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Cover Legal Systems & Skills

14. Writing and drafting  

Scott Slorach, Judith Embley, Peter Goodchild, and Catherine Shephard

This chapter focuses on the development and improvement of writing skills by law students. It then goes on to explore why these skills are needed in practice, and how to continue to improve them at that stage. It also explains what are professional drafting skills and provides guidance for good drafting. The section about academia includes comprehensive writing guidance for law students. This includes spelling, grammar, punctuation, structure, layout, language and proofreading. The section then moves on to explaining plagiarism, honesty and academic conduct. Guidance is provided about how to OSCOLA reference, and how this differs from other styles such as Harvard. Supportive technology is discussed, including Endnote and Grammarly. The section then moves on to how to write good essays, with guidance about planning and structuring essays. Reference is made to assessment criteria, and how to meet the criteria at the highest level in an essay. The professional writing and drafting section explores how to further develop the good writing practice mastered at university. It also explores drafting and dictation skills, and how to use a precedent. Writing and drafting templates are provided, including for an email.


Cover The Successful Law Student: An Insider's Guide to Studying Law

8. Preparing for Assessments and Assignments  

This chapter prepares a student for successful assessment by exploring important considerations and key skills for law assessments. The chapter considers the purpose of assessment and the difference between formative and summative assessments, and how to approach assessment and get the most from each opportunity accordingly. Guidance is provided on different types of assessment, including closed/open book, time-limited assessment, and in-person/online assessment. The chapter examines the importance of preparing effectively for each assessment, including revision, reflection, and understanding assessment criteria. The chapter also summarises ways in which a student can seek to raise their grade; and how to avoid the pitfalls of academic misconduct, plagiarism, and poor academic practice. Guidance is also given on coping with the pressures of assessment.