One of the best things about studying securities regulation is that the topic is in the news every
day. Every day a new company chooses to go public, another executive at a public company is
charged with violating anti-fraud provisions, or another public company is investigated for
attempting to bribe foreign government officials. The current event research paper assignment
asks that you choose one current event relevant to any of the topics we will study this semester,
and write a research paper describing what happened, the relevant law, and the significance of the
story for the industry, the company, the law, and/or you.
How to choose your current event:
The current event must have been in the news within the last six months. To find a topic of
interest, start reading the financial and business news now. You might also visit the SEC’s
website for press releases, or some of the many blogs on securities regulation, white-collar crime,
or corruption. You can also follow the SEC on Twitter. Once you find a news story, you will
research it more deeply, including the relevant law. Your story does not have to be a case that has
gone to court already. It can be an investigation, a proposed new rule or regulation, or any other
story that implicates the legal issues we discuss in class.
What to include in your paper:
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a detailed description of the current event
a detailed discussion of the relevant law – explain the law from the very beginning, as if your reader
knows nothing about the topic; this is how you demonstrate your understanding of the law
an analysis of the current event – Why is it important to the industry? What companies will care about
this news story? What will its impact be? Who will win? Why? You can choose to answer any or all of
these questions (or any other question). The goal is to demonstrate meaningful application of law to facts,
and deep thinking about the issues presented by the news story
7-8 pages, single spaced
Citation required anytime what you just wrote down did not originate in your brain
The paper should be prepared using the APA writing style and guideline for references’ format. You must
provide a bibliography, and all direct quotations and data sources must be properly cited.
The Department uses the APA style to facilitate reading the paper and understanding references without
being as cumbersome as some other citation styles (such as Chicago or MLA).
Students can download the student style guide from the American Psychological Association
(http://www.apastyle.org/elecref.html) web site or you can purchase the APA style guide from the book
store. There is even a help disk that can be purchased for about $ 40 (http://www.apa.org/software/) that
will walk you through the process as you write the paper if you desire a more “personal assistance”.
Papers are to be RESEARCH PAPERS. Remember that work that you use from other authors MUST be
referenced. Since it is assumed that you are not an authority on the topic that you are writing, it is
expected that this paper is an overview of many different sources of information. Each of these must be
attributed to the author using the APA format.
This is your paper and not the cut and paste of someone else’s work. The internet has led to a false sense
of what research is all about. Those new to research tend to think that it means spending an afternoon
surfing the internet and then an afternoon cutting from material available.
Keep in mind that the Internet: (1) is not quality oriented as it has good materials and not so good
materials, and does not know the difference; (2) is NOT a sole source location. In particular, sources such
as Wikipedia are the works of individual submitters which are not reviewed. Thus while many entries
provide excellent information, some are fundamentally flawed or just plain wrong.
Keep in mind that the Boston University Library as well as your local, state and the national US Library
of Congress have extensive online services. USE THEM.