Writing an outstanding essay in law school is crucial if we want to get top grades, but it’s not easy to write one. In legal essay writing, you don’t get the luxury of committing even minor mistakes. In fact, these essays require a structured approach with high attention to detail.
Due to the complexity of law essays, students prefer to go for a professional law essay help UK as it saves a lot of time, effort, and brain energy. But if you want to write an excellent essay by yourself, we’ve great things for you.
In this blog, we reveal ten easy steps to writing an outstanding law essay. By pointing you in the right direction, these simple yet effective tips will allow you to achieve high grades in your essays. Without any further ado, let’s get started!
1. Establish Yourself As A Critical And Analytical Thinker
Establishing yourself as a critical and analytical thinker is one of the most important aspects of writing an outstanding law essay. This is much easier said than done. You have to demonstrate that you are capable of both critically and analytically evaluating arguments. As well as you need to show your ability to evaluate evidence to reach a conclusion.
Do not just describe something if you can analyze it too. For example, rather than simply describing what the case is about or what happened in it, try to explain the reasons for why things happened or didn’t happen. This type of analysis can help you achieve higher marks in your essays compared with simple descriptions which do not go into the same depth or level of understanding about the topic in question.
2. Know What You Are Looking For
Not answering the question properly or answering the wrong question instead, are the common mistakes made by students in their essay writing. These mistakes can leave a negative impact on the grades of your law essay.
To avoid this mistake, make sure you understand the topic of your essay clearly and also the questions related to it. You also need to consider what’s the best possible way to answer the questions. Remember, even if you add lots of great ideas and solid arguments in your essay but if they aren’t presented coherently and don’t flow well then you are unlikely to get top marks for your essay.
3. Structure Your Essay Logically
It is important to lay your essay out in a logical way that you can follow when you’re writing it. A good idea to do this is by following the ‘PEEL’ principle: Point, Evidence, Explanation and Link. Each paragraph should make an argument that supports your thesis statement and contains only one point. This will make your essay easy to read and follow.
It is important, however, not to write in a way that makes it sound as if you’re confused or unsure of yourself. Don’t get bogged down by making your paragraphs too long-winded or complex – be sure to keep things as simple as possible!
4. Define Your Reasoning With Supporting Cases
Throughout the essay, use cases to support your arguments. These will be important for justifying your points and providing evidence for the assertions that you make.
For example, say you are discussing liability in a case about farmers who leave their gates open and cause livestock damage to neighbours, resulting in a breach of duty to take reasonable care. You may want to bring up the case of Donoghue v Stevenson and explain how it relates to the situation at hand.
In a law school essay, giving an example is important because it illustrates your understanding of the relevant legal principles. If you fail to provide enough detail or you give incorrect information, it can actually detect your score. So it’s important to clearly define your reasoning with supporting cases and examples.
5. Avoid Unhelpful Opinions, Hypotheses And Conjectures
Before writing an essay, you must ensure that you have understood the question. Unhelpful opinions and hypotheses are often used if a student fails to comprehend what is required in the essay question.
It’s essential to read the question carefully before generating ideas for your answer. You need to keep an eye out for keywords like ‘discuss’ or ‘critically evaluate’ which can change the type of answer you give compared to ‘describe’ or ‘explain’:
- Discuss: This means that you need to provide both sides of an argument and make a judgement regarding its validity
- Critically evaluate: This means that you need not only examine both sides of an argument but also critically assess them using your own knowledge or opinion as supporting evidence.
- Describe: This means that you must state facts without going into any detail about their significance.
- Explain: This means that you must show how things work or why something is happening in relation to other events, actions or situations.
6. Keep Your Referencing Clear, Concise And Consistent
Referencing is another key part to write an outstanding essay, as it allows for transparency about where information has been obtained so others can verify its validity if necessary. Try keeping referencing clear, concise and consistent throughout the essay,
This means that when referencing according to a certain convention, make sure that you are consistent with this convention throughout the assignment. For example, if you are using Harvard Style, don’t switch to OSCOLA just because it seems easier – or at least don’t expect your professor to understand what’s going on when marking your paper later on!
There is nothing worse than reading an essay where half of it is written in one style and half another – so stick to either OSCOLA (which is usually more popular in the UK law schools) OR Harvard but not both.
7. Develop Your Own Writing Style
While writing an essay, it’s important to write uniquely and creatively with a particular style. Usually, students copy each other while writing their essays. This is not good at all because it shows you are copying someone else’s work which can bring you problems such as being accused of plagiarism.
While you copy the ideas, then it will just result in losing your creativity and even your grades might be affected by this. To avoid such problems, one must try to develop his own writing style. To do so, there are a few tips that can be followed:
- a) Read other’s work
- b) Find your own interests
- c) Try different topics
- d) Do research
- e) Never try to adapt yourself to others
- f) Enhance vocabulary
- g) Avoid long sentences
- h) Choose challenging topics
- i) Don’t worry about mistakes
- j) Have confidence in what you write
If you follow these tips properly then you can surely develop your own writing style within no time and this would help you in getting better grades as well as leaving an impact on the reader when they read your essays.
Proofreading is the final step in writing an essay. By proofreading, you can pick up on any mistakes you may have made while writing your paper and correct them before turning it in.
Using a spell checker is not enough—you need to reread your paper yourself, from start to finish, checking for any errors or typos as well as making sure that everything flows well together.
One of the best ways to do this is by reading backwards. You can also ask a friend or family member read it for you or simply read it out loud yourself. There’s nothing wrong with getting a little help when needed!
9. Avoid Common Mistakes
Some common essay mistakes could cost you a perfect score. Take a look at the tips below to know what you should do to avoid these mistakes in your law writings.
- Write in a formal tone, avoiding the use of contractions, slang and another more casual language.
- Avoid first-person language by not using the words ‘I’ or ‘we’. Instead, use phrases like ‘this essay will argue…’ to convey your point.
- Use legal terminology effectively; this does not mean littering your essay with long Latin terms but instead means using them when necessary and in an appropriate way that shows you understand their meaning.
- Avoid passive voice where possible; when writing in passive voice, the subject of the sentence is acted upon rather than doing something itself. For example: “The dog was chased by the man” (passive), as opposed to “The man chased the dog” (active).
10. Get Creative And Explore Beyond The Obvious!
Finally, don’t limit yourself to simply obvious arguments. Go beyond what’s the most logical or simplified answer. Explore alternative elements of the law and consider different points of view that may not be as obvious (or comfortable).
Question the law. Push your boundaries, and explore the law beyond what you already know. Discuss ideas with your peers, lecturers, tutors and friends – they are all valuable sources of information. And always ask yourself: how could I make this better?
The secret to writing an outstanding essay is to pay attention to small details. Although you might not be considered these small details important, your teacher, lecturer, or examiner will. If you follow the above-mentioned steps while writing your law essay, you’ll be able to write an excellent essay from day 1 of your law school. And if you get confused or have no confidence to write your law essay, don’t hesitate to ask for help from professionals.