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This article is written by Nandini Biswas pursuing BBA. LLB. from Narsee Monjee Inst. of Management Studies, School of Law, Bangalore Campus.

Table of Contents

Introduction of the host- Anubhav Garg

Anubhav Garg is working as a content writer and an event manager with ipleaders, He got a PPO at his internship with iPleaders for Content writer and Event manager. He is working with India’s biggest company in legal education, LawSikho (iPleaders, LawSikho and SuperLawyers have common owners). The best thing about his job is that he gets to add value and give back to the legal fraternity.

He is also working as a content writer with Taxology.

He completed his BBA LLB from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University. 

Introduction of the guest- Kajori Bhatnagar

Ms. Kajori Bhatnagar specializes in IPR and Cyber Laws from ILI Delhi and Asian School of Cyber Laws and obtained her Masters of Law in Human Rights from National Law School India University. She then pursued a specialization in Advanced Entrepreneurship Management and Corporate Laws from Gujarat National Law University. She is currently working as an Assistant Professor and research scholar at Punjab University.

She has experience as an academician for over three years. She is a vehement promoter, propagator and follower of human rights. Currently, she is also working as placement coordinator and faculty in charge of a legal aid clinic.

Summary of the webinar- How to write a research paper

What is the difference between writing a blog, an article, an essay, and a research paper?

Blog is based on the writer’s thoughts and opinions. There is no standard concept. It is an informal platform which is based on content writing and citation may not be required.

Article is a piece of writing that is included with others in newspapers, to inform the readers of some concept. It follows a format, has headings, and does not require citations and references. They can be accompanied by graphs, charts, pictures, etc. Essay is a short piece of writing on a particular topic written as a response to a question or a proposition. It follows a format and requires references and citations to be mentioned.

Research paper has a theme, needs extensive research, has a formal format and requires citations.

What kind of audience should a research paper be written for?

Audience does not matter much, the purpose of writing the research paper matters. See to it that it is simple to understand, has a simple on the language and is drafted properly.

What sources can we refer to while researching?

  • Refer to the books in the library
  • Refer websites with .edu, .org
  • Legal software like Hein online, SCC online, Manupatra, West law, etc

How to start writing a research paper?

  • Choose a topic that you are familiar with or get familiar with the topic
  • Search for information about the topic and build a base
  • Find issues on the topic and draft arguments around it
  • Make an outline for the research paper
  • Collect your research material together, maybe create a folder and store it there
  • Provide a background of the topic
  • Use case laws
  • Give your analysis
  • End it with a conclusion

What is the difference between the research methodologies when writing for a law firm and when writing for academic purposes?

  • Law firms- they need you to research on certain specific areas.
  • Academic purposes- Provide a background to the topic, explain the topic in depth and give your analysis. Analyzing the content in your article is very important since it shows that you have understood whatever you have mentioned in the article.

Can we earn by writing a research paper?

Yes, the job profile is called content writers. It has a lot of scope due to the social media boom. Independent lawyers hire content writers to write blogs and are paid well.

What are the current hot topics that one can choose to write a research paper on?

  • CAA
  • How technology is affecting the world
  • Virtual identity vs real identity
  • AI in developing Law
  • Immigration issues and laws
  • International taxation
  • Supreme Court judgments of the past 2 to 3 years

How much are research papers valued in the CV when it comes to internships and jobs?

Writing skills are very important and the interviewer will look at the number of publications that you have in order to decide if you have enough knowledge on the topic. Good draft of a research paper shows that you are clear about the concepts.

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How to get the research paper published and which are the valuable platforms that one should target to get their research paper published?

People from academia should focus on publishing articles with the UGC care list. Other valuable platforms include- 

  • Academia
  • research gate
  • scribd
  • selfgrowth.com
  • legallyserviceindia.com
  • goarticles.com
  • bar and bench
  • livelaw
  • ipleaders
  • preservearticles.com

These websites have their mail ids where you can send your paper and they have their own process that they follow for reviewing the paper before publishing them.

Earlier, there were sites where you had to pay to get your article published. Now, according to a new ruling, articles getting published by giving money to the websites, holds no academic value.

Can pictures, graphs, pie charts, etc. be included in a research paper to make it more appealing?

Yes. If you copy paste from websites, it is important to mention the source of such things.

For 1st year law students, giving a legal aspect to an article or a research paper gets very disorienting at times, how should that be dealt with?

Build your base by referring to Wikipedia, do not cite any information or take reference from Wikipedia, but one can always go through its content to get a clear idea of the legal topic. Then start researching from other credible sites.

Some paid sites have good content that is useful for our article/research paper. How to access that?

Write to the publisher saying that you are writing an article/research paper and you want to refer to their content. Sites like research gate and academia allow such a process.

Another thing is that, many of the paid content are available for free on other websites or are personally published, for finding this, you need to go to the 2nd, 3rd or other subsequent pages on google.

While researching a topic for writing a research paper, or an article, we tend to read a lot of blogs and papers and articles, so we start thinking from that perspective. How do we generate a novel content?

If you are not able to generate a novel content of your own, do not write a research paper, write an essay.

The essay will be the compilation of all what you have read till now.

If I want to write a research paper for students and academicians, what kind of strategy should I use?

  • Use simple language.
  • Give a background of the topic, legal issues, misuse of laws and the judgments.
  • While writing, make sure that you first put forth all the arguments regarding the topic and then choose your side and justify it rather than just mentioning your stance. This will give an all-round and a holistic approach to your article.

If there is one quote which is cited by many articles, journals, etc., should we cite all those literary pieces in the references?

No. Only cite the original one. 

Eg- If a quote by Mahatma Gandhi is cited in any of the literary works, you need to just mention that it is a quote by Mahatma Gandhi.

I have been advised to frame research questions that the research paper will answer, is it important?

Yes, it is very important since it defines the purpose of the paper and structures the research. It also helps you to draft your research paper well.

How to deal with research biases?

  • A researcher should be free from biases
  • Must be objective
  • Have an open mind
  • Make changes to your research question if you feel that your stance on the subject matter is different than what you are finding out by researching
  • Change your line of thinking if required

While trying to come up with something novel, there is always an apprehension that we may not have read all the available literature on the subject, so our idea is not novel. How to do away with that apprehension?

It is fine to have similar or same opinions, but there will be a tinge of individuality since a different person is writing. This makes the article novel. Also, we often find many articles on the same issue having the same perspective, so it is absolutely fine if the perspective that you have adopted is not novel or unique. The way of presenting the perspective is something that differs from author to author. Thus, the way you present your perspective and how successfully you are able to influence the readers or how successfully the readers are able to understand and connect with your viewpoint matters a lot. So, see to it that you make your content reader friendly.


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