If you were to write a book for youngsters about how to play baseball, or an adult-oriented romance novel, your “audience” would be easy to identify. In the first example, you’d be writing for an age group between 7 and 11; the readers would all be interested in baseball; and they’d be, let’s say, beginner-to-intermediate level of capability and sophistication in the sport. In the second example, you could Google the demographics for who buys romance novels, and get a pretty good idea of who might purchase your book. Audience identification is critical whenever you write-and that’s the case when you write answers to law school essay exam questions as well.
When you write the answer to a law school essay exam question, your audience is fictional. Think of your audience (reader) as an informed attorney or a colleague (law student) who is quite familiar with the nature and purpose … Read More
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