Tuesday, November 4, 2014

High-Level Writing Tips from Bryan Garner

Some writing tips are at the micro level—e.g., don't mix up "affect" and "effect." But you also need to think of the big picture. For instance, number one in Bryan Garner's list of 10 Tips for Better Legal Writing: Be sure you understand the client's problem.

Here's the list, but you'll want to read the article to see the explanation of each tip:
  1. Be sure you understand the client's problem.
  2. Don't rely exclusively on computer research.
  3. Never turn in a preliminary version of a work in progress.
  4. Summarize your conclusions up front.
  5. Make your summary understandable to outsiders.
  6. Don't be too tentative in your conclusions, but don't be too cocksure, either.
  7. Strike the right professional tone: natural but not chatty.
  8. Master the approved citation form.
  9. Cut every unnecessary sentence; then go back through and cut every unnecessary word.
  10. Proofread one more time than you think necessary.

No comments: