Academic Writing: Fundamentals Of Legal Research

Academic Writing: Fundamentals Of Legal Research.


Discuss about the Academic Writing for Fundamentals of Legal Research.



Essay Question- Should all academic writing be based on primary sources?

Academic writing is conducted in various set of outlines and genres that comprises an impersonal as well as dispassionate tone. This form of writing is generally targeted for a significant and informed audience and is based on an intensively examine knowledge. Academicians in every discipline utilizes academic form of writing in order to convey thoughts, ideas, make arguments and further engage in scholarly discussion. However, at times, this form of writing is regarded as prolonged or inaccessible but it must be noted that a vehement and intense academic writing is quite otherwise (Candlin and Hyland 2014). Such form of writing enlightens, examines and further persuades in an effortless manner and facilitates the readers to involve critically in an intellectual and scholarly discourse. The value and significance of sources must be noted  in order to comprehend any research project. The three labels of sources of information namely primary, secondary and tertiary serve a varied purpose throughout the  process of any research work and can further strengthen the piece of writing (Turabian 2018). The essay will intend to focus on the significance of primary source of information in conducting a successful academic writing. In addition to it, the essay will further evaluate the role of primary, secondary and tertiary sources in varied disciplines of academic writing.

Primary sources are considered significant to any research assignment except for the occasions when the primary aim is to create a survey of accessible literature on a specific subject. The idea of primary varies from discipline to discipline. A primary source for literature for instance, would involve writings, dialogues, speeches along with other direct communications derived from the author of the work that has being studied (Brundage 2017). Certain disciplines in particular such as history include sources like letters, scripts, eyewitness testimonies, newspaper articles and other autobiographical work. For instance, a researcher intending to analyse the disparities on the way the Northern and Southern media reported the battle of Antietam during the Civil War would necessitate the consideration of the testimonies of the battle and its direct repercussions, reports from the soldiers who participated in the battle along with the chronicles and journals (Galvan and Galvan 2017). However, it must be noted that not all primary references can be utilized in conducting an effective historical investigation. A research worker might further review autobiographies or narratives written by people who were in direct association with the battles (Cumming 2013). Primary references for studying a discipline of psychology, on the other hand, incorporate discussion and interrogating human entities who provide effective participation in the study, empirical investigation gathered during the course of the investigation, investigation outcomes along with other related materials. An academic researcher in order to assess the space-elevator strategies of NASA will conduct an in-depth interview with a NASA scientist or further evaluate videos of NASA Power Beaming Challenge incidents (Coolican 2017). A research worker intending to determine the efficacy of listening to classical genre music while studying would outline the project in order to analyse students who study under diverse circumstances. Such a research design would aid the researcher to accumulate information and required data in order to support or refute the hypothesis.

According to the UCLA Institute on Primary Resources, the role of primary references is to offer immediate evidences of historic occurrences. However, it is immensely important to consider that primary references in its unusual form that is neither construed nor assessed by other researchers (Harvey 2013). The implementation of primary references provides an academic writer with distinctive opportunities in order to perform original study and further formulate the researchers’ personal theory, ideas and opinions (Harris 2017). The central idea of primary resources in academic writing or research is to analyse as data for scientific, historical as well as social investigation. Primary data aid in immense intimacy to the occurrence or phenomenon that is being studied (Kipping, Wadhwani and Bucheli 2014). The central area whereby primary sources lie is in journals or any documentation, but one may intermittently encounter a book or document in which a researcher or author has incorporated original work or unique thoughts and findings. For instance, conceptualizing the themes and ideas in the novel of Great Gatsby, an academic writer must analyse the text and further review nonfiction essays written by Scott Fitzgerald (Chin et al. 2013). Furthermore, primary sources provides with a window to look into the past records which are the unfiltered admission to the data of artistic, societal, scientific as well as political ideas and achievements during the period of investigation in particular. Academic research is based on factual data, information and investigation, which further entails the usage of primary sources (Fairclough 2014). A detailed inquisition into primary data sources acknowledges a researcher with several disagreements and contradictions and further evaluates manifold sources and data that symbolize contradictory standpoints, further confronting the intricacies of past.

