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London South Bank University Critical Evaluation of Law Relating to Floating Charge Paper

London South Bank University Critical Evaluation of Law Relating to Floating Charge Paper

Question Description

Project topic: “Critical evaluation of the law relating to the floating charge.” (UK)

Word limits

The word limit for Projects is 13,000 words.

CONDUCTING RESEARCH

Research consists largely of collecting, processing and analysing material. It is essential to proceed methodically. You may wish to keep the following points in mind:

  • It is often best to start by gaining an overview of the area and specific topic, perhaps through reading relevant up-to-date text books and/or articles.
  • Your preliminary research will often point to specific legislation, cases and secondary sources that you need to obtain.
  • General searches on Westlaw, Lexis or other databases may also be beneficial in the early stages.
  • You should aim to find everything that has been written on the topic.
  • Collecting information can take a long time. It is useful to monitor progress regularly to keep on schedule.
  • Although many people worry that they will not be able to find enough material, it is much more likely that too much information will be found. Extracting the relevant information can then become very time consuming.
  • Make sure you are methodical in your approach and keep full references as you go. It is very frustrating and time consuming to have to spend time trying to find a full reference for something that you previously made a note of.

Sources

Statutes and Statutory Instruments

It is important to identify the primary statutory provisions applicable to an area, and the related statutory instruments. Careful checks should be made to determine whether relevant sections are in force or have been repealed, if they are likely to be repealed and whether any amendments are due to be made in the near future.

Consultation Documents, Bills and Hansard

Debates in the House of Commons and House of Lords, especially in committee, can be extremely illuminating and will be relevant both to understanding the current law and analysis of future reforms. Make sure you keep a full record of the citation as you go.

Case Law

You may already be aware of a number of key cases in a particular area. However, it may be helpful to search back through cases cited in a particular law report, and then search the cases cited in the references until satisfied that you have found all the relevant cases. You must also ‘note up’ the cases to ensure that the decisions have not been overturned and are still good law. Lexis, Lawtel and Westlaw may be particularly useful in this regard.

International/Comparative Resources

You may need to use international or comparative resources as part of research on a topic to inform your research. You should make sure that you are confident enough with these different legal systems to identify the relevant materials and their relative quality, for example distinguishing between hard and soft law, fact and opinion.

Academic Works

Articles, books, conference reports and other academic works provide valuable commentary on legislation, cases, topical legal issues and law reform, and can direct you to additional primary and secondary sources. Use academic indexes, for example, Index to the Legal Periodicals which cites legal periodicals and books in the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand on a cumulative basis.

Library Resources

Make appropriate use of the library resources, including Inter Library Loans, Official Publications and European Documents. Do not forget the encyclopaedic works of Halsbury and The Digest as a means of getting the overall feel of an area and of locating relevant case law.

Internet Resources

Interesting comment can be found in the media, both in newspapers and reports from the BBC, etc. HOWEVER, be very careful about the media and internet sources you use. They must be reputable. Moreover these should be used for coverage of facts rather than for arguments or opinions (try to find these in the academic journals instead). Non-authoritative sources, such as Wikipedia, should be avoided!

Analysis

Remember that your project cannot just describe these source materials and set out the law. While it is important to have an accurate and detailed knowledge of the law and the issues, you must also critically engage with these materials. To do this, you will need to understand the quality of the sources you are engaging with and be able to evaluate and appraise the materials.

To help you understand what is meant by critical analysis in relation to your topic, you may find it useful to engage with academic commentary in the journals and in academic books. However, you must also find your own voice. Make sure that you are a critical reader and that you can make your own well-reasoned and evidence-based arguments. Further guidance is also available from the library via Skills Plus.

Referencing

All secondary sources of information (published and unpublished) must be properly acknowledged and referenced in your footnotes and bibliography. Primary sources, such as legislation and cases, must also be properly cited. It is extremely important, therefore, that you carefully make a note of all material you will use in your project. Taking the time to keep full references and citations as you undertake your research will save you time when it comes to writing up your project.

The referencing system used for all assessments in the School of Law is the Oxford Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities (OSCOLA). The OSCOLA Guide to Citation may be found on the programme eLP site.

Footnotes

Footnotes should be numbered in superscript and placed at the end of the quotation or material you wish to reference. Footnotes should be outside all punctuation and you should avoid duplication and multiple footnotes in one sentence, where possible. Footnotes should appear at the bottom of each page, not as endnotes. Do not use the Harvard style of referencing.

Footnotes may be used for three purposes:

  • To cite authority for a proposition or to give a source for a quotation.
  • To add comment or further detail to a proposition.
  • To make a cross-reference to another part of the work.

A footnote may add complementary comment to the text (for example, the name another writer with a similar view or perhaps someone who casts doubt on your proposition). You must be careful not to include in your footnotes comment or analysis that is an essential part of your argument and should be in the main text. Try to write clearly so as to avoid the overuse of commentary or cross-referencing in your footnotes.

