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Legal Research: Get Started

What is a Primary source? Primary sources (or primary documents) are legal documents like legislation, cases, statutes (laws), regulations, parliamentary materials (bills, debates).

What is a Secondary source? Secondary sources are materials that discuss primary sources. This could include legal dictionaries or encyclopedias, books and articles.

Unless you are already familiar with the case or legislation you are researching it is often to begin with secondary sources as they will often cite relevant primary sources. Secondary sources also provide an expert's insights into your topic.

Citation Style Guides

Please verify with your professor what citation style and version is preferred.

Legal Terminology

Writing and Communication Centre

The Writing & Communication Centre drop-ins begin January 8, 2018 and end April 8, 2018 for the winter term. Hours offered are:

Dana Porter 

Monday to Friday 11am - 2pm & Tuesday to Thursday 5pm - 7pm

Davis Centre

Monday to Thursday 1pm - 4pm - while the DC Library is under construction drop-ins will be held in the lower level of the Library.

The Writing & Communication Centre also offers pre-booked appointments. See the WCC's website for more information.


Sarah Brown's picture
Sarah Brown
Dana Porter Library
Main Floor
519-888-4567 ext. 31987