Plain English writing for legal and more

Plain English writing is a sought after skill. There is an increased need for plain English writing, because of our ever-increasing reliance on technologies such as email and the internet. Although the title suggests otherwise, this book is certainly not just for lawyers, and can be useful to anyone who wants to simplify their writing. The instructions and exercises presented will be of benefit to anyone who has a need to communicate using plain English, whether they are at university, in business or in government.

Legal Writing in Plain English presents five distinct parts, categorising aspects of writing the reader may be seeking to improve. This means you can navigate quickly to an area where you may think your writing could be improved. The first part, Principles of all legal writing, takes the reader through the process of framing thoughts, phrasing sentences and choosing words. These are hardly competencies that should be reserved for the legal profession and can be applied by anyone in all their writing assignments.

In the second part, the principles of analytical and persuasive writing gives clear pointers on how to improve your writing for persuasion and influence. With the use of topic sentences, varying the length of paragraphs, use of pointing words and echo links you will be introduced to useful techniques for today’s written content rich world and holding your reader engaged. A section that is flagged, mainly for legal drafting, covers only one-third of the book but it too contains guidance that can be useful to anyone in business.

Overall, for those searching for a comprehensive resource to improve their writing skills this is a well-structured jargon-free book that will improve your writing. To access further reviews and a price for this essential resource for writers.

Garner B A, Legal Writing in Plain English – A Text with Exercises, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. ISBN:978-0226283937



2 thoughts on “Plain English writing for legal and more

  1. I do like your review. Thanks. Can you tell me please if the book covers legal referencing.

    1. Hi Phil
      Thanks for your note and I’m glad you liked the review. There isn’t a chapter or section in this book on legal referencing, but there is a short section on moving citations into footnotes. This chapter explains why this works well and includes ways of doing this. This section also includes a list of cases which have the citations in the footnotes. There is also a section on Tables of Contents and some suggestions of how to go about creating one. I hope that helps.

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