Bibliographic Details

Legal writing in plain English : a text with exercises / Bryan A. Garner.

Author / Creator Garner, Bryan A., author.
Edition Second edition.
Imprint Chicago ; London : University of Chicago Press, 2013.
©2013
Description xv, 268 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Language English
Series Chicago guides to writing, editing, and publishing
Chicago guides to writing, editing, and publishing.
Subject Legal composition.
Legal composition.
Format Print, Book
URL for this record http://pi.lib.uchicago.edu/1001/cat/bib/9291315
Related ItemsOther edition available: Garner, Bryan A. Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2001 Legal writing in plain English.
ISBN 9780226283937 (paperback : alkaline paper)
0226283933 (paperback : alkaline paper)
Notes Includes index.
Bibliography: pages 259-262
Table of Contents:
  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Part 1. Principles for All Legal Writing
  • 1. Framing Your Thoughts
  • §1. Have something to say-and think it through
  • §2. For maximal efficiency, plan your writing projects. Try nonlinear outlining
  • §3. Order your material in a logical sequence. Present facts chronologically. Keep related material together
  • §4. Divide the document into sections, and sections into subparts as needed. Use informative headings
  • 2. Phrasing Your Sentences
  • §5. Omit needless words
  • §6. Keep your average sentence length to about 20 words
  • §7. Keep the subject, the verb, and the object together toward the beginning of the sentence
  • §8. Use parallel phrasing for parallel ideas
  • §9. Prefer the active voice over the passive
  • §10. Avoid multiple negatives
  • §11. End sentences emphatically
  • 3. Choosing Your Words
  • §12. Learn to detest simplifiable jargon
  • §13. Use strong, precise verbs. Minimize is, are, was, and were
  • §14. Simplify wordy phrases. Watch out for of
  • §15. Turn -ion words into verbs when you can
  • §16. Avoid doublets and triplets
  • §17. Refer to people and companies by name. Never use corresponding terms ending in -ee and -or
  • §18. Don't habitually use parenthetical shorthand names. Use them only when you really need them
  • §19. Shim newfangled acronyms
  • §20. Make everything you write speakable
  • Part 2. Principles Mainly for Analytical and Persuasive Writing
  • §21. Plan all three parts: the beginning, the middle, and the end
  • §22. Use the "deep issue" to spill the beans on the first page
  • §23. Summarize. Don't overparticularize
  • §24. Introduce each paragraph with a topic sentence
  • §25. Bridge between paragraphs
  • §26. Vary the length of your paragraphs, but generally keep them short
  • §27. Provide signposts along the way
  • §28. Unclutter the text by moving citations into footnotes
  • §29. Weave quotations deftly into your narrative
  • §30. Be forthright in dealing with counterarguments
  • Part 3. Principles Mainly for Legal Drafting
  • §31. Draft for an ordinary reader, not for a mythical judge who might someday review the document
  • §32. Organize provisions in order of descending importance
  • §33. Minimize definitions and cross-references. If you have more than just a few definitions, put them in a schedule at the end-not at the beginning
  • §34. Break down enumerations into parallel provisions. Put every list of subparts at the end of the sentence-never at the beginning or in the middle
  • §35. Delete every shall
  • §36. Don't use provisos
  • §37. Replace and/or wherever it appears
  • §38. Prefer the singular over the plural
  • §39. Prefer numerals, not words, to denote amounts. Avoid word-numeral doublets
  • §40. If you don't understand a form provision-or don't understand why it should be included in your document-try diligently to gain that understanding. If you still can't understand it, cut it
  • Part 4. Principles of Document Design
  • §41. Use a readable typeface
  • §42. Create ample white space-and use it meaningfully
  • §43. Highlight ideas with attention-getters such as bullets
  • §44. Don't use all capitals, and avoid initial capitals
  • §45. For a long document, make a table of contents
  • Part 5. Methods for Continued Improvement
  • §46. Embrace constructive criticism
  • §47. Edit yourself systematically
  • §48. Learn how to find reliable answers to questions of grammar and usage
  • §49. Habitually gauge your own readerly likes and dislikes, as well as those of other readers
  • §50. Remember that good writing makes the reader's job easy; bad writing makes it hard
  • Appendix A. How to Punctuate
  • Appendix B. Four Model Documents
  • 1. Research Memorandum
  • 2. Motion
  • 3. Appellate Brief
  • 4. Contract
  • Key to Basic Exercises
  • Bibliography
  • Index