Editing And Writing With Style Via The AWR Display

by Yvette Brown 28. March 2013 13:46


Edit like a Maestro by checking out our AWR Display!  Ever wonder whether to capitalize or not capitalize?   Is your memory a tad bit foggy about grammar or punctuation rules?   Do you flip a coin to choose between which or that?  If you answered yes, our PSL Law Library is the go to place for style manuals and other writing resources.

Style manuals set the “standards” for writing.  The manuals answer questions about punctuation, word usage, capitalization, italics, underling, document design, plurals, possessives, and other writing conventions.

Plus, all of the style manuals and other writing resources in the AWR Display are available for check-out.  So, consult one of more of these handy writing resources before you turn in your motion, AWR, or other documents.

Bryan Garner, The Elements of Legal Style

Bryan Garner, The Redbook:  A Manual on Legal Style

Anne Enquist & Laurel Oates, Just Writing: Grammar, Punctuation, and Style for the Legal Writer            

Black’s Law Dictionary (9th ed.) (WestlawNext) 

Merriam-Webster Online: Dictionary and Thesaurus

Introduction to Basic Legal Citation (2012) (free e-book)

The AWR Display is conveniently located by the Legal Research Help Desk. 

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The case challenging DOMA

by Lidia Koelbel 27. March 2013 13:41

The case is U.S. V. Windsor.  Do you know the facts?  Read the parties' briefs on WestlawNext.

Brief for Plaintiff-Appellee

Brief for Defendant-Appellant

Also, see many other Amicus Curiae briefs and the Petition for Writ of Certiorari. 

Once logged in to WestlawNext, select "Briefs" from the "All Content" tab on the homepage.

Type the search string "US v. Windsor & DOMA."

Windsor is being reviewed along with Hollingsworth v. Perry, a challenge to California's Proposition 8.

How do you think these cases will be decided?  What was the legislative intent?

Will they actually reach a decision on the merits - under Equal Protections, 10th Amendment state police power, dismissed for lack of standing?




Read the slip opinions below:

United States v. Windsor

Hollingsworth v. Perry

Research Workshops: AWR “Filling the Gaps” and "Clearing your Mind”

by Michelle Vallance 18. March 2013 09:15



Need to fill in some gaps in your research paper? Wondering if there are resources beyond Lexis and Westlaw? Want to see examples and understand the structure of published scholarly works? Need a little help devising a Bluebook strategy? Go to the library’s “Filling in the Gaps in AWR Research” workshop on Wednesday, March 20th from noon-1:00pm in room 1337.

Having trouble staying focused during the research process?  Get lost in the piles of information?  Join us for a workshop on how to clear your mind when researching! “Clear Your Mind for Effective Research” is being offered by the library on Thursday, March 21st from noon-1:00pm in room 1337.

Can't make it this week? The Law Library will be offering workshops on many different topics throughout the semester. Take a look at our library workshops page to view a list of workshop descriptions and a link to the workshop calendar.

Don’t forget the Library now offers legal research instruction tailored for your study group! Any group of 5 or more can order a custom session.  To request a session, complete this form.

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Research from a Congressional Point of View

by Alison Ewing 13. March 2013 16:11

 Researching  a topic and want to know what congress has had to say about it? One of the best resources for congressional research is ProQuest Congressional .  Why would you use ProQuest Congressional instead of Westlaw and Lexis? Here are some examples.

Let’s say you are writing your paper on the Indian Court of Offenses and want to cite to the 1926 primary source hearings on that subject…it’s on ProQuest Congressional but not on WL or Lexis.  In fact, ProQuest Congressional has documents that go back to 1789! Maybe you are researching the recent Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 but want some historical perspective on the topic. ProQuest Congressional has hearings and congressional reports that pre-date the passage of the original Violence Against Women Act of 1990.  ProQuest also includes document types not found on WL or Lexis, like maps!  

ProQuest Congressional can be found in the drop-down menu on the Library’s website under Library Databases. 

It’s easy to see what you are searching when you go to the Advanced Search screen:

Questions? Ask a Librarian!

What Does An AWR Look Like?

by Yvette Brown 8. March 2013 10:03



It is times like this that a magical crystal ball would come in handy to take the mystery out of writing a paper that under the Academic Rules “must include significant legal research, original thinking and analysis, and result in a final paper of a kind and quality similar to that found suitable for publication in law review.”

And last but definitely not least, “[t]he final paper should be at least twenty pages of text, excluding footnotes.”

Sadly, there is not an AWR paper app; however, there are examples of published student articles:

From Bereavement to Banishment: The Deportation of Surviving Alien Spouses under the Widow  Penalty, 77 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 172 (2008).

Smith And The Religious Freedom Restoration Act: An Iconoclastic Assessment, 78 Va. L. Rev. 1407 (1992). 

Every genre has its own flavor and style, so review a published student article or two.  And, for more of the nuts and bolts of writing a paper of publishable quality consult  Writing A Student Article.  Prof. Volokh provides a mini how to manual on writing a scholarly paper.  

As always, your individual Professor is the best source for how your AWR should look.  For more keys to crafting a first-class AWR attend the Filling in the Gaps in AWR Research Workshop on Wednesday, March 20 at noon in Room 1337.


Eugene Volokh, Writing A Student Article, 48 J. Legal Educ. 247, 249 (1998)

2.3.3 Advanced Writing Requirement (AWR). (Phoenix School of Law Student Handbook)

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