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Seminar Topical Research Guides

Getting Started

Choosing a Paper Topic Research Guide
This research guide from the Ross-Blakley Law Library is designed for students who are writing a substantive legal research paper and are looking for guidance on how to begin. The guide details sources for help in selecting a paper topic and offers insight in how to check whether your paper will add new information to the field of law.

Conducting a Preemption Check Research Guide
This research guide details the recommended steps for conducting a preemption check, as well as provides information on and links to a variety of resources for conducting a thorough check.

Legal Writing Help

Other Useful Guides

The law library has a series of LibGuides dedicated to helping students write papers for law school classes. We have some useful guides to help you get started with the legal writing process: Choosing a Paper Topic, Conducting a Preemption Check, and our guide to Legal Citations.

Don't hesitate to reach out to us if you would like help with any of these processes through the Ask A Librarian page.


Criminal Justice Abstracts
Criminal Justice Abstracts indexes journal articles dealing with criminal justice and related disciplines and contains the full text of selected resources.  Coverage is from 1968 to the present. 

Humanities Full Text
This database provides the full text of articles published in a wide variety of academic fields including history, journalism, communications, language, literature, literary and political criticism, philosophy, and religion. Coverage is from 1984 to the present.

JSTOR is a full-text database of over 1,000 academic journals in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. Coverage varies by title.

PsycINFO indexes journal articles and books in psychology and related disciplines. Coverage is from 1887 to the present.

Sociological Abstracts
Sociological Abstracts indexes journal articles related to theoretical and applied sociology, social science, and policy science.  Coverage is from 1963 to the present.


Criminal Law and Philosophy (2007-present)
Criminal Law and Philosophy publishes articles from a range of philosophical schools and approaches that address topics including crime, criminalization, the criminal process, and punishment and sentencing.

Journal of Ethics & Social Philosophy – available in HeinOnline (2005-present) and on Lexis (2005-present) (logins required)
The Journal of Ethics & Social Philosophy is a publication of the USC School of Law and offers scholarly content on all issues related to moral, political, and legal philosophy.

Law and Philosophy (1982-present)
Law and Philosophy is an international journal that publishes articles in any of the major legal traditions (common law, civil law, and socialist) that exhibit a philosophical reflection on the law.

NOMOS: American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy, Vols. 1-6 (1958-1963); 17-60 (1977-2019)
NOMOS is the annual yearbook of the American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy. The ASPLP brings together a group of political scientists, philosophers, and law scholars interested in exploring legal and political philosophy outside of their home disciplines. Each year they publish a journal on a different topic, examples include: Federalism, Immigration, and Global Justice.

Philosophy Today (1957-present)
Philosophy Today is an international peer-reviewed journal that reflects the current questions, topics and debates of contemporary philosophy, with a particular focus on continental philosophy.


Below is a short list of treatises in the Law Library collection related to the philosophy of crime and punishment. You can search for other resources in the ASU catalog by using subject headings such as: Punishment – Philosophy, Criminal law – Philosophy, and Punishment.

ASU Libraries LibGuide to Primary Philosophy Resources.
ASU Libraries (main campus) has a LibGuide showing the primary philosophy texts available to ASU students.

The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Criminal Law (2011)
The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Criminal Law compiles the work of multiple authors writing on philosophical issues in criminal law and criminal law theory.

Philosophy of Law: A Very Short Introduction (2nd ed 2014)
This small book, published by Oxford University Press, covers a range of topics from Natural Law to Critical Legal Theory at a high level to give the user a basic, foundational knowledge of these principles.

The Philosophy of Punishment (2012, ProQuest eBook Central)
The series includes monographs, collections of essays and occasional anthologies of source material representing study in those areas of philosophy most relevant to topics of public importance, with the aim of advancing the contribution of philosophy in the discussion of these topics.

The Philosophy of Punishment and the History of Political Thought (2011)
Philosophy of Punishment and the History of Political Thought, which provides a provocative exploration of the contributions of nine major thinkers and traditions regarding the question of punitive justice.

Rights and Wrongs: Rethinking the Foundations of Criminal Justice (2019, ProQuest eBook Central)
This book seeks to explain why the concept of justice is critical to the study of criminal justice. William C. Heffernan makes such a case by treating state-sponsored punishment as the defining feature of criminal justice.