4.01c Scholarly Writing Requirement

In order to graduate, each student must complete the Scholarly Writing Requirement. The Scholarly Writing Requirement is satisfied by researching and writing a scholarly paper that meets the Scholarly Writing Requirement standards in conjunction with a course taught by a full-time faculty member, a faculty supervised Directed Research, or a Law Journal submission which is approved by the Law Journal Editorial Board and the faculty supervisor. A paper which satisfies the writing requirement must be supervised by a full-time member of the Boyd School of Law faculty (including joint appointees) unless an alternative arrangement is approved by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

The paper ordinarily must be a minimum of 25 pages with one redraft. (See 13.04 Scholarly Writing Requirement Guidelines.) During or before the semester that a student is completing the Writing Requirement, he or she must attend an academic writing workshop and a refresher workshop on avoiding plagiarism (See Workshop Dates at http://portal.law.unlv.edu/registrar/home.html in the Semester and Course Information section.). The supervising faculty member may impose additional requirements, including submission of a report from a plagiarism prevention service. The writing requirement is not completed until the faculty supervisor signs the Scholarly Writing Requirement Certification Form and the student submits the form to the Registrar. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that the form is properly submitted.

13.04 Scholarly Writing Requirement Guidelines

The Scholarly Writing Requirement reflects both the faculty‟s recognition that lawyers are professional writers and the obligation of law schools to cultivate writing skills. One purpose of the Writing Requirement is to encourage professional interaction between a student and his or her faculty advisor during the writing process. The student and the faculty member must meet during and after the writing process:

  1. to discuss the topic of the paper
  2. to discuss the bibliographic essay
  3. to discuss the first complete draft; and
  4. to discuss the final draft and, if required by the faculty member, the self assessment of the student‟s paper.

We require that you complete your Scholarly Writing Requirement paper in stages, and that you work with your advisor during the stages:

  1. Your faculty advisor will specify a due-date for a topic selection statement. This date will not be more than four weeks into the semester. The topic selection statement should briefly describe the topic, your particular focus, and your reasons for choosing the project. On that date, your advisor will schedule a conference to discuss your paper topic. Your advisor must approve your topic. We encourage you to meet with you advisor prior to that date so that s/he can offer suggestions on the topic selection process.
  2. Your faculty advisor will specify a due-date for a bibliographic essay. T his date will not be more than seven weeks into the semester. This essay must include:
    1. a report on the status of your research by summarizing articles/cases read;
    2. a formulation of your thesis or major themes;
    3. an indication of open or difficult questions that remain;
    4. an indication of further research plans;
    5. a one or two page outline of your paper.
  3. Your faculty advisor will specify a due-date, not more than ten weeks into the semester, for a first draft. Your advisor will review this draft, which may or may not be graded, at the advisor‟s discretion. Your draft must have a strong introduction that includes at least three parts:
    1. a statement of purpose, main point or focus;
    2. a statement of the different sections of the paper and organizing principle or procedures by which you address the subject;
    3. and a statement of your major conclusions, findings or thesis.
  4. Your advisor will schedule a conference to discuss your draft. If your draft is inadequate, your advisor will require you to submit another draft before you turn in the final draft of the paper.
  5. Your advisor may specify a due-date for a peer edit. The exact form of the peer edit will be within the discretion of the professor. The professor may choose to have each student in a seminar peer-edit other students‟ papers before a class presentation, or may choose a more informal and less extensive peer editing process.
  6. Your faculty advisor may require you to submit a self-assessment of your final draft of the paper. The self- assessment should answer the following questions:
    1. How well did you locate and incorporate the authorities relevant to your topic?
    2. How well did you identify and develop your thesis?
    3. How well did you support your thesis, using the authority included in your paper?
    4. How well would a reader be able to follow your argument?
  7. Your faculty advisor may also require you to submit a report from a plagiarism prevention service. Whether or not your faculty advisor requires it, you may use the service SafeAssign provided in a LexisNexis web course called “Plagiarism Prevention” to help you identify quotations or passages that need citation. To access SafeAssign, sign into LexisNexis, click on “Access Webcourses,” and then click on the “Courses” tab to review all courses available. Next, choose the name of our school to reveal all classes available from Boyd. Finally, choose “Enroll” next to Plagiarism Prevention.