General Instructions on Case Write-Ups (US v. Kaiser)
- Your write-up should be 1 to 2 pages, single-spaced, at standard type face (12 or 14 point).
- It should briefly (in very few sentences) lay out the basic facts of the case. These are usually generally agreed upon by the time it gets to the final appeal stage; i.e., the Supreme Court or a Federal District court.
- What is much more important is the issue at law – the dispute about what the law means or how it should be interpreted.
- What was the majority of the court’s decision in the case, and – more importantly – what was the basic reasoning behind this decision?
- If you are asked to read a dissent in the case, what was the decision and reasoning in the minority?
- Do you agree or disagree with the court’s decision? Explain why.
- To avoid even the appearance of plagiarism, references should be clearly connected to the text through parentheses (Smith, 2016) or footnotes. It is not enough to put your references at the end of the paper, with no way to see what text connects with each reference.
- Direct quotes should be in quotation marks or, if more than one sentence, in an indented paragraph. Material which is a close paraphrase of another work, although not a direct quote, should be referenced and explicitly acknowledged with the expressions like ‘paraphrase,’ ‘in other words,’ ‘to put it another way,’ or something similar.