31 August 2013

Evolutionary Perspectives

This post is a map for some intended posts. After reading Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion,1 a structure for my next few posts is clear. The relationships between his analogies and some legal ideas are listed below. These relationships inform the structure with which I will approach certain topics. To avoid solely writing an online calendar, I explore some details about the relationships.

27 August 2013

How to Arrange Digital Research

When you research a topic online, you will likely find and download many sources. Many of these will be rubbish.* I have a system for reminding me which sources I have determined are useless, and which I will reference in my writing, and/or read again. This post offers my solution, which is a little more complex than it needs to be--but I like it.

24 August 2013

How to Structure an Argument

This post explores the structure for a basic argument. I plan to build upon this post in more detail in the future. For now, it is useful for readers to have a copy of the basic framework many others and I use to construct arguments. (The examples in this post are not legal; I do not want to complicate this simple framework with legal analysis. This approach may make the post vague, but it seems pertinent to start as simple as possible.)

19 August 2013

Bennett v Southwell: Persuasive Structure and Word-Selection

Nothing legally extraordinary happens in Bennett v Southwell but it is an example of a good argument and technique. It shows how:
  1. Word-selection increases persuasiveness;
  2. The order in which those words are structured is important; and
  3. Neither (i) nor (ii) matter if the underlying logic is flawed.

15 August 2013

Swimmingly Obvious: Stanley Fish and Free Speech

Stanley Fish argues about free expression's latent impossibility;1 there are too many barriers to truly-free speech. Texas v Johnson concerns defining speech and recognising its legal limits once defined. Speech in any form requires interpretation--even the mundane--so what readers think writers mean is not necessarily what writers try to say.2 In this post I explore Fish's remarks on free speech. While I agree that free speech is factually restricted, I disagree with his path to that conclusion.

12 August 2013

What is Analysis?: an Answer, an Example, and Advice

Analysis is everywhere in university. Lecturers go on about it. Handbooks declare its need in uppercase. Guidance notes beg you not to forget it. And it often follows essay titles. Normally, this use is accompanied by the qualifier 'critically', but that is a topic for another post, while this one defines analysis, explains its importance, tries to show how analysis works with reference to case law, and shows how it might be used to improve your writing.

8 August 2013

Words for Writing: If

There are certain words that good essay writing cannot be without.* 'If' is one of them. This post explains why, and how to use 'if' to improve your essay writing. 'If' indicates possibilities. Readers enjoy possibilities; for example, it may be fiction's whole purpose--where readers escape into worlds nonexistent before some author asked, 'if this or that happens, what next?' Non-fiction readers are similar: they seek new possibilities at knowledge's edges; new interpretations to help understand what went before.

4 August 2013

Experience Analysis! (book review)

Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis: Theory, Method and Research by Jonathan Smith, Paul Flowers, and Michael Larkin (pp 225, Sage 2009)

IPA is a research method in psychology. A subject is interviewed with probing questions. The method is referred to as a double hermeneutic because the subject's interpretation of his or her own experience is interpreted by the researcher. Themes emerge and are analysed in light of the subject's whole story, or other subjects' similar stories.

1 August 2013

How to Write a Law Essay: Planning Time: Practical Steps

This post is a twenty-five step guide to writing a law essay; the main theme is organisation. I offer a list, which students may use to plan their time. As with almost all the advice on this site (and elsewhere) there are other ways to structure your time or plan for essay writing. I will discuss as many of those other methods as I have time to do so in other posts. For now, I hope this one helps.