If you want to achieve top grades in law school, it is essential that you write a good essay. It’s important to realize that there isn’t always one right way to approach these issues. We don’t have a step-by-step guideline that will guarantee a top-quality result.
However, legal essays can be successful if you follow certain guidelines.
There are a few basic principles that should be understood from the moment you give your essay title until the time that it is handed in. These principles form the basis of great essay writing. This is what this article is about. You can also get a free guide if you stay on the page. Don’t hesitate to buy law essay if you have any doubts while writing a essay on your own.
There are several steps that must be taken before we can even begin to write our essay. Research is the most important.
We need two areas clearly marked to begin our essay writing and to take notes. Simply open two documents on your computer, such as ‘essay’ and ‘notes. In Word, open two documents (e.g. essay and notes). Divide BOTH pages into four sections: introduction, main body, conclusion and references.
This stage, the research stage, is all about our ‘notes’ document.
Which question are you asking?
Effective research requires that we are aware of exactly what the question asks.
Many students fall for the trap of trying answer the question they like (because they are more familiar with that particular area) rather than the one given. Spend some time getting to know the question, and how it asks you to discuss’ or ‘evaluate’.
Which resources should you consult?
Once you have understood the question it is time to start reading appropriate and relevant academic resources.
To get a complete understanding of the topic, it is recommended to read the relevant sections from at least two textbooks. You should then be able form a high-level answer to the question. This means that the basic information in the textbooks should give you a rough idea of the question. It will help you prepare for your deeper research and preparations.
It is much easier to find relevant cases, journal articles and statutes. It will also make it easier to search through LexisNexis, Westlaw, and other legal research databases.
When you find information that is useful, make sure to put it in the appropriate section of our “notes” document. Also, be sure to give it a reference immediately. It’s true that references can be very painful if you don’t take the time to properly cite your sources. It is absurd how much time you have wasted searching for a source because you didn’t immediately write it down.
Once we have all the information, we can now think about the structure of our essay and write the substance.
Your introduction should be brief.
Introductions are designed to make sure you understand the question and give your essay a focus. They also provide a structure for how you will answer it.
Simply put, you must tell your reader what you are going to talk about and how you will lead them from start to finish. This will bring you to your final conclusion.
Many students mistakenly use the introduction, seeing it more as an opportunity to intrigue than to inform. Many students mistakenly believe that an essay is a story. The ending can only be revealed at the end. An essay is not like a story. Effective essays will give you hints at the end.
Three key elements are required for the main body:
Expression of your personal views
A good style and tone
While you must demonstrate that you are familiar with the law and relevant concepts of the essay question (i.e. Analyse and evaluation are the key components of writing a first-class essay.
It is important to show that you are able to identify the limitations of a particular law, point of view, or judgment, as well as where it is inconsistent or illogical.
Many students leave their analysis for the end of the essay, which is too late. Analyses should be interwoven throughout the essay. It is important to understand your opinions, challenge legal assumptions and not regurgitate the views of academics.
It doesn’t really matter how awkward or flimsy your opinion, so long as it’s there. There is no right or wrong way to approach legal gray areas. It’s important to have your opinion and enough supporting evidence (journals, cases, etc.). Please see below.
It is crucial that you make sure each point is well-examined. Students who feel out of their depth will move on to another topic without understanding the point they are trying to make. Be comfortable with the legal uncertainties surrounding your essay, and have enough confidence to voice an opinion and support it.
First-class essays are truly exceptional. You can see in a student’s essay that they have fully grasped the law and made an effort to communicate their thoughts.
It is important to try to explain key concepts and ideas in your own words. This will show that you are able to understand the key concepts and ideas without having to rely on others’ explanations.
Many students believe that their interpretation or opinion is less valid than those of professors and other academics. Your opinion is valid, in fact. Don’t be afraid if you have a different view of a legal concept. It will pay off.
Quotations should not be used often and, if they are, with justification. You will lose your ability to critically evaluate the work of other academics. An excessive amount of quotations can make your essay look like a collage or reformulation of ideas from others, and it doesn’t show your ability to analyze the law.
Direct quotations should only be used in three situations:
It supports what you have already stated in your own words
Due to technical complexities and complexities, it can be difficult to summarize a topic in your own words.
This would make it less efficient (perhaps because the original quote is well-known).
Style and tone
You have two options when writing a legal essay. “I argue that…” ?. .) or the third person (e.g. It is claimed that: . ?. ” It is entirely up to you.
As it was said, it is important that your tone conveys your point. The problem with third-person is that “it is argued” can mean “I argue that” and “others argue against that”. If you choose to use the third person (or your university prefers that), be aware of any limitations it may have in your ability to prove your point.
Other than that, make sure your essay is concise, clear, and accurate. Before you start writing, it is important to fully understand the law. You won’t be able to effectively analyse the law if you don’t know what it is. It’s that simple.
The conclusion should be persuasive and summarize everything you have argued. This is the classic error. You try to add more information, either new material, thought or a point. This will only weaken the conclusion and decrease its impact.
The goal of the conclusion is to summarize your argument in a brief paragraph and show how it answers the original essay question.
Every claim must be backed up with a reference.
You may need to point readers to primary law, such as the U.S. Sometimes, you will need to point the reader to a primary law (e.g.
You will find your university’s guidelines regarding references (such as OSCOLA) so make sure you read them. If you don’t, you can lose points. In an exam, full references are not necessary. To reference the source, you should provide as much context and information as possible (e.g. Evans stated X on this topic, and Denning stated Y in the Tom vs Jerry case .
Although there is no one size fits all approach to writing a great essay on law, following the structure and guidance in this article will help you get to the point.