Law Essay Writing Skills

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is the process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action. In law many assignments will give you a quote from a journal, article or a case and you will be expected to evaluate it and this is when your critical thinking will come in. The following is an example from contract law on silence as a form of acceptance. ‘The case of Felthouse v Bindley states that silence does not amount to acceptance.

This was affirmed by Smith v Williams. The next part involves further reading and investigating which is required for critical thinking. Felthouse v Bindley did not consider silence to be acceptance in all circumstances, as has been shown in Rogers v Godfrey. Critical thinking involves evaluating both sides of an argument and thus applying legal knowledge, backing this by legal authority and commentators.

Critical thinking requires you to open minded and make your own judgement by conducting further research and not take things for face value and consider if there is anything else? It also involves rational analysis, thinking critically about important issues, challenging your beliefs and improving your tolerance for uncertainty. Close reading and critical analysis of complex textual material as well as further reading is integral for critical thinking as much of what an law undergraduate would do is careful reading and critically analyzing, complex written material of substantial length such as judicial opinions, statues, documents, and other written materials.

Taking in to account other social, political views is also important. Critically evaluating the line of reasoning, evaluating the evidence, identifying the writer's conclusions (Have they got it right?), evaluating whether the evidence supports the conclusions. Asking underlying question such as the reliability of the source?

Discussion is made of the traditionalist ideology of Market Individualism discussing the important features and linking them with contractual doctrines and ideas. Market individualism has two strands market and individualism. According to Market-Individualism the market place is a site for competitive exchange. The function of contract is to facilitate competitive exchange.

According the market ideology the importance is given to the following;

  • Security of transactions is to be promoted
  • It is important for those who enter into the market to know where they stand
  • Since contract is concerned with the facilitation of market operations the law should accommodate commercial practice rather then the other way around.

Market individualism will not be the only theory there will more mare presenting their own arguments having authority.

Whether the authors arguments are supported by evidence or any sort of backing. It showed that the arguments have good legal backing with case law and legal doctrinesthus having authority for what is said. The procedure used was clear and easy to follow. The line of reasoning was another question that I wanted to answer Are there any underlying issues tried to read between the lines.

Good writing skills are essential for studying law as it is through this skill which will help contribute to gaining a good law degree. As it is via this skill that good examinations, and assessments will be conducted. You need to be an effective writer so you can clearly communicate your point. Your structure needs to be clear and coherent so that the reader can easily understand what you have are trying to say.

In order to be an effective writer the following important areas would need to be adequately complied with. Having a draft is essential as it provides opportunity to proofread and fix any inconsistencies and mistakes. Once completed identify the following issues and resolve.

Is the writing clear? do the ideas make sense? are the ideas supported by evidence? are all of my requirements fulfilled? Is repetition avoided? has proper grammar and spelling been used? Is the work referenced correctly?

Planning and researching is necessary via brainstorming, collecting information and taking notes these would need to be organized whilst going on. When developing the topic, looking for patterns and relationships, seeing what conclusions can be drawn. The basic essay structure for an effective written piece of work would include an Introduction, giving the reader an idea of the essay's intent, including a basic statement of what the essay will discuss, the Body, presenting the evidence that supports your idea. Using concrete examples and avoid generalities and finally a conclusion, Summarizing and making sense of the evidence presented in the body. Adhering to these rules would enable you to communicate clearly and persuasively which is an essential for a law undergraduate.

Keep your audience in mind Get aware with the vocabulary: Become familiar with the vocabulary of your subject. Undergraduates with good written skills would be those whom seek as many experiences as possible that will require rigorous and analytical writing including revising written work in response to constructive criticism.

To study and practice law, you are going to need to be able to organize large amounts of information, identify objectives, and create a structure for applying that information in an efficient way in order to achieve desired results. You are going to need to be able to prepare and assimilate large amounts of information in an effective and efficient manner

The defendants were charged with one of their family member's manslaughter. The facts of the case were as follows, Stoneís sister Fanny lived with him and his girlfriend, Dobinson. Fanny was mentally ill and became very anxious about putting on weight. She stopped eating properly and became bed ridden. They made dishearted and unsuccessful attempts to get medical help and after several weeks she died.The legal argument cantered around the duty of care to the family member. The legal argument was in regards to whether duty of care was assumed (volunteered), even where there is no formal duty, and if so did the family fail in their duty of care towards their family member.

The defendants argued that they had no legal duty of care to the sister and, second, there prosecution could not demonstrate that `recklessness' necessary to support a conviction of manslaughter. The Appeal Court ruled that on the first point the accused had assumed a duty of care, by allowing the sick woman to live in their home, caring for her (giving her food and bathing her) and making no other arrangements for her. On the second, the court ruled that the defendant had been `indifference to an obvious risk' (failing health, insufficient effort to find doctor or arrange someone else) of injury to the family members health or had actually foreseen the risk of injury and had determined to run that risk did constitute recklessness.

I don't think that the judgment was an effective piece of writing as there was no structure in the judgment and the judgment jumped from one thing to another. There were also grammatical and spelling mistakes. The judgment is also not reference properly as there are no footnotes for the case of Gibbons and Procter. The judgment also failed to clearly communicate the facts of the case.

I tend to write assignments without having first preparing a draft. I tend to also do my research and planning in whilst writing my assignment which will be handed in. I need to my grammar and punctuation. I also find it difficult to put my view and across and cannot think of the right words to use to explain my view.

To tackle this I will read more books. I also go over the word limit and fail to identify where I need to cut the words and often hand in written work that is over the world limit. Although I do a lot of research which provides me with a clear understanding of the topic under discussion. To improve my overall written skills I will react to comments that I will get for my assignments.