LawProse Lesson 357: Have something to say.

LawProse Lesson 357: Have something to say.

What’s the great secret of writing style? Having something to say—and saying it clearly.

You don’t say something because you want to write. That’s backward. You write because you want to say something. You have something to declare.

Legal writers would do better work if they worried much more in the first instance about what they’re going to say, not how they’re going to say it. Figure out the substance, then simplify, simplify, and simplify further—but never so much that you oversimplify.

If lawyers would realize that words serve ideas, not vice versa, they could spare themselves and their clients much misery.

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Professor Garner gives you the keys to make the most of your writing aptitude—in letters, memos, briefs, and more. The seminar covers five essential skills for persuasive writing:

  • framing issues that arrest the readers' attention;
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  • using transitions deftly to make your argument flow;
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