How to Write a Law Essay
No matter if you have come to college to study law or not, you will most likely be one day asked to create an essay in some field of law. Undergraduate writing assignments in this field usually comprise the following types of papers: practice essays, semester essays, and course works.
Table of Content
While practice essays have mostly a formative role and do not influence your final grade, they give you a perfect opportunity to practice your writing skills. Semester essays are presupposed for the courses lasting for 2 semesters and the coursework influences the final grade either in part or in full. Before starting to write any of these papers, you should devote a certain amount of time to preparation. You’d better learn all the ropes and conventions of legal writing in advance. When creating a research paper you should always take into consideration the existing requirements and consult the relevant regulations so that your piece of writing was well organized, perfectly and clearly presented and correctly referenced.
What is Special About the Law Essays?
You are sure to agree that law is mostly a subjective discipline. Due to the fact it’s often a matter of somebody’s opinion, it’s quite flexible in application and there’s hardly q 100% right answer to any question. Any independent external assessment is opinion and experience based, thus subject to personal judgments, background, and context unique to the reader. And as you know, there are hardly 2 lawyers having the identical sets of opinions. However, there are certain tricks not only to transform your legal knowledge into a state-of-art essay but to ensure it with the most chances for getting a really first-class grade.
How to Craft a First-class Essay?
Unfortunately, at present very few educational establishments teach their student to write legal essays correctly, even fewer do it well. Nevertheless, proper writing technique is one of the basics for getting a good grade, it can not, in any case, substitute your solid understanding and profound awareness of the legal matters. Your knowledge should be applied in a proper well-structured and comprehensive paper to get a top mark. You should not only thoroughly study the primary and secondary sources but perform their critical analysis, synthesize original ideas and apply them in an innovative way.
There are multiple approaches to academic essay writing, but with legal papers CLEO – approach works best. The method comprises four steps:
C – stands for Claim. The first step is to identify the legal issue to review, structuring arguments and actually answer the question, set in the assignment.
L -stand for Law. The author should present the appropriate branch of law and demonstrate his or her awareness of legal issues and cases in the field. Here reasoning skills are also important.
E – evaluation, analysis, and argumentation. This step presupposes evaluation of the facts in the light of what is found out in the second step, their profound analyzing and persuasion of the audience in the thesis set.
O – argumentation outcome. It involves balancing the introduced arguments and theories and relating them to the problem under review with the corresponding summing up.
To create a really good law essay you will have to take the following tips into consideration.
1. Smart, appealing and consistent presentation. Your work should be neat and properly packaged as you never have a seci=ond chance to make the first impression. Your paper should be attractive to the assessor from the very first glance at it.
2. Effective structure. The essays having a 5-paragraph structure should be well arranged in the logical internal structure under proper headings. With the legal writing assignment, you should use consecutively numbered footnotes, which should be brief and substantive.
3. Accurate writing. Nowadays your writing must be almost flawless, multiple services allow automatic spelling and grammar checking, contributing to the highest standards of essay writing. So grammar, spelling and punctual mistakes are almost intolerable nowadays because they demonstrate your lack of attention and care towards your work and actually lack of respect to your assessor.
4. Good referencing. It’s an essential requirement for legal papers in particular due to the fact that the law is the field, where every point or statement must be backed by relevant authority or solid ground. A good idea is to use cases, just several sentences are generally enough to integrate a case into your written work in a proper way.
5. Profound command of the problem. You writing should not only demonstrate your knowledge of the relevant law brunch but show your thorough understanding of the question under review. Make it clear to the assessor, that you’ve got to grips with the matter as the law is a constantly developing area, where you have to provide a detailed analysis up to date.
6. Practical application. Knowledge is not enough, you should demonstrate how your theoretical finding can be applied in practice, you can even describe some particular issue to support your implications.
7. Consistent and logical analysis. Keep in mind, that the development of your reasoning should be arranged in a systematic, well-ordered, logical manner, starting from the setting of the problem, going through the expert opinion and analysis and resulting into conclusion. You may either stick to the chronological pattern, the order of perceived importance or, sometimes, some special order which is determined by your paper theme or structure.
8. Relevance. Always remember that the answer, which is actually whole your work should be relevant to the question, it should not be vague or dissolving. Your piece of writing should also correspond to your question under review in terms of content and style of writing, readdress and summarize it in your conclusion. The first class work should not contain the irrelevant comments, sentences or phrases.
9. Factor X. A thing which can be seen or perceived, but is hard to define. A really good essay does not contain bare facts, evidence, and citations, but reflects and clearly provides the personal opinion of the author. Reasonably well argued, it will definitely be evaluated by your assessor, even if he does not agree with you. Don’t be afraid to challenge the sources you use, debate certain points in them, criticize, rate or question the things you consider doubtful. Nevertheless, do not forget to refer to other authors or even to the case law, wherever you are able to.
