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About the Book

Just Writing

Front Cover - Just Writing

Fifth Edition

Anne Enquist
Seattle University

Laurel Oates
Seattle University

Jeremy Francis 
Michigan State University College of Law

2017. Approx. 352 pages. ISBN: 978-1-4548-8080-6. With Teacher's Manual.

About the Book

Just Writing covers the basic principles of good legal writing ó including style, grammar, and punctuation ó and demonstrates them through numerous examples. The text provides legal writers of all experience levels with tips, techniques, and helpful advice for every step of the process: planning, drafting, revising, editing, and proofreading. However, Just Writing goes further, guiding students to eloquence in concise legal prose. The text provides valuable resources for English-as-a-Second-Language students and teachers. A newly updated Teacherís Manual offers suggestions on teaching the book content as well as specific notes for each chapter. The Teaching Materials Website, available to adopters of any of the authorsí texts, provides additional teaching and testing resources. In the Fifth Edition, Quick Tips and practice exercises have been moved to the Casebook Connect online platform.  Just Writing also includes access to a widely used Diagnostic Test keyed to the text that can help students identify their individual areas of concern.

New to the Fifth Edition:

The Fifth Edition of Just Writing provides a variety of updates to what was already a comprehensive text.  Primarily, users will notice the Casebook Connect interface and its ability to link the text to a variety of resources and extra materials.  Students can easily practice the skills in the text by linking to the available resources.

In addition, many legal writing professors who teach ESL law students (both LL.M. and J.D.) will be excited to learn about the expanded resources to help English as a Second Language (ESL) students and professors.  Chapter 10 now includes a detailed section on different sentence patterns that are often applied in common law legal reasoning with examples and discussion of when to apply each type of sentence. 

Casebook Benefits: 

Just Writing is a comprehensive resource for anyone interested in legal writing: law students, lawyers, paralegals, law professors, and judges.  The Fifth Edition provides easier access to exercises, updated examples, and expanded Quick Tips to help writers apply content in the book to their writing projects.  The Diagnostic Test for Grammar, Punctuation, and Usage allows users to understand their strengths and weaknesses as writers and access the appropriate resources.  Professors can use the Diagnostic Test to help identify curricular needs among larger groups of students.

The increasing number of ESL legal writers and the professors who teach them will appreciate the expanded section and instructor resources on ESL legal writing.  This section focuses on ESL grammar issues and rhetorical differences frequently experienced by legal writers from other cultures.

In short, Just Writing is a one-stop shop for any professor hoping to instill both the basics of professional writing and the discipline-specific conventions unique to legal writing.  For academic adopters, itís not just a text for the first year of law school; Just Writing is a book students can carry with them through law school and into practice.

Just Writing works with writers of all levels of development to refine and improve their writing.  In this mission, the authors draw on their extensive experience teaching legal writing to create a resource that speaks to and coaches the reader.  The book engages in a dialogue with the readers instead of a lecture or strict reference manual.  All advice is well-supported with easy to follow examples and contrasting examples.  The exercises are directly tied to the sections in the text so students can practice and apply the rules during and after their learning.