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Written Course Work and Essays

All students must fulfill the Minimum Writing Requirement* by one of the three following methods:

1. Writing an essay** in a two-credit or three-credit course in which the essay constitutes no less than 75% of the final weight of grading assigned to the   course, must be passed with a grade of C or higher; OR

2. Writing a term essay** must be passed with a grade of C or higher; OR

3. Writing an article, note or comment of equivalent substance that is published or accepted for publication in one of the following Law journals: McGill Law Journal, McGill Journal of Sustainable Development Law & Policy, McGill Journal of Law and Health, and approved by the Faculty Advisor of the Journal.

The work submitted in order to satisfy the Minimum Writing Requirement must be done independently, rather than by two or more students working together.

*The writing requirement is intended to involve independent research by the student on a topic largely developed by the student and to give rise to a written product that includes proper footnoting and a bibliography.

**The faculty guideline for papers is 10-15 pages per credit – a three-credit paper is meant to be 10,000 words, for example (roughly 40 pages at 250 words per page), exclusive of bibliography and footnotes.  This can be shortened (minimum 8000 words) where there are additional assessments given in a course.

Writing requirements: the document detailing the applicable courses for writing requirements is currently being updated and the new version will be reposted once it is completed.

Term Essays

WRIT 491 Term Essay 1 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

 
WRIT 492 Term Essay 2 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

 
WRIT 493 Term Essay 3 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


WRIT 494 Term Essay 4 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

 
WRIT 495 Term Essay 5 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


WRIT 496 Term Essay 6 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

 

Students who have completed one year in the BCL/LLB program may elect, with the permission of the Associate Dean (Academic), to write an essay for credit. It is the responsibility of applicants to arrange with a full-time member of the Faculty to act as a Supervisor for their essays. Supervisory resources are limited, so it is best to approach potential supervisors as early as possible.

Application process

Download the essay application forms from Forms and documents for law students. A proposed table of contents, a clear statement of the essay thesis, and a preliminary bibliography of sources must be appended to the application form and approved by the supervisor before the application is submitted.

Refer to Current Deadlines for appropriate submission dates and the Current Courses section of the website for more information.

Students may not register for more than two Term Essays in any given term. If two term essays are completed in the same term, they must be supervised by two different professors.

Students must register in the appropriate term essay course on Minerva. The SAO will only contact should the application be refused or additional information required.

Senior Essays

WRIT 400D1 Senior Essay 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


WRIT 400D2 Senior Essay 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

Students may, with the permission of the Associate Dean (Academic), and on conditions set from time to time by the Faculty, elect to write a senior essay. This essay must have a scope and ambition sufficient to constitute a major element in the student’s legal education. It is expected that the senior essay will focus on an area in which the student already has acquired significant training.

Eligibility

To be eligible to write a senior essay, a student must have completed at least two years in the BCL/LLB program; a student will normally have written at least one independent term essay before undertaking to write a senior essay.

Only one such essay may be submitted for credit throughout a student’s law studies.

It is the responsibility of applicants to arrange with a full-time member of Faculty to act as supervisors for their essays.

Term

Senior Essays must be written over a period of two terms (fall to winter, winter to summer, or summer to fall).

Application process

Download the essay application forms from Forms and documents for law students. Applications must include a proposed table of contents, a detailed research proposal of 750-1000 words, and a preliminary bibliography of sources.

Refer to Current Deadlines for appropriate submission dates and the Current Courses section of the website for more information.

Once authorization has been given, students must register in the Senior Essay Course on Minerva. Note that this is a full-year course. Students must register for BOTH parts of the course. No credit will be granted unless all parts of the course are completed.

Registration: Students must register in the appropriate Senior essay course on Minerva. The SAO will only contact should the application be refused or additional information required.

Writing and Drafting Project

WRIT 520 Writing & Drafting Project 1 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

The Writing and Drafting Project (1 credit) may be taken only once, in the final year of study, with the approval of the Associate Dean (Academic) and typically, permission is only granted for the final term. The project must relate to a course successfully completed in a previous term and must be supervised by a Faculty instructor with expertise in the area. 

It is the responsibility of applicants to arrange with a full-time member of Faculty to act as supervisors for their essays.

Application process

Download the Writing and Drafting application form from Forms and documents for law students. The application form must be approved by the supervisor before the application is submitted.

Refer to Current Deadlines for appropriate submission dates and the Current Courses section of the website for more information.

Students must register in the appropriate course on Minerva before the end of the course change period. The SAO will only contact the student should the application be refused or additional information required.

Deadlines for handing in term or senior essays and writing and drafting projects

Essays are due on or before the fifth working day prior to the last working day of the examination period for the term in which the essay is being written. Click on Deadlines for specific due dates.