Keep it in mind that writing a first-class paper is a skill, thus it can and should be developed. Strive to constantly upgrade and demonstrate in a proper way your original expert legal skills in abundance.
What Topic to Choose for Your Legal Essay.
Students are usually assigned certain topics for their written works, but sometimes they have an opportunity to choose or claim the topic themselves. The law is variable, having multiple branches and areas, therefore the topics are abundant as well. Not to get lost with your choice we offer you to read the list of the sample topics for the essays in law and either choose one or just get inspired to create the problem and consequently the topic for your paper.
1. Advertisements can in no case be considered a legal agreement.
2. The definition of crime from the point of view of common and civil law jurisdictions. Comparative analysis.
3. Is the US taxation system fair?
4. Consumer protection, home and international competence.
5. Business agreement types and power.
6. Protection of brand identity with the registration of the trademark.
7. Insurance law as a perspective new area of law.
8. What to choose a bilateral or unilateral contract?
9. EC legislation enforcement.
10. Sources of the European law.
11. State laws and constitution comparison.
12. Capital punishment – to be or not to be.
13. Theories of crime and their influence on the development of legislation.
14. Criminals and mental illnesses.
15. Data protection and personal privacy.
The Main Stages of Legal Essay Creation.
Like any work, writing an essay involves a certain preparatory stage. As soon as you’ve been assigned a written task, you start thinking about the topic, which you’ve either got or have to choose. At this stage, you should revise your class notes, make some research and brainstorming to set a question in a proper way and to make your written work really exciting for you to perform and for your audience to read.
The main trick here is to choose the theme you are really concerned about, it’s always easier to write on the topics, which are interesting for you personally. You should also do some preliminary reading of various sources because you’ll be able to find out the available materials and points of view on the problem. It’s good to brainstorm what you’ve got to now and mindmap the key points and arguments because a good essay should set a problem, explore it and conclude the issue in a logical and comprehensive way.
Though certain research is done at the preparatory stage, it’s not enough. When your issue under review has got proper wording, you should perform further investigation now in more detail. Keep in mind that the results of your research should always be accurate, up to date and relevant, making your work legally compelling. You should make up your mind as to the sources you need in the first turn and for this, you should get acquainted with plenty of them.
Firstly turn to tertiary sources as they overview the primary as well as the secondary research data, besides pay attention to the footnotes and references provided there. A good idea is to consult the librarian, even in the modern world, there are still certain scientific works which have failed to find their way online, but library works are aware of such research papers and eager to share this information to you.
They can always provide you with plenty of other valuable tips on essay writing in your field of study. Don’t forget to check specialized search engines, google scholar will provide you with much more valuable information, for instance than simple google.com, even more useful may be Lexis Nexis or Word Cat. Searching through the related spheres like history or politics is also able to provide you with astonishing findings related to your research. It’s also important to pay attention to the counterarguments and opposite viewpoints.
With your theme in mind study all the available information on the problem, narrow your question to make it fit your work’s scope and choose only the most actual and up-to-date sources. Now you can proceed to the essay writing as it is.
The main part of every research paper is the thesis statement. It is the key point and the hook, which determines the interest of the readers to your piece of writing. The thesis is initially formed as a working hypothesis and can be modified in the course of writing. Though it’s initially worded in your work you include it into the introduction. The thesis statement should not only state your problem under review but reflect your opinion and catch the attention of the audience. It’s an important factor in your essay success, try your best to create it really state of art.
When you’ve got your thesis statement ready, outline your paper, arrange your arguments in the proper order and think about the best possible structure of your essay.
Proceed to the writing as it is. Like any work, your essay should start from the introduction, where you reveal the importance of your research and the problem you set.
Further on there follows the body, consisting of several paragraphs, each of which puts forward an argument, the supporting evidence to it and the opinion you have based on the data and sources reviewed.
It’s reasonable to devote one body paragraph to counterarguments as well, it will demonstrate your profound and comprehensive research of the problem from different angles.
Summarize the work performed in your conclusion restate and answer your main question here, provide your own thoughts and opinion.
The last but not the least stage of your work should include at least several revisions of the essay written, possibly peer editing by one of your fellow students and obligatory proofreading for typos, grammar, spelling, style and punctuation mistakes. Check the formatting of your paper and make sure it meets all the guidelines.
Even the best essay having proper structure, reasonable argument, state of art conclusion and referencing is unable to gain a good grade if it lacks proper formatting and has mistakes, which are difficult to tolerate, don’t forget it and do not skip this important polishing stage of your work.
Now as you’have studied carefully all the tips and advice above, you can’t but create a really first-class essay for the highest possible grade.