Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date



graduate studies, Humanities, legal education, legal research, Legal writing, methodology, research, research methods, rhetoric, social sciences, writing skills


This paper originated as a lecture to students pursuing the Erasmus Mundus Master of Laws in Transnational Trade and Finance Law at the Universidad de Deusto, Bilbao, Spain. Although generally relevant for researchers in a variety of contexts up to and including writing book monographs, it is primarily aimed at graduate students doing major papers, theses or dissertations and undergraduate (including first-degree law) students doing research essays in upper-year seminars. The pointers found in the paper must accordingly be modified, mutatis mutandi, according to the nature of the research project, including the time available in which to complete it. The paper is divided into four sections: “Principles” (Section I), “The notion of ‘insight’” (Section II), “Presumptive research steps” (Section III), “Tips” (Section IV), and “Conclusion” (Section V).