Writing legal studies essays

See all articles first and personally get in touch with our state rankers here. All Legal Studies questions are essentially derivatives of the same basic question, in making you respond to whether a particular area of law has been effective or not.

Supervised Research and the LL.M. Essay

Nevertheless, if you really do want to argue that the specific area of law has been a complete success or an irredeemable failure, make sure you are able to sustain this argument throughout your response, consistently referring back to your over-arching point and to the question as well. You should also avoid merely writing about issues or concerns which are referred to in the textbook. For example, take this question from the World Order option:.

You can also write about some kind of specific legal instrument generally and give judgments as to its effectiveness. For example, if you were to write about the International Court of Justice you could talk about the fact that the court allows interstate conflicts to be considered in an organised court a pro , but that the court has no powers of enforcement a con.

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But you want to, as quickly as possible, move onto analysis or evaluation of the issue, making clear why it is important in relation to the ideas of the question and utilising the structure outlined above. As usual, remember to make reference to specific legislation, newspaper reports and statistics where applicable.


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Sign in. At the same time, the writer should ensure that he is clear, coherent, concise, and answers the question using plain English. The starting point in writing a law is essay is to analyse the question and understand clearly what the question is all about.


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  • Ideally, one should start by identifying the area or topic of law. Once the topic is identified, the writer should analyse the question in light of the area of the law and understand what is it that should be discussed in the body of the essay so as to answer the question. In order to ensure that he is relevant throughout, the writer may want to draw up a quick plan consisting of bullet points of the different elements of his answer which he will elaborate on throughout the essay.

    The idea of having a plan is for the writer to mind map his thoughts.

    Exam prep: your last minute guide to Legal Studies

    With the plan in mind, he could set off writing the essay, which normally would consist of an introduction, the body, and a conclusion. In his introduction, it will be helpful for the writer to give the reader a flavour of what his answer will be like. Hence, the writing of the introduction should be more generalised rather than being specific. The aim is to show the reader that the writer has correctly identified the question, the area of the law, and how he proposes to provide an answer.

    An introduction should not be too lengthy. The body of the essay will be the heart of the essay. The writer should ensure that the body deals with all the elements that will answer the question. He should write in an orderly fashion so that the reader can understand the flow in the arguments. This will enable the reader to follow the arguments and the essay will look neater. The writer may also divide the body of his essay in different sub-headings if necessary.

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    The writer should bear in mind that the body of his essay adequately deals with all the elements of the answer. The writer should back up all of his arguments in the essay with a proposition of law where applicable. For instance, if the writer is making a point relying on a piece of legislation, he should refer to the Act of Parliament in issue.

    As an example, if the point that the writer is making is that goods sold should be of satisfactory quality when sold in the course of business, he should refer to Section 14 2 Sale of Goods Act On the other hand, if the writer is relying on a judgment or the ratio of a case, he should refer to the case with full citation. If the facts of the case law are important in making his point, the writer may even briefly write about the facts of the case.

    But he should bear in mind that the ratio of the case, that is the legal reasoning behind the judgment, and the judgments provided by the judges are the most important.

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    It is fundamental for the writer to be consistent throughout the essay and to be relevant at all times. The different paragraphs making up his body should precisely answer the question.

    HSC Legal Studies - Band 6 Legal Essays

    The essay should also be grammatically correct. As regards a law essay, it is extremely important for the writer to use correct vocabulary and make use of plain English which is not informal.

    How to write a Law Essay

    The writer should adopt a legal analysis throughout which means that the different points that he is making is being made having due regard to the law as a matter of fact. He should avoid giving his personal opinions as to the law. Of course, on certain points of law, he may cite the names of well-known academics such as Benjamin on Sale of Goods; Chitty on Contract; or Todd on International Trade Law and briefly give the views of those academics.

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