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Project Cloud: The painless path to publishing papers

From the Project Cloud Desk

26 January 2010


As you walk to class and you take a minute to reflect, you've just realised there is so much to be done. There is the project in subject A that you have to submit next week. And it doesn't look good. You have a feeling Professor A does not like your new hair-cut or just doesn't like you cause you couldn't care any less about his monotonous lectures at 3 in the afternoon.

There are two ways to get through this. There is the "idiot's guide to writing a project" and our way. We recommend you read both. [ Thank you lawd99 for pointing this out ]

The good news is Prof A doesn't have to get away with giving you below average marks. Take a step back and think about this. Every project you write is an opportunity is write a paper. Let us assume that you have five subjects every semester. If you thought of every project as a paper, you could write 10 papers every year and 50 by the time you graduate out of law school. Most of us graduate with one, two, three or five. A few exceptions graduate with ten or more. We're asking you to work for the one percent of the 50 paper you can write. You most certainly can resist our advice and go for 50. We promise not to stop you. 


Once you decide that out of the ten subjects you have, you will write two papers seriously, you still graduate with eight. Even if you leave with four to your credit, you're still doing better than the rest. What stopped many of us from reaching the magic 5 - at least 1 a year - honestly, was a lack of vision.


Many of us never saw projects this way. It was the same story every semester. Fill in about ten pages from ten different articles on the internet with at least 5 footnotes on each page - there we were, guaranteed at least average marks. If one got lucky,one  would get at least 70-75%.  


Journals actually want ideas and appreciate creativity. They like having a lot of footnotes. And most of them dislike being sent a paper exceeding 9-10 pages. [ The story is a little different for international journals, we will come to that later ]. The good things about Indian journals (see a list of journals here)  is that they are still evolving and willing to experiment. There are Journals coming up on all sorts of subjects. We've even managed to track one down on maritime law [ It's not Indian though and feel free to suggest any you know ]. My point here is even if you have a "boring" subject like Family Law. Don't let that opportunity go away. There are so many issues going on the subject [ a few here ]. 


So if you really want to start getting ahead of the competition, start writing. Take out your old projects, spend a week on them and in a few months from now, you'll have  a paper in something as weird as Family Law. And ten years down the line when you're a divorce lawyer, you'll thank yourself for writing that one paper on Should taking care of one’s parents be a legal duty? . 


Getting back to the Professor. It's really never too late. If he/she awarded you average marks, march up to him and let him know he/she really needs to take a lesson on evaluating projects. 


Good Luck!


The Project Cloud Team

Website: http://projectcloud.info

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/projectcloud




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