writing notes and papers, the Georgetown Law Library offers these three tips:

Plan Ahead.

You are required to do thorough, scholarly research - this cannot be done in a day or a weekend. Allow yourself enough time to find, read, and analyze your research materials before your outline, draft, and final paper are due. Also, plan ahead for interlibrary loan requests - they could be here in a few days or a few weeks.

Keep Track of Your Research.

There are many ways to keep track of your research, either electronically on your laptop or in a paper notebook. Whatever your method, be sure to keep track of where you've been as you do your research. Remember, you will need to provide complete citations to all of the material you use in your paper. This will be much easier if you have a complete record of the research you've done. Use your research log to make notes about where you found useful materials and how you plan to use them in your paper. The research log is also a good place to note useful sources to go back to later as you refine your paper with additional research and analysis.

Stay Focused on Your Topic.

One of the easiest mistakes to make as you begin your research is to find and read interesting materials that are not directly relevant to your work. If you think they may be useful later, make a note of them in your research log so you can come back to them if necessary, then move on. Always stay focused on what you need to research at the stage you are in.

The Drake law librarians heartily concur with this advice. Here are some additional resources to help you put these tips into action:

Law Library Web Site · Locator Guide & Maps · Hours · Interlibrary Loan · Ask A Librarian

Drake University Law Library • 2604 Forest Ave. • Des Moines, Iowa 50311-3014