Write shorter sentences rather than longer ones Write shorter paragraphs rather

Write shorter sentences rather than longer ones write

This preview shows page 37 - 42 out of 42 pages.

Write shorter sentences rather than longer ones Write shorter paragraphs rather than longer ones Avoid Latin terms, always If you wouldn t say the word out aloud, don t use it words like aforementioned, otiose, promulgate, disambiguate and many others are great for a game of hangman, but poor for legal writers Don t write in a hurry this is where we revert to our base instinct to write gibberish. Always re-read your work not just for typos, but for the overall impact of the letter, including a legalese check . HOW CAN YOU AVOID LEGALESE?
Image of page 37

Subscribe to view the full document.

Dummy or false subjects Plain Language revision It is argued in the report that it is essential to simplify the tax code. The report argues that simplifying the tax code is essential. There was no consideration given to the suggestion by the committee. The committee failed to consider the suggestion. It is her opinion that there are several issues that need to be resolved. She believes that several issues need to be resolved. AVOID DUMMY SUBJECTS IT IS , IT APPEARS , THERE IS , IT WILL BE
Image of page 38
Avoid unnecessary preambles or pompous phrases such as It is important to add that... It may be recalled that... In this regard it is of significance that... It is interesting to note that... I would like to point out ... I would argue that ... It should be noted that ... It has been determined that ... It is obvious that ... AVOID UNNECESSARY PREAMBLES
Image of page 39

Subscribe to view the full document.

Example: The employee was absent for the reason that he was sick. (Use because instead.) Better version: The employee was absent because he was sick. Example: The fact that she had already died was immaterial. Better version: Her death was immaterial. AVOID COMPOUND CONSTRUCTION
Image of page 40
Select simple words. Omit needless words. Keep sentences short. Limit it not more than 20! Keep the subject, the verb, and the object together--toward the beginning of the sentence. Cut down on jargon and use defined terms sparingly. Discard superfluous words. Reduce nominalizations. Use the active voice with strong verbs. Use strong, precise verbs. Minimize is, are, was, and were. Be specific rather than general. Turn -ion words into verbs when you can. Write personally, as if you were talking to the reader. SUMMARY: USE PLAIN ENGLISH LEGAL WRITING IN PLAIN ENGLISH BY BRYAN A. GARNER
Image of page 41

Subscribe to view the full document.

Introduce each paragraph with a topic sentence. Bridge between paragraphs. Vary the length of your paragraphs, but generally keep them short. Minimize definitions. Delete every shall. Don t use provisos. Replace and/or wherever it appears. Prefer the singular over the plural. Prefer numerals, not words, to denote amounts. Avoid word- numeral doublets. Remember that good writing makes the reader s job easy; bad writing makes it hard. SUMMARY: USE PLAIN ENGLISH LEGAL WRITING IN PLAIN ENGLISH BY BRYAN A. GARNER
Image of page 42
  • Fall '19
  • Gilbert R. Huafana

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern

Ask Expert Tutors You can ask You can ask ( soon) You can ask (will expire )
Answers in as fast as 15 minutes