The coursework question is predominantly aimed at understanding the role and impact of the land registration system and rules on the transfer of property interests. Before the land register was devised, all land in England and Wales was unregistered and transfers subject to the deed transfer process. Since the Land Registration Act 1925, there has been a push towards getting all land in England and Wales to become registered land. At the same time, the range of interests in land was considerably simplified by means of the Law of Property Act 1925. The push towards registration has been accelerated by the Land Registration Act 2002, largely in response to judicial activism and the creation of new equities, and which has also seen a considerable reshaping of the rules governing overriding interests.
The object of the coursework is to perform a literary critique of key sources identified by the tutors and the arguments they contain, which should also illustrate the various stages through which the land registration system has evolved. Students are encouraged to consult more widely and to identify other sources in the secondary literature that will help shape their arguments.
The word limit for the Coursework is 2,000 (Two Thousand) Words. Your bibliography is NOT included in this word limit, however FOOTNOTES ARE!
Presentation of your Coursework
- You must ensure that you type your “P” number at the top of your coursework.
- Do not include your name on your coursework.
- At the start of your Coursework include a copy of the question.
- At the end of your Coursework include a copy of your Bibliography.
- Coursework should be word processed and well-presented. A good example would be to use Times New Roman font size 12 with your margins aligning with the Microsoft Word default/normal settings (top margin and bottom margins 2.54 cm and left and right margins 2.54 cm).
- Consider using double-spacing for clarity as it looks good and is clear to read.
- Page numbers should be used.
- Ensure spacing in text and footnotes is regular and uniform. It looks sloppy otherwise.
- Avoid the use of symbols. For example, “+” should read “and”, “@” should read “at”.
Avoid contractions. For example, use “Do not” as opposed to “don’t”.
How to get the most from your key sources
As you know, 5 key sources have been provided for you through the BlackBoard site. In order to get the most out of these sources we would strongly encourage you to adopt the simple strategy discussed in seminar sessions:
Print out a hard copy of each source and staple a blank piece of A4 paper to the front. You then read through each source 3 Times asking a different question each time:
- What arguments or observations has the author of this article made which are particularly relevant to the statement I have been asked to discuss?
- What evidence has this author used to support these key observations/arguments? (Don’t be afraid to examine these other sources as well!)
- Have they persuaded me that their analysis is correct?
As you work through these questions you should make notes on the A4 sheet, and by the end you will have 5 full summaries of the key material. If you follow these steps you will begin to develop your own informed opinion and it is only once this is in place that you should start to plan and write your answer!
Structure of your Coursework
- Wordage: Do not write long paragraphs. Cut or break up the text into manageable portions around single ideas or themes. It makes sense breaking up your text, so that the different parts and the different things you are trying to do in each part can be distinguished.
- Sections: Questions should have parts: an introduction identifying the issues, a body (divided into as many parts as there are separate issues) and a conclusion summarising your views. This technique is also very helpful because it assists you to organise your own thoughts in a way that a reader will be able to appreciate/assess.
- Headings: You may wish to consider using headings to indicate how the flow of your ideas is intended to progress. These are good cues for you and your reader.
Referencing/Use of Sources
Many of the general comments here relate to referencing and the proper use of sources. The purpose of proper referencing is to avoid an accusation of plagiarism. Further information about the Academic Offences is set out in the Module Handbook.
In any event, irrespective of whether you intended to plagiarise or not, failing to properly source your work or to indicate how the sources used relate to your argument, renders your research useless or of dubious value. It is unlikely that such work will receive good marks.
Most common errors tend to be:
- Referencing System: Use of footnotes is the preferred method of referencing. Avoid using end-notes.
- Verbatim quotes must appear within quotation marks: Not to do so is extremely serious and can lead to an accusation of plagiarism.
- Avoid over-quoting. This shows that you are over-reliant on other people’s ideas and have not adequately formed your own.
- There is a difference between “Ibid.” and “Op. cit”: means the information in this footnote is the same as the previous footnote (although you can add “at [new page number]” where the text carries on the discussion at a later page). Op. cit. means the information in this footnote comes from a text (book, journal, etc) cited some time ago in the footnotes: e.g. Gray and Gray, op. cit (footnote 17 above) at paragraph 12.345. Op. cit. is not used for cases/statutes, only bibliographic items (books, chapters, articles). On the other hand, ibid. can be used for most things.
- Internet sources are of differing values: Academic, government and lawyers’ websites are generally trustworthy. On-line encyclopaedias (Wikipedia, etc) are of very dubious value.
- It is not acceptable to refer to older editions of major texts, such as Gray and Gray, Stevens and Pearce, Thompson, where a newer edition exists.
- No book should be cited if it begins with NUT, e.g. Nutshells, etc. The Module Handbook should also not be cited. Apart from the key sources identified, you should also be considering researching more widely.
- A bibliography is only for books, chapters and articles. It is not for cases, statutes, internet sources, etc.
You should not only mention in the bibliography works you have used to construct your text. Works cited in the bibliography should also be referenced in the footnotes (and vice versa);
- Any references to cases should include reference to the relevant page (and/or paragraph) numbers where these are available. The same applies for articles accessed via any one of the databases used in Law.