A Short Guide to Writing About Law (Pearson 2010) is a writing handbook that teaches non-experts in law how to read legal documents and incorporate legal sources into their research and academic writing. (View on Amazon.)

Click here to download a free PDF of the Table of Contents and Preface.

This book is designed for writers in many types of courses and situations:

  • rhetoric and law courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
  • writing in the disciplines (WID) courses that focus on law, political science, and other topics.
  • writing across the curriculum (WAC) courses in law, criminal justice, political science, and the like.
  • any course that includes legal texts as part of their primary reading material.
  • new legal writers preparing to write about legal subjects for the first time in research genres such as seminar papers, conference papers, or journal articles.
  • journalists interested in learning how to use legal sources in their work.

A Short Guide to Writing About Law teaches readers how to read law and how to write about law. The law is a complex professional discourse that has begun to appear in a variety of courses including political science, criminal justice, sociology, journalism, and law and literature.  The book offers an accessible introduction to the rhetoric of law, legal opinions and statutes, and wide-access online search engines for conducting research of legal topics.

The book includes different writing assignments such as a case brief, a rhetorical analysis, an annotated outline, and a research paper modeled on a law journal article.

A Short Guide to Writing About Law starts with an overview of the Anglo-American legal system and moves to a discussion of lawyers as rhetors, including a discussion of the Sophists. The book covers syllogisms and the Aristotelian appeals, as well as rhetorical analysis of legal arguments.

You can download a PDF of the table of contents and the preface of the book. If you would like to contact the author, please me send an email.

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