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Table of Contents
1. Writing about the Law
WHY WRITE ABOUT THE LAW?
THE UNITED STATES LEGAL SYSTEM
RHETORIC AND THE LAW
Lawyers as Rhetoricians: The Sophists
Genres of Oratory
Rhetorical Analysis: The Rhetorical Triangle
Rhetorical Analysis: Rhetorical Appeals
Making a Valid Argument: Syllogisms and Fallacies
WRITING A FORMAL RHETORICAL ANALYSIS
What Is the Context?
Who is Talking?
Are the Arguments Valid?
Are You Moved?
Rhetorical Analysis Checklist
2. Reading and writing Case Briefs
WHAT IS A CASE BRIEF?
Case Name and Citation
Dissenting and Concurring Opinions
LEGAL ARGUMENTS: TOPOI
International or Comparative Law
FORMATTING A CASE BRIEF
Case Brief Checklist
3. Frameworks for Legal Scholarship
Background Information: Narration
Manageable Parts: Partition
Supporting Arguments: Confirmation
Possible Objections: Refutation
Conclusion and Course of Action: Peroration
Counterarguments and Rebuttals
CREATING AND SUPPORTING A THESIS
Creating a Thesis
Supporting a Thesis
Primary v. Secondary Sources
Scholarly v. Non-Scholarly Sources
COUNTERARGUMENTS AND REBUTTALS
WRITING AN ARGUMENT OUTLINE
Step One: Supporting Arguments
Step Two: Evidence
Step Three: Arrangement and Transitions
Argument Outline Checklist
4. Doing Legal Research
PRINCIPLES OF LEGAL RESEARCH
The Citation Trail
ONLINE LEGAL RESEARCH TOOLS
Oyez and Justia
Library of Congress Law Library
Cornell University Legal Information Institute (LII)
State Courts Sites
Government Printing Office (GPO)
6. Using Sources
RHETORICAL PURPOSES OF CITATION
BASIC CITATION FRAMEWORK
Three Parts: Signal, In-text Marker, Reference Entry
Legal Sources in MLA
Sample Student Paragraph
CITING PRIMARY LEGAL DOCUMENTS
Court Opinions and other Documents
6. Writing Effective Paragraphs
Assess a Student's Introduction
Assess a Student's Background Paragraph
Support from source
Assess a Student's Issue Paragraph
ANALYZE AN INTRODUCTION
7. Peer Workshops and Revision
QUIRKS OF LEGAL DISCOURSE
Nominalized and Passive Verbs
Introducing a Case
TIPS FOR STRONG SCHOLARLY WRITING
Topic Sentences & Signposts
Create Fresh Eyes
Use a Revision Checklist
Get Help from a Friend
Read Out Loud
Give Praise and Criticism
8. Sharing Your Research
Think About Rhetoric
PUBLISHING YOUR RESEARCH
Research the Journals
Write an Abstract
Write a Cover Letter
Submitting to a Journal via Email