Handbook on seminar papers

Handbook on writing a good seminar paper

Note to students: As my own course-related project, I am putting together a comprehensive guide on writing a seminar paper. This guide will reflect readings, discussions, and recommended techniques on developing a high-quality seminar paper.


Important dates & deadlines


About the SWR

FAQs on the SWR

Why a good seminar paper is like a patent

Developing a Topic & Thesis

“Topic” versus “thesis”

Topic ideas & research tools

Preparing your combined statement of Thesis, Outline, and Sources



Avoiding preemption

Organizing your research


Writing a zeroth draft

Revising towards a first draft

The Introduction & Roadmap

Attribution (i.e., avoiding plagiarism)

Bluebook cheat sheets

Revising and polishing:

Common issues with first drafts

Codes used by professor in marking up drafts

Create easy-updating supra and infra cross references (added Oct. 17)

Testing your ideas


Presenting and peer commenting:

General guidance for all class members during presentation weeks

Guidance for those giving presentations

Guidance for commentators on presentations

You’re done. Now what?

Getting your work published

Updated Oct. 17, 2014