Research Projects: A Guide

Author:Donald L. Horowitz
Position:Duke Law School
e Indonesian Journal of International & Comparative Law
ISSN: 2338-7602; E-ISSN: 2338-770X
© 2020 Donald L. Horowitz
rEsEarCh ProJECts
A guide
Donald L. Horowitz
Duke Law School
is note was created by Donald Horowitz to assist Pranoto Iskandar, with his
research plan. Before discussing his research proposal, Iskandar sent his dra
research plan to Horowitz. Based on Iskandar’s dra research plan, Horowitz
presents his responses in anticipation to the discussion. Horowitz’s note is of
signicant assistance to any researcher pursuing their academic project. Because
of this, Iskandar is providing the note to IJIL readers who are in various stages
of research. e note is expected to be kept as a “constant reminder” for any re-
searcher to assist them in staying the course until reaching the objective of their
1. Start with a question of great practical or theoretical importance.
Make it narrow enough to be answerable. Make sure the answer,
one way or the other, will be of some signicance.
2. See what others have said about it or about similar questions.
is is a very pointed literature review.
3. Develop hypotheses: what might the answer(s) be?
4. Devise a research strategy to get the answers. What materials
are available to help get to the answers.
5. Assess whether the strategy can be pursued. Are there obstacles
to getting the material? Are there direct or proxy materials?
6. What if the answer is this or is that? Assess the signicance of
evidence pointing in one direction or another. If the evidence
is indirect, can you do causal inference from what might be
7. Reassess the project as you do it. You may need to reframe the

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