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LAW2031 Law in Action research guide: Home

Welcome!

This guide has been prepared to assist you when researching your LAW2031 social action project. 

Your research is based around one of the ten different scenarios presented to you by your tutors. Unlike other module assessments, you will be required to use a range of non-academic sources to support your work. This will require carefully selecting sources from the Web.

How to approach your chosen topic

Once you know what topic you focusing on, you can start to plan how you are going to search for relevant information to examine this fully. It may help reflect on your search skills so far (questions provided by Sarah Willis):

  • What is your usual approach/strategy to finding sources for law assessments? How effective is this?
  • Having attended the How to: Find and evaluate non academic sources workshop, how will you change your usual approach/strategy to finding sources for assessments?  Identify one thing (minimum) that you will do differently. 
  • What are the usual range of sources that you use in law assessments? How relevant would they be for use in your Law in Action project?
  • Having attended the How to: Find and evaluate non academic sources workshop, what sources could be relevant for your Law in Action project? Identify one source (minimum) that you will access and use that in your Law in Action project that you have not accessed or used before.
  • In relation to this source, remember to evaluate it. What would your evaluation of this source be?

Planning your search

Before you begin your research, it is worth doing a bit of planning up front. Consider your research questions and the different search words that relate to this. These are what we would call keywords. You can map these out in a way that helps you to carry out your searches and come up with different search strategies. Here is an example search table:

Keyword table
Rough sleeping Housing Rights
Rough sleepers Rehousing Entitlements
Homeless Housing allocation

Policy

Homelessness Rehoming Rules
On the streets    

From here you can develop meaningful search strategies e.g. Rough sleeping and housing / Rough sleepers and rehousing and rights

Indentifying credible sources

While you may find some relevant legal material through searching the legal databases, your project will require you to search more broadly. It is expected that you will use carefully selected reports and materials from the searching the Web, but you need to make sure that these are good quality sources. 

There are lots of different methods you can use to evaluate web based sources and one of those is the CRAAP test.  Here is a video that explains how you can apply the CRAAP method when selecting your sources.

Types of sources

Depending on your chosen topic, you could find there is a wealth of good quality material or very little to choose from. Either way, you will still need to make some decisions about the sources you use:

Preferred source (credible) Alternative source (less credible)
A charity report highlighting the issues and prevalence of domestic abuse incidents in the UK. A popular magazine article (e.g. Glamour magazine) discussing issues relating to women and domestic violence.
A government report in relation to the cost of living crisis and housing implications. The Jeremy Vine show or a blog post discussing the report

If you are looking at secondary sources, for example websites or blogs, it is important to consider the author and their credentials when making your selections. In other words, avoid using commercial or popular blogs and opt for ones that are adjunct to recognised credible bodies instead. Also, try to use a variety of sources and avoid too many news stories.

Google smart searching

Google smart searching techniques will be beneficial for your case study research, especially the site:. and filetype: options seen in the video below. Why not have a go with your topics?

 

Useful library resources

Don't forget to explore the legal databases for relevant content: