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LIBS 102: Legal Research

Legal Issues Presentations - Your Assignment

For this assignment, your group will be researching a current social issue. You will need to present an overview of the issue, including relevant constitutional and/or legislative aspects and information about landmark cases with implications for this issue. You will also need to argue for or against the legal question the issue raises. 

First, you'll want to learn about the broader context of the issue you're addressing. For example, if your group is presenting on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, you'll need to find out more about the program itself and the problems it was created to address. You will also want to try to get a sense of the bigger issues around your topic. If you're studying the DACA program, you will probably want at least a brief overview of immigration law and the history of immigration in the United States. 

Once you have a good understanding of the background of your issue, you'll want to find out why this issue is currently relevant and whether there are current legislative or judicial actions related to this issue. You'll also want to find as much information as you can about any existing laws or court cases related to the issue. 

This guide will help you find the right places to search for the kinds of sources you need. 

Need Help?

This kind of research can be very difficult. If you run into problems or aren't sure where to begin, I'm here to work with you. You can send me an email or schedule a research appointment using the buttons in the box to the left. 

You can also come the library for immediate assistance between 11 am and 5pm, Monday through Friday. We have a librarian on call or on the desk between these hours to provide one-on-one feedback and help. 

What do you need?

Annotated Bibliography of Three Sources Using MLA Citation Style

Find three sources (books, book chapters, articles, movies, web sites, etc.) to help you understand your initial research question and write an annotation* for each source. Use a variety of information sources (not all websites or all books).

*An annotation is a short (about 5 sentences) summary and evaluation of a source, which follows the citation. In each annotation, you must answer the following three questions:

  • What was the argument or main points of the source?
  • What did you learn from this source that you didn’t learn in other sources?
  • What is the author’s point of view?

You should also respond to at least one of the following questions:

  • How does this source open up new ways of seeing a problem?
  • Who is the audience for this piece of information and why does that matter?
  • What information does not seem accurate, if any?