Secondary sources in academic writing are regarded as an n analysis of the raw or firsthand data done by researchers within the domain of intellectual and academic study. Such secondary materials conceptualize and further interpret the primary data. Secondary data serves the role of used or indirect account or substantiation of an event or an affair (Ary et al. 2018). Thus, such form of data is considered as sources deflected from the original explanation and phenomenon. Secondary source of information instead of offering an accurate narrative, researchers using these data evaluate, construe and further gather inferences about the raw or primary sources, thus incorporating significance to the sources in academic writing (Cottrell 2017). Such forms of sources play the role of a liaison between the sources and the academic writer. A journal article based on ideologies of motherhood for instance, in the novel of Frankenstein can be used in order to evaluate the beliefs and thoughts of Shelley’s on motherhood and further assess the way the ideas of both have exerted their way into the narratives of the novel (Carroll et al. 2013). Furthermore, several books and articles on speech styles and patterns can be used in order to assess the way renowned personalities such as Obama communicates with the audience and media. Secondary data is regarded as a systematic and methodical method with the use of procedural as well as evaluative manner, but there remains an absence of literature in order to define particular procedures (Barkan, Bintliff and Whisner 2015). The central idea lying on secondary data sources is to provide theoretical ideas and knowledge along with conceptual competences in order to implement existing information to address the investigating questions (Kipping, Wadhwani and Bucheli 2014). In the domain of academic writing, this type of sources include less expenditure, time as well as resources whereby the information  collected is assessed and evaluated and further accessible in formats which are prepared in advance, thus, aiding to time reduction (Hancock and Algozzine 2016). Secondary source data further provides responses to the research questions of the study. However, on the contrary with primary source in academic writing secondary data might be incompetent to achieve the research requirements as the data gathered through secondary sources requires detailed evaluation in order to produce into the configure, which is attuned to the needs of the academic writer (Brundage 2017). For instance, in analysing the Great Gatsby the primary data collection would be gathered from the novel itself, while for secondary resources the references can thus be congregated from the film adaptations based on the novels or the scholarly documentations of review the novel (Coolican 2017). It must be noted that in primary data sources, academic researchers who gather data further analyse it. Furthermore, for meta-analysis, a researcher quantitatively coalesce the statistical outcomes from several studies of an event in order to accomplish a specific conclusion. However, in the case of secondary sources, researchers who do not have any direct association with the data collection study the data. The majority area of animal cognition incorporates primary data investigation; however, it creates complexities to recognize any which rely on meta-analysis (Hancock and Algozzine 2016). On the contrary, secondary sources rely on effective published and accessible information. Articles or editorial, which are supported by primary sources, have the potentialities to provide significance impact on further investigation (Fairclough 2014). A comprehensive enduring influence of written documentation based on raw data analysis may be evaluated by citations in succeeding pragmatic or empirical articles as well as in review of literature. However, in the context of secondary data sources, academic researchers or group of academic investigators conceptualizes the information that is not implicated in the outline of the research work or data collection (Kipping, Wadhwani and Bucheli 2014). These evaluations are relied upon information that has the accessibility in text, tables, and graphs or upon the raw data gathered from secondary sources.

Conducting any study or investigation facilitates a researcher to discover and determine the prevailing and dominant thoughts, theories, perceptions and discussions that have their presence in the literature. The third form of source involved in the domain of academic writing is the tertiary source that further recapitulates or commentaries on secondary data (Galvan and Galvan 2017). Writers implement tertiary sources in order to achieve a fundamental idea and improved understanding of the subject and to prepare through broad range of information in a rapid and effective manner (Carroll et al. 2013). Sources collected from indexes, bibliographies, theoretical data and further reference resources can be regarded as tertiary sources unless they offer academic and scholarly analyses. Tertiary sources are regarded as sources that recognize and locate both primary and secondary data. While conducting an enduring ethnographic investigation on the way first and third year law students demographic factors along with preceding disclosure to data literacy induction have an impact on the data sources that law students choose and further their preferences whether or not to provide suitable attribution to implemented information references (Candlin and Hyland 2014). While conducting the research the academic researcher has, further consulted data generally regarded as secondary references that involved law review journals, legal encyclopaedia, various legal dictionaries, and Restatements of the Law as well as practice directories. It must be noted that these primary and secondary reference sources offer enhanced consistent, legitimate and reliable (Barkan, Bintliff and Whisner 2015). However, students conducting academic research in law may not consider these factors due to its immense level of time consumption aspect in comparison to the usage of tertiary source such as Google (Fairclough 2014). In recent times, the majority of people within the academic domain are greatly reliant towards the rapid accessibility of internet.  A law student whereby, can easily access any form of data of legal information that is related to his or her subject in lesser time with the help of a search engine that is a tertiary reference (Hancock and Algozzine 2016). On the contrary, gathering legal information with the help of a digital legal database or from a documented source, which can be regarded as primary or secondary sources. Even though, tertiary sources identify intense value of primary and secondary sources, the prominence of tertiary references lack at various areas due to their distance from the original source of data, they possess a tendency to generalize or sometimes create distortions of the research subject (Brundage 2017). Repetitive rehash of secondary references results in losing some new dimensions and insights of the research topic (Hancock and Algozzine 2016). In order to accomplish certain principles and standards of exploration and expectations of the academic writing, consistent and reliable data facilitate to achieve the aims and objectives of the research and further ascertain the writing to accomplish the necessities and requirements of the paper.

However, the significance of sources deserves a mention because they tend to reveal evidences to the debates and arguments the academic writer present in his or her work must be corroborated properly. In such contexts, primary sources provide germane and well-established information in order to aid such declarations and arguments. Despite the fact that primary sources reveal original, raw and direct evidences that are usually related to the personal experiences of the writers or researchers, they does not always confirm their efficacy in all forms of academic writing. However, primary sources have immense significance but few academic writings to develop the critical thinking as well as research skills. Utilizing primary sources for writing an essay can pose challenges , therefore incorporating secondary sources such as peer-reviewed articles, academic or scholarly journals is important because they aid the analysis of the writer and further facilitates in the development of critical thinking as well as research abilities.


Ary, D., Jacobs, L.C., Irvine, C.K.S. and Walker, D., 2018. Introduction to research in education. Cengage Learning.

Barkan, S.M., Bintliff, B. and Whisner, M., 2015. Fundamentals of legal research.

Brundage, A., 2017. Going to the sources: A guide to historical research and writing. John Wiley & Sons.

Candlin, C.N. and Hyland, K., 2014. Writing: Texts, processes and practices. Routledge.

Carroll, J.A., Diaz, A., Meiklejohn, J., Newcomb, M. and Adkins, B., 2013. Collaboration and competition on a wiki: The praxis of online social learning to improve academic writing and research in under-graduate students. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 29(4).

Chin, P., Reid, S., Wray, S. and Yamazaki, Y., 2013. Academic Writing Skills 3 Student’s Book (Vol. 3). Cambridge University Press.

Coolican, H., 2017. Research methods and statistics in psychology. Psychology Press.

Cottrell, S., 2017. Critical thinking skills. Macmillan Education.

Cumming, A., 2013. Assessing integrated writing tasks for academic purposes: Promises and perils. Language Assessment Quarterly, 10(1), pp.1-8.

Fairclough, N., 2014. Critical language awareness. Routledge.

Galvan, J.L. and Galvan, M.C., 2017. Writing literature reviews: A guide for students of the social and behavioral sciences. Routledge.

Hancock, D.R. and Algozzine, B., 2016. Doing case study research: A practical guide for beginning researchers. Teachers College Press.

Harris, R.A., 2017. Using sources effectively: Strengthening your writing and avoiding plagiarism. Taylor & Francis.

Harvey, K., 2013. History and Material Culture: A Student’s Guide to Approaching Alternative Sources. Routledge.

Kipping, M., Wadhwani, R.D. and Bucheli, M., 2014. Analyzing and interpreting historical sources: A basic methodology. Organizations in time: History, theory, methods, pp.305-329.

Turabian, K.L., 2018. A manual for writers of research papers, theses, and dissertations: Chicago style for students and researchers. University of Chicago Press.

Academic Writing: Fundamentals Of Legal Research

Place this order or similar order and get an amazing discount.

Leave a Reply