Most articles written by students take the form of either a comment or a note but there are other forms of writing such as narratives and storytelling that may be applicable to your situation. You will want to consult with your journal editors or professor about what is required from you. When choosing a topic, keep the following things in mind:
(1) choose something you find interesting since you will be spending a large amount of time living with this topic;
(2) think carefully about the scope of the topic – avoid overly broad or general topics as well as topics that are too narrow; and
(3) write about something new or look at an issue in a new light.
If you are writing a paper for a seminar class, your professor may have a list of topics that you can use or give you some ideas.
In addition to the Volokh and Falk books that were listed under Writing an Article - General Tips, the following are guides on finding a topic:
Bloomberg Law publishes over 40 current report services that track news, topics and trends. Beyond the circuit splits found in the United States Law Week, Bloomberg Law Reports are an excellent resource for potential topics. You can even subscribe to email alerts or an RSS feed.
Mealey's reports include case summaries, commentaries, and breaking news across different practice areas.
Law360 covers 45 practice areas and provides news on litigation, legislation and regulation, corporate deals, major personnel moves, and legal industry news and trends.
Emerging Issues Analysis articles provides guidance written by attorneys practicing in the field. The commentaries examine a wide range of recent cases, regulations, trends, and developments. They also cover national, state and international issues and provide expert insight in important areas and legal developments.
CCH is a subsidiary of Wolters Kluwer publishing company and it is well known for business, labor and employment, tax, and health resources. Find and click on your topical area of interest. Then look at the news options for your topic.
A circuit split is where there is a difference of opinion among the United States Courts of Appeal. These often make great law review topics.
The easiest way to browse the Split Circuit Roundup is to use the BNA Online Publications link off of the Law Library’s webpage.
This law review includes a Current Circuit Splits feature that briefly summarizes current circuit splits, but it also features longer, more in-depth articles analyzing important developments in law at the federal appellate level.
By looking at what others are currently writing about, you can often find ideas about what you want to write about.
Review the Table of Contents, comments, and/or notes in a textbook or treatise to generate topic ideas.
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