Planning is an obligatory prelude to writing a legal text
It is necessary to start writing the text only when the document scheme already exists, the main issues that need to be considered, the main theses and positions on the issue are formulated and the argumentation and sequence of the presentation are determined. This requires a plan for your future work. A good prospect plan is 80% success.
In most cases, planning should be an obligatory prelude to the writing process.
Q. Strank. Elements of style
There are different types of plans, which depend on the degree of elaboration of the issue.
The first plan, which we usually manage to compose, when we start a new job, maybe someone does not even call the plan. This is a kind of sketch of the future plan. But it is important, because it allows us to fix important, principled provisions of our future document on paper and less significant aspects, which, however, should not escape our attention in the future. At this stage, our thoughts may not be formalized at all, not at all structured or poorly structured.
Our first draft may look haphazard. It reflects those considerations that sometimes spontaneously appear in our country during the course of research and thinking through the issue. For example, one of the first outlines of the plan for this work was as follows:
The name of the work is located in the center. Then, as the various ideas appear, the branches coming from the center are added. These are attached issues that are associated with an idea, support or disprove it, lead us to related questions, etc. The more ramifications, the better. It is important that everything that you want to say in your work is reflected in this scheme.
Of course, the above variant of the scheme is by no means the only possible one. Everyone can come up with their own structure. The main thing is that your scheme can be continued indefinitely, so that it is not limited to anything from above or from below. The only thing you are connected with is the theme of your work.
Such a free form of planning at the initial stage of work has advantages, because it:
• Does not restrain our mental work, forcing to place this or that question in a specific point of the traditional plan, and thus stimulates creativity, a free flight of thought;
• allows you to start planning work at the earliest stage;
• makes it easy to get started, allowing you to overcome the so-called fear of a "clean sheet of paper";
• allows you not to lose questions that, as it seems at first, do not fit into any of the possible structural units of the document, but may prove important in the future;
• allows you to better track the relationship between different issues, since the same idea often arises in different contexts;
• allows you to identify key problems and crystallize the main issues;
• greatly facilitates the development of a detailed prospectus plan.
How long can this chart take? It is difficult to answer this question, because much depends on the degree of elaboration of your question and on when you started to draw up a scheme. It may be half an hour, but it may take a long period of time - a week or more, depending on the complexity and volume of the document you are working on, and the amount of time you spend studying the question.
You can start compiling the traditional plan when you have collected all the material and at least in general terms understand the sequence of the presentation. The more clearly you imagine the structure of the work, the more detailed your plan, the easier it will be for you to write.
What kind of plan you choose to choose depends largely on your taste. Therefore, whether you will call the structural units of your plan sections, chapters or simply number them is not important. At the initial stage, you can simply make a list of questions.
Drawing up a plan is a process that can also have several stages. The more you orient yourself in the matter, the more detailed your plan will be. It is important at the same time to begin drawing up a plan with the isolation of the main issues, and from the main to go to details. Your task is to present a complicated question, as a rule, as concisely as possible, clearly, intelligibly, convincingly and logically. Your plan should reflect the logic of the presentation. Below is one of the intermediate versions of the plan of this work, which is more elaborate than the first draft.
1. What is a legal letter
• The concept and types of legal writing
• Style. Clarity. Clarity. Efficiency. Simplicity of style. Brevity
• Our problems
2. Organization of work
• A few tips
3. Organizing material
• Structure (general rules, letter, memo, conclusion)
• Table of contents. Headers, etc.
4. Finding the right word
• Main Problems
• Features of the selection of words in a legal letter. Synonyms
• Legal terminology
• The office. Stamps and cliches.
• Verbs: active or passive voice
5. Citation and references
Take your plan seriously. He is your main assistant in the work on writing the text. He will help you "turn your shapeless thoughts into flawless prose."
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