Avoid Conclusory Statements in Law School Essay Exam Answers

Law school essay examination answers that do not supply the explanatory information detailing step-by-step how each issue can be resolved are said to be “conclusory.” That is, they recite conclusions without stating supportive analysis. Here’s an example of a conclusory statement taken from an exam answer: “Because Adam’s intent manifested the malice required for murder, he will be convicted.” The problem here is that although the statement may be true, the writer has not told the reader (professor) precisely which of Adam’s acts show he had the malice required to prove murder, what degree or variety of intent the law considers sufficient to prove malice, nor what type or variety of malice is required to obtain a murder conviction.

Here’s a better way to handle the Adam/intent issue.

The intent required to obtain a conviction for murder is malice. Malice can be proven by demonstrating that the defendant had the … Read More