PLEASE NOTE: It is your responsibility to ensure that all your material is acknowledged and properly cited. Failure to acknowledge all your sources constitutes a breach of the Assessment Regulations and is a form of academic misconduct.

Plagiarism and Other Academic Misconduct

Plagiarism is the copying of ideas, images or words directly or indirectly from another source without fully acknowledging that source, thereby taking credit for the specified material. It is treated as academic misconduct in Higher Education and disciplinary procedures are in place to deal with anyone engaging in plagiarism. Plagiarism may be intentional or unintentional and the best way to avoid it is by rigorous referencing throughout your project.

Your project MUST be your own work and all sources MUST be acknowledged in your footnotes and bibliography. You may NOT submit work that you have previously submitted for assessment in another course or programme at this or any other institution.

For further guidance on referencing and plagiarism, please consult ‘Skills Plus’ on the library website. There you will find (among other useful guides) a number of audio, visual and interactive guides to help you identify and avoid plagiarism and other academic misconduct.

WRITING YOUR PROJECT

Once you have reached a suitable advanced stage in your research you will start the process of writing up your project. Before you start writing you will need to consider the following points regarding structure, style, content and format.

Structure

The project must have a clear, logical and coherent structure. A suggested structure is as follows:

  • Title Page

This provides the project title, candidate name and student number, qualification for which the project is submitted, the university name, date of submission, word limit, and supervisor’s name.

  • Research Declaration

Your submitted project should include the research declaration which is available on the eLP.

  • Table of Contents

This should list, with page numbers, all relevant chapters, sections, references and appendices.

  • Introduction

This should precede the first chapter and include the project aims, scope, limitations and purpose and may explain why the project was chosen. It should include an overview of the project, the overarching narrative and a clear chapter outline. The introduction is commonly written once the rest of the project is complete.

  • Body Text

This will consider the context of the research, review the chosen area and the research methods, report the results of your research and provide an analysis of the findings. This will be divided into a number of chapters. You should include a brief introduction and short summary at the beginning and end of each chapter to demonstrate how each chapter helps you answer your research question. You should also divide each chapter with the use of headings and sub-headings to help structure your work.

  • Conclusion

This section summarises and pulls together the project’s findings. From this summary you should draw conclusions, which follow logically from your findings. Where recommendations are to be made they should be considered here – and their pros and cons analysed. The conclusion should refer back to the project aims. It should not introduce new ideas. Do not allow a rushed conclusion to spoil what is a good project. Remember it is the last part of your project the marker will read and you should try to leave a positive impression.

  • Bibliography

Your bibliography should include a list of all the sources you have cited in your project. Do not include references that are not referenced in the project (for example, early general background reading). This should be categorised by type and listed alphabetically. The bibliography must be in the OSCOLA style.

Writing Style

Your project should be clearly written and free from grammar and spelling errors. You need to thoroughly proof read your project before submission – you cannot rely on ‘spell checker’ to identify all errors (for example, compliant and complaint or trial and trail).

You should keep the following points in mind:

  • Be specific and precise;
  • Avoid long and complicated sentences, which may be difficult to understand;

(As a tip, you read the sentence aloud and you cannot get to the end without stumbling or taking a breath, it is too long.)

  • Use a consistent style and numbering system for headings and sub-headings;
  • Diagrams and tables should have a sequential and distinctive numbering system;
  • Be consistent in your use of font type, capitalisation, underlining, bold and italics, etc.;
  • Avoid using contractions (e.g. isn’t, didn’t, etc.);
  • Quotations of more than three lines should be indented and single spaced – you do not put quotation marks around indented quotations; and
  • If using acronyms, always write the name in full in the first instance and put the acronym in brackets (for example, Oxford University Standard for Citation Of Legal Authorities (OSCOLA)). You may then use the acronym subsequently throughout your project.

Format of Project

The formatting requirements of the project are as follows:

  • The project must be word processed
  • There must be a title page that contains the title of the project, the name and student number of the candidate, the qualification for which the project is submitted, the date of submission, word count, and supervisor name;
  • There must be a clearly paginated table of contents;
  • The research declaration must be included;
  • There must be a clearly categorised and alphabetised bibliography in the OSCOLA style;
  • It must be submission to Turnitin;
  • Typeface should be black, 12 font and 1.5 spacing;
  • All pages (excluding title page, but including appendices and bibliography) should be sequentially numbered; and
  • The project must be between 10,000 and 15,000 words in length.

CRITERIA FOR ASSESSMENT

Your project will be assessed on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Knowledge and Understanding
  • Critical Engagement
  • Research
  • Structure and Presentation
  • Written Communication
  • Referencing and Bibliography

Appendix 1: Sample Title Page

Law School

University

TITLE AND/OR RESEARCH QUESTION

Word Count: ,XXX

This project is submitted for the qualification of XXX.

Date of Submission: May 2020

Name:

Supervisor Name:

Student No:

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