As a future lawyer, you have to resolve some legal controversy and do that within the required word count. Unfortunately, law schools don’t pay close attention to writing assignments. They find them not as valuable as more practical tasks, such as moot courts or similar activities. Be that as it may, essays are still vitally important. They require you to stay focused and organized. It’s like when you use a student planner app. You have a schedule, and you know how much time you have to complete the task. Writing essays makes you creative and eloquent. And these traits are essential in legal practice without any doubt as writing in clear language in a brief adds 50% to your case. Let’s look closer at how to write an essay on a law topic and get a high grade.
Avoid These Mistakes
Since essays are not a common task in law schools, students tend to commit lots of mistakes. You should always try to eliminate the following errors. The more mistakes you avoid, the better papers you will have in the long run:
- Casual Writing: Students often write phrases like “I don’t think he is right in this instance.” Remember, you are a forthcoming lawyer, and your writing style can’t differ from how you speak in court. Avoid contractions and any informal writing.
- Miscited Sources: You can include a valid legal argument. But without proper citation, your manuscript is doomed to persuade your instructor. Always double-check your citations and make sure they are correct.
- Lack of Sources: Even if you write your paper on a common topic, you must include citations. “It is widely agreed,” and similar structures will do you no good. Although your teacher might guess what case and legal document you have in mind, they will mark it as a mistake and “lack of evidence.”
Propose, Discuss, and Prove a Thesis
Every paper must have a fundamental sentence, which is called a thesis statement. It is a part of an introduction. A thesis statement is located at the end of the introduction. It proposes a thought or a question that has to be answered by the end of the paper. Your essay must go around a thesis and try to answer the question fully. For that reason, you have to use credible sources and explain their validity for your paper to convince the audience. Although real-life questions ask myriad issues to resolve, your thesis statement must pose only one or two. That is, your entire essay must be dedicated to the resolution of your thesis statement.
Follow a Structure
Structure plays a pivotal role in essay writing. You can’t simply write a block of text mixing an introduction and conclusion, making digressions, and so on. Likewise, you can’t stand in the courtroom and talk about different things at once. Usually, an essay follows a five-paragraph structure, which stands for one paragraph dedicated to the introduction, three sections related to the body, and one to the conclusion. Besides these methods, two others exist – the French structure and the historical overview paper. The mentioned two are less assigned, so make sure to check your teacher’s requirements and instructions before writing the essay.
Include Legal Argumentation
Once you know the structure and understand the topic, you have to focus on sources. Cases and scholarly articles are the best materials to include in your document. Consider adding these documents to your work:
- Legal Commentary: The safest way to back up your argument is to include a legal commentary. A legal commentary is an article or case note written by academics. Such documents will confirm your ideas are valid and correct. But don’t forget to cite sources correctly. That is, include the author’s name and publication year.
- Legislative Papers: Such documents, also known as proposals for reform, are excellent sources of authority. They can help you persuade the audience and convey the main message to the readers.
- Law From Other Jurisdictions: It might be helpful to include law from other jurisdictions when you write a paper with a comparison point. The U.S. doesn’t lack such documents, so make sure to include one when working on law gaps or comparing different cases.
- International Law: Not every country incorporates international law. That is why this source might come in handy when working on legal theory essays.
Peruse Your Writing
Practice makes perfect. Drilling is an integral part of successful writing and law practice. You have to come through trials and errors to accomplish your goals. Every time you write a law essay, make sure to devote sufficient time to analyze it. Grammar, lexical, and punctuation mistakes are unacceptable. And so are content errors and inappropriate use of sources. The best way is to write a paper and leave it aside, preferably to sleep on it. Then return to it, read it once more, and highlight doubtful points. You may also read your paper backward to ensure it doesn’t have stylistic and semantic mistakes. We would encourage you to use Grammarly and a specialized law dictionary; they will help you polish your paper to shine.
Law essay writing is not the most assigned task. While institutions seem to stay away from assigning essays on a law topic, such papers might help students increase their expertise in the legal field. The mentioned list of tips throws light on elements students should consider when working on law essays. To learn more about law, follow this web page.
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