This post is aimed at the students among us. I have had a few people ask me how I approach writing coursework, so here’s a blog post for you.
My starting point is reading. It is no secret that to write a good legal essay, you have to have read more than just your lecture notes and core texts. Demonstrating legal research is essential to a good piece of writing. I usually search and read journal articles on westlaw and save any that are relevant to the topic area that I am writing on.
The next step for me is a big A3 sheet of paper and some coloured pens. I am a visual learner so it helps for me to have everything set out in one place and colourfully. I start by writing the question that I’m answering in the middle and then do a mind map which puts all of my initial thoughts on the matter on paper. This is my way of drawing together all of my reading and putting it into one place, without worrying about structuring my writing just yet. On this mind map I summarise relevant sections from lecture notes, textbooks and additional reading including journal articles and case law.
Once I have everything all in one place, I can then worry about structuring my answer. I look at all the information that I have in front of me, and write a plan. I write headings, a brief summary of what points I’m making in each paragraphs and what authorities I might use to evidence my points.
Now that I have a clear structure, I can start writing. It should be fairly straight forward to write as you will already have all that you need in front of you. Once you have written, don’t forget to proof read and ensure that all of your references are correct and consistent.
I hope that was helpful! Please let me know if you would like anything in particular writing about!