Step 3.1 Integrate fact keywords and legal concept keywords

To identify the specific legal questions to research, integrate the fact keywords and the legal concept keywords you identified in Step 2.144 To integrate the fact keywords and the legal concept keywords, use the 'Under, Did, When' method described below.145 You do not have to use this method to generate questions, and you do not have to stick strictly to its formula.146 We have provided the formula merely as a thought-provoker.

You will realize new questions once you have started your research. But you still must conduct preliminary issue identification to provide direction for starting the legal research:147 'The more carefully you think through a problem before commencing your research, the more fruitful your research is apt to be.'148

You may list specific questions and general questions.149 Specific questions usually lead to faster results. But if you do not know the law, general questions usually provide a more helpful start. Think of as many questions as you can,150 incorporating fact keywords and legal concept keywords, and including questions about causes of action, defenses, and relief.151 See the example below for guidance.

144 See, for example, Erwin C Surrency et al, A Guide to Legal Research (1959) 10; Douglass T MacEllven, Legal Research Handbook (1983) 9.

145 We have based this section on David Stott, Legal Research (1993) 22.

146 For a different method, see Christopher G Wren and Jill Robinson Wren, The Legal Research Manual: A Game Plan for Legal Research and Analysis (1983) 36.

147 Christopher G Wren and Jill Robinson Wren, The Legal Research Manual: A Game Plan for Legal Research and Analysis (1983) 36.

148 Christopher G Wren and Jill Robinson Wren, The Legal Research Manual: A Game Plan for Legal Research and Analysis (1983) 36.

149 See, for example, Douglass T MacEllven, Legal Research Handbook (1983) 8.

150 See also Ruggero J Aldisert, Winning on Appeal: Better Briefs and Oral Argument (2nd ed, 2003) 124–5.

151 Douglass T MacEllven, Legal Research Handbook (1983) 9.

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