I posted the first part of legal writing yesterday and it dealt with the introductory part. Just as promised, this is the second part.
METHODS IN ESSAY WRITING.
Just as I said yesterday, many people think they can write just the way they think or talk. As a result of this, they don’t see any reason why they should learn the art of writing.
In any piece of writing, their are quite a number of steps to follow. The steps may differ from one author to another, but the result should be the same, that is, having a beautiful essay.
~~Choosing a topic
It is really important to have a topic, this will serve as a direction as to what you want to write on. It may be that you are given a topic or you have to find one. Once you have your topic, the next task is how to develop the topic. No matter how easy or simple the topic is, don’t rush into it, you must give it careful consideration. Try to see how you will present the essay and pass information to your readers. If you need to do a little research on the topic, then you should.
Most times there is need for one to do a little research on one’s topic especially if it not an essay that is class work. At this stage, you are required to read more on the topic, that way you are adding to what you already know. Read the right materials that are relevant to the topic you want to write on, avoid reading just any material you see.
~~Identifying the Basic Question
So as to write well, you must raise several questions on the topic. Questions like how? when? where? why? who? and other questions that can help you delve deeply into the topic. After you have done this, you need to identify the most basic question, the foundational question to the topic.
~~Turning your questions to answers
At this stage, the questions earlier raised should be answered.
~~Prepare the Outline
An outline helps to give you focus and helps you to organize your thoughts and answers. It is like a plan of how your essay will look like.
~~Testing your writing
Put all your research into writing, write, rewrite, rethink, revise and rearrange until you are sure your essay is at its best. You can write as many times as possible until you have an impeccable essay. Let your essay be clear and not clumsy. Make sure your essay is credible, current and be sure you are passing the right information. You can give your essay to someone who is better than you, to help you review it and don’t be scared of criticism. All it does is to make you better. Ensure you complete your work within the stipulated time.
HINTS ON GOOD WRITING
You don’t want to give your reader a bad impression. So your introductory paragraph must be captivating , you should take it serious.
Please avoid plagiarism, let your writing reflect you. It should be original, it should be about your views and ideas.
Avoid clumsy essay. Your essay should be clear, you must use your punctuations well.
Try to be as concise as possible.
Avoid misguiding your reader, be as accurate.
Words are tools of trade in the legal profession, so you must ensure good grammatical expression. Dot your ‘i’s’ and cross your ‘t’s’. Use capital letters where necessary.
Organization is important. Your paragraphs should present your ideas in organized manner. Ideas from one paragraph should not run into another paragraph containing a different idea.
And finally, your conclusion should be as good as your introduction.
That will be all for today. The third and last part on Legal Writing will be posted tomorrow. Thanks 🙂
Abiola Sanni’s Introduction to Nigerian Legal Method.
Oyekan Oluwaseun O