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How to Write a Law Dissertation – Structure, Types & Example

Published by at December 22nd, 2022 , Revised On February 1, 2024

A law dissertation project is undoubtedly the most challenging academic assignment law students must complete before being awarded a degree.

This post aims to look at the steps of writing a law dissertation, the structure a law dissertation generally follows, the different types of research methods a student can choose from, and a reference to a law dissertation example.

We are confident that students can write a flawless law dissertation paper once they have carefully read and comprehended this law dissertation guide with examples.

Whether you are an undergraduate, Master or a PhD student, you must be mentally prepared to tackle your law dissertation project, which is an extensive research study based on qualitative, quantitative or mixed data.

So without further ado, here are the essential steps of writing a law dissertation paper.

Structuring & Writing a Law Dissertation Step by Step

1. Follow the Correct Structure

The structure you should follow when writing the paper is available in the dissertation handbook that your university or personal tutor will provide. Strictly follow the layout and the criteria as explained in the handbook document. The fundamental parts of a dissertation include an abstract, a literature review, a research methodology, data analysis and interpretation, conclusions, recommendations and references.

2. Carry Out the Initial Research

Conduct preliminary research and get used to spending long hours in front of your desktop to read through past law dissertation examples so you know the quality you must produce to achieve your desired grade. Read articles and journal papers on law topics that align with your interests.

3. Choose an Appropriate Law Research Topic

Once you have identified the broad research area you wish to research, start listing the possible research law problems or law dissertation topics you would like to investigate to make your mark in the profession. Be patient with this process, as your chosen topic should be narrower and more specific.

4. Develop a Research Proposal

Next, create a research proposal on the selected topic to develop a research plan to guide you through the entire dissertation writing process. Generally, Masters and PhD students must complete and have a research proposal approved before they can start working on their dissertation paper.

A research proposal can be best described as a research map guide document that briefly explores the research’s steps. The fundamental components of a research proposal are the introduction, literature review, proposed methodology, expected results, a project timeline and a list of references.

5. Law Dissertation Introduction Chapter

The introduction chapter is where you state your research problem, the background information, and the significance of the research problem. The introduction chapter establishes the research aim and objectives you will address as part of your research.

The length of the introduction chapter varies according to the overall allocated word count for the dissertation. Typically, your introduction chapter will be approximately 15-20% of the total dissertation word count.

6. Law Dissertation Literature Review

Find the existing literature relevant to your topic of research. Use this information as evidence and analysis for any arguments you make in the paper. The literature review chapter allows you to dive deep into your chosen research topic to determine how other research studies concluded.

Every paragraph of the literature review chapter should address the issue you are exploring from a unique angle so you can establish your authenticity as a researcher.

7. The Research Methodology

Arguably the most crucial chapter of the dissertation is the research methodology. It is where you justify your choice of the type of research you have chosen to proceed with. For example, you could base your research on qualitative, quantitive or mixed data. At this stage, you will also need to decide whether you will base your project on primary data, secondary data, or both. Ensure to include the research tools used during research, the philosophy of the research approach and the ethical limitations involved in this chapter.

8. Data Analysis & Interpretation

Once the dataset is ready, it is time to analyse and interpret the results. Dissertations based on secondary data usually do not require statistical software. On the other hand, where primary and quantitative data are involved, software such as SPSS, STATA, R-Studio, and Excel is almost inevitable.

Do not rust this part of the paper because the significance of your research is directly related to the quality of analysis and interpretation.

9. Conclusion & Recommendations

The conclusion chapter can be a short one. Here you present the results of your research and link them back to the research objectives as set out in the introduction chapter. Avoid introducing anything new at this stage of the writing. Only reinstate your original findings and connect them with the research problem you were supposed to investigate.

10. References

Follow the appropriate referencing style guide. For example, most UK universities require students to use the Harvard Referencing Guide. However, always check your handbook to be sure about the style you must follow. Other referencing style guides include MLA, Oxford, IEE, APA, and more. Use in-text citations where applicable and create a list of references.

11. Title Page & Abstract

Create a title page with your name, module code, programme name and date of submission. Create an abstract which is a summary of your entire research.

12. Contents, Tables, Figures & Abbreviations

Generate the contents table using the Microsoft contents feature. Use the format as instructed in the dissertation handbook.

Provide the list of figures and the list of abbreviations separately so the reader can quickly find their desired figure or abbreviation details.

13. Proofreading

Proofread and edit the paper before submission. Look for grammatical, language, structural, coherence and factual mistakes to ensure it is error-free before submission.

Law Dissertation Example

Here is a law dissertation example for inspiration. Do not copy the content of this sample paper. Instead, use it for reference and guidance purposes only.

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Frequently Asked Questions About the Law Dissertation

The length of your law dissertation will depend on many factors, including your academic institute, academic level, and country of study. Undergraduate and Master’s level law thesis papers are usually 8000 to 15000 words long. PhD thesis can be up to 100,000 words long.

Like other academic subjects, a dissertation for a law topic has five fundamental components: the introduction, the literature review, the methodology, the analysis & interpretation, and the conclusion. Always follow your university’s structure to ensure you stay focused.

We have several qualified law essay and law dissertation experts at Essay UK. Whether you are interested in business law, contract law, tax law, property law, employment or another area of law, our specialists can complete your dissertation to the highest possible quality. Please read about our law dissertation writing service to see how we can help you manage your looming deadlines.

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