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law research paper

Difficulties with citing different types of sources (internet, books, journals, etc.) following Harvard style in a Law research paper

Aug 12, 2012 - Posted to  Research Paper Writing
Writing proper research papers entail knowing a lot of things. One of those things that are considered to be of paramount importance is properly citing research papers. Citations can be a major problem unless one knows the art of doing the same properly. Since citations is one of the most important factors, it is crucial to know how to properly reference citations in law research papers.
However, just the knowledge into how to reference citations properly as per a particular referencing style does not necessarily ensure that the process of referencing citations would always be smooth. There are pitfalls laden all over the process. Thus, in addition to knowing how to reference in a particular referencing style, one should also be aware of the problems associated with referencing.
The Harvard referencing style is one of the most popular referencing styles available for citing law research papers. The complete guide to Harvard referencing style does include provisions for not only textbooks and research papers, but also in response to the other sources of information - often electronic. Certain points would help understand the process better.

Basic Format

Harvard referencing style uses the author date format. So any typical in-text reference would generally read as (Author, Date). Also, the general format for referencing follows an Author, year of publication, title of the book/ article, place of publication, name of publisher. However, it can be tougher than this. Mostly, one has to cite research papers and one has to write both the name of the article followed by the journal. Again, the journal and volume number also have to be mentioned before one cites the place of publication and the publisher.

Referencing Electronic Sources

Though the Harvard referencing style has provisions for including electronic sources, but lack of in depth understanding can prove to be difficult for the researcher. The typical problems associated with internet sources, journals as well as books are that all of these are electronically available. While looking up the internet or for that matter even while going through books, one finds that each publisher has its own house styles. Thus finding out the necessary information such as author's full name, the year of publication, place of publication, original publisher etc can be tough for researchers. The problem is further accentuated with electronic sources where neither the author is mentioned nor the year of uploading the contents is given. Also, lack of citations in these articles and write ups also raise the question on the credibility of the information given. In these cases, one has to cite the link and the date on which it was viewed after citing whatever information is available.

Law Specific

Also, law is one of those areas where lawyers always refer to the outcomes of precedence created in other cases. Thus, referencing cases can also pose to be a problem depending on from where the research is referring to the case. The intricacies of various forms of information actually increase the difficulty of the researcher. Lastly, one must also know that these referencing styles are continually updated and this is another problem when it comes to citing through the Harvard referencing style for law research papers.
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