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Think, Find, Write, Cite

This section of the guide is designed to help you through the research process, from understanding your topic and information gathering, to writing and referencing an academic assignment. Use the white tabs on the left to navigate through each step of the research process.

Starting your research

If you need help analysing your topic or developing a list of keywords for searching, look through the Think, Find, Write, Cite tab.  

If you are wondering how to undertake Legal Research, look through the following texts for great explanations and ideas:

Researching & Writing in the LawTerry Hutchinson, 'Researching & Writing in Law'  (Thomson Reuters, 2018)

A Practical Guide to Legal Research - Jay Sanderson, Kim Kelly,  'A Practical Guide to Legal Research' (Thomson Reuters, 4th ed, 2017)

Methodologies of Legal Research: Which Kind of Method for What Kind of Discipline? - Mark van Hoecke (ed) 'Methodologies of Legal Research : Which Kind of Method for What Kind of Discipline?' (European Academy of Legal Theory series, ProQuest eBook Central, 2011)


Primary legal materials are the authoritative records of law. These are:

  • Legislation made by Parliament
  • Rules, regulations, orders and by-laws of bodies that have delegated authority to administer these laws
  • Authoritative reports of court decisions or case law

image of an historical book

Secondary sources of law refer, discuss and help locate the law but are not primary sources.  They can help in understanding the law in specific areas.  If you don't know much about a topic start with general information and work towards more specific sources:

eg. Legal dictionaries > legal encyclopedias > text books > journal articles.

The Research Process

Workshops & Skills Training

MQ offers free learning skills and writing workshops. These workshops cover essentials, such as time management, effective note taking, assignment writing, accurate referencing, and academic language.