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Research Assistant Guide

Resources for Research Assistants

Help for Organizing and Writing

Online tools are available to help organize research materials; the ones listed below are only some of the myriad available.  Temple University supports RefWorks, Mendeley, EndNote, and Zotero (see here for more information).  You may want to try a few to see which best fits your style and needs. 

  • PowerNotes (Temple Law Library subscription)
    PowerNotes allows you to extract text from documents or webpages and organize it, with notes, under your customized topics and subtopics.  PowerNotes automatically saves the citation information.

  • RefWorks
    RefWorks allows to you upload and sort documents, highlight and comment on text within the document, and add notes or tags to entire documents.  It works with many academic databases but not Lexis, Westlaw, or many webpages.

  • Mendeley
    Mendeley makes it easy to upload and sort documents, highlight and comment on text within the document, and add notes or tags to entire documents.  Like RefWorks, Mendeley cannot retrieve documents directly from Lexis or Westlaw.

The books below discuss the legal research paper writing process in depth.  Additional books are available in both the law library reserves and in closed stacks; please stop by the Temple Law Library Research Help Desk if you'd like to browse the materials available.

  • Scholarly Writing for Law Students:  Seminar Papers, Law Review Notes, and Law Review Competition Papers (Temple Law Library Reserves, KF250 .F35 2011)
    Fajans and Falk's book has sections on choosing a topic and developing a thesis, and gives practical steps for all phases of the writing process.  It also provides exercises on grammar, usage, and punctuation.

  • Scholarly Writing:  Ideas, Examples, and Execution (2010 edition in Temple Law Library Reserves, KF250 .C528 2010)
    This book, co-authored by Temple Law professor Kristen E. Murray, follows and includes writing samples from three different student papers so the reader can see how a paper moves from idea to finished product.

  • Academic Legal Writing (Temple Law Library Reserves, KF250 .V65 2016)
    The fifth edition of Eugene Volokh's book includes a section on finding a "claim" about which to write and has useful research tips, but the bulk is devoted to the writing process, with each step and paper section detailed.  Volokh discusses both the substance and the mechanics of good legal writing in depth.