1. Cover page containing: title of work; author(s) name(s), SIGNATURES, and student ID number; course name and number; date submitted.
2. Introduction containing: (a) the main question(s) to be addressed in the paper; (b) why the question(s) is (are) important; (c) reference to the context of the question(s), that is, the broader legal or social issues to which it is (they are) relevant; (d) a summary of the evidence that you will be considering and from what sources it has been obtained; (e) a summary of the arguments you will be using; (f) a summary of the conclusion(s) you will reach.
3. Body of the paper; This should contain a statement of the question(s) to be considered, why the questions are important; for example an essay on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms should indicate what the Charter is and how and why it is significant to Canadian law and society in protecting basic human rights and freedoms against abuse by legislators and governments;
Most questions can be looked at from different perspectives and points of view. Your essay should identify such different perspectives and points of view. If there are many perspectives, do not necessarily consider all of them in detail. Just mention the different possible perspectives and then focus on perhaps two main perspectives. For example, some people consider the Charter an infringement of democratic freedoms because it permits unelected judges to override the decisions of elected politicians. Others see the Charter as a protection of democratic freedoms by protecting minorities against abuse by politicians more concerned with re-election by the electorate than with basic rights of minorities.
In addressing the sample issue above, you should identify cases, expert opinions etc. that support the different points of view. The sources of such opinions, cases etc. should be referred to in the text using footnotes (or endnotes) identifying the author(s) and the publication(s) or cases in which they appear. Note that in court decisions, there are not infrequently minority judgments. While the minority judgment does not represent the decision of the court, it can often provide useful authority for an alternative perspective on the issue before the court. I encourage you to refer to minority judgments.
You should describe and weigh the different evidence and arguments supporting the different opinions or points of view on the issues considered. You should take a position on the relative strength of the evidence and arguments introduced in the paper. This should depend on qualifications and reputation of the sources of the opinions. You may find the evidence and arguments have equal weight. That is an acceptable conclusion.
It is best practice to state the question, list the nature and source of the evidence relevant to the question, then provide the arguments supporting particular points of view. That is, try to separate the evidence from the argument in the body of the paper. Evidence comes first then the argument AFTER YOU HAVE CONSIDERED THE EVIDENCE.
It is important to use sections and subsections to organize your evidence and arguments. For example, you might have a section entitled “1. History of the Charter” organized into subsections (a), (b) and (c) based on different section of the Charter. This makes it easier for the reader and helps you to organize your thoughts.
4. Conclusion Your conclusion should contain a summary of the evidence and the arguments. You should state your conclusions on the matter clearly. If the paper is a group paper, there may be differences of opinion between or among the authors. This is healthy and you should identify such differences. Always give reasons for your opinions.
In the conclusion, you should also try to identify FURTHER