Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Garner on analysis: beginning, middle, end

Bryan Garner on beginnings, middles, and ends in analytical legal writing:
In analytical and persuasive writing, you need a beginning, a middle, and an end.

The ideal introduction concisely states the exact points at issue. Stripped of all extraneous matter, the intro serves as an executive summary: it places the essential ideas before the reader.

* * *

Each part of the middle will be organized to do the following:
  • Elaborate the legal premises embedded in the issue statement.
  • Show how the factual points fit into the legal premises.
  • Deal with counterarguments.
  • Drive the point home with an additional reason or set of reasons.
That's the basic way to organize the argument for each issue.

* * *

The conclusion should briefly sum up the argument.

Bryan A. Garner, Legal Writing in Plain English: A Text With Exercises 55-56 (U. Chicago Press 2000).

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