A legal document is official and is written by a lawyer. It states contractual relationships between two or more parties, giving some rights in the process.
For lawyers, words are the most important tools just like a weapon is to a hunter. It is through the written word that they can inform, advocate, instruct and persuade their clients, peers, and the judges. Writing this kind of document needs stellar writing skills that take some time to acquire. Below are some tips that can help you produce a persuasive legal document:
Know you audience. One step to writing a good legal document is to establish who your reader is. If you are writing something to present before a court of law, make it persuasive enough. Similarly, when writing a memorandum to your client, give a detailed analysis of issues and provide recommendations at the end.
Knowing your audience also helps you to tailor your language to suit their understanding. If you are writing to a client with no background in law, do not include terms that can make your reader feel less educated. It also helps to know your reader so that you can determine the kind of legal document to prepare; be it a letter, a memorandum or a pleading to a court.
Ensure your document has a heading. It can be a letterhead or any other title of your choice. If you are writing a letter, include a letterhead at the top of the document. The letterhead should contain your company logo, name, address, and contacts. A case caption is used when writing a pleading. It contains the information about the case, starting with the state, names of the parties and addresses. A document title is used when writing directives and agreements such as wills.
Organize yourself. Make your thoughts flow, introducing each paragraph in a manner that guides the reader to the next. Use a heading or a subheading if possible, so long as it makes the reader get your points clearly. Each of your points should take up a paragraph. Use transitions to connect your thoughts.
Write concisely. Unless you are writing to fellow lawyers, the message you are passing across should be simple enough for anyone else to understand. Explain your points in simple and clear sentences. Organize your document into short paragraphs. Most readers have no time for long and wordy sentences. Ordinary language endears you more to your audience.
To make your document more powerful, use an active voice. It brings out the vividness and the dynamism in any piece of writing. Passive voice makes your writing weak and trifling.
Read and edit your work. Read your first draft and also give it to a non-lawyer to get the desired results. Note the words they take some time to understand and the phrases they find hard to fathom. Edit and proofread it once more to ensure there are no grammatical and spelling errors. Be sure the document is of high quality before you release it to the audience.
Furthermore, a legal document should be consistent. The names, if any, should stay the same to the end. Any change is likely to cast doubts on your document. Remember to include the exact dates and time. It is also advisable in legal writing to use numerals instead of words when referring to amounts.
A legal document should, therefore, follow the above steps, summarized below:
- Know your audience.
- Have a heading.
- Organize yourself.
- Write concisely.
- Use an active voice.
- Read and edit your work.
- Be consistent.
A medical school admission essay also called a personal statement is an applicant's best chance at convincing the selection panel for a slot in the medical school. It is a critical admission requirement that gives the applicant an opportunity to address the selection committee directly and in a more personal way. Different medical schools give different instructions on the issues to address.
Be Honest: An admission essay is however not a summary of a resume. Tell a story about yourself truthfully, concisely and clearly. Use your admission essay to give reasons why you want to pursue medicine and why you think you deserve being in a medical school. Build your essay around addressing these two issues.
Make your essay simple, and easy to read. The selection committee may have a heap of essays and will have no time to go through boring ones. Use short sentences an avoid jargons, you are likely to mess up with them. Be creative and have a theme or two to guide you. Prepare a list of points you want to address as you brainstorm. It helps in organizing your thoughts.
Choose topics wisely: While choosing topics to address, do not go for those that you feel will impress the selection committee, be personal and realistic. Do not bluff. A story of your growth and learning journey can never be a work of fiction. Write a story that makes the selection panel want to meet you, not one that seeks to evoke their emotions. The selection committee are capable of detecting lies any lies in your story.
Write Passionately: Giving yourself time is key when writing this kind of essay. It enables you to brainstorm and put together the topics you would like to share with the selection committee. It will also help you to prepare several drafts and have them read by others. Therefore, you should start the application process early enough to avoid time construction.
Avoid Errors: After writing your first draft, let at least three people read and edit it. Grammatical errors are likely to upset the selection panel. Ask your parent, friend, spouse or a former teacher to read it. They will help in pointing out some simple errors that you are likely to overlook. Their opinions will also make your essay more truthful. Asking a former teacher to read and edit your work is likely to help you sort out any grammatical errors and improve the quality of your essay. Joining a medical school is a serious business and having so many grammatical errors will be a disadvantage on your side. It will be more helpful to have your essay read by someone with experience in medicine.
In summary, the following are key when writing a medical school admission essay:
- Give reasons for your passion in medicine and why you fit the school.
- Be personal and truthful.
- Make your essay simple and avoid jargons.
- Have a list of themes to address.
- Give yourself time to brainstorm and prepare.
- Proofread and edit your work. Have people to help you in this.
- Be creative.