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Promoting In-Depth Analysis: A Three-Part Approach to Teaching Analogical Reasoning to Novice Legal Writers

Cumberland Law Review, Vol. 39, No. 3, Summer 2009

Suffolk University Law School Research Paper No. 09-12

27 Pages Posted: 10 Mar 2009  

Stephanie Roberts Hartung

Northeastern University - School of Law

Shailini George

Suffolk University Law School

Date Written: March 3, 2009

Abstract

Analogical reasoning is ubiquitous in every day discourse and in legal analysis. Law students are generally expected to incorporate this type of analysis into their writing in the context of essay exams and legal memoranda for their writing courses. Yet students often receive minimal guidance as to how to effectively create legal analogies and frequently struggle with this process. This article suggests a three-part approach to promoting effective use of reasoning by analogy in student writing. First, the article discusses in-class exercises that use non-legal examples to help demystify analogical reasoning and enable students to recognize that they already reason by analogy in their every day conversations. Second, the article suggests introducing students to a four-step construct for developing logical and legally relevant analogies in order to make the process of analogical reasoning more tangible. Finally, the article discusses methods of providing detailed and constructive feedback to students that will allow them to improve their use of analogical reasoning in their essay exam answers, legal memoranda, and in their employment.

Suggested Citation

Hartung, Stephanie Roberts and George, Shailini, Promoting In-Depth Analysis: A Three-Part Approach to Teaching Analogical Reasoning to Novice Legal Writers (March 3, 2009). Cumberland Law Review, Vol. 39, No. 3, Summer 2009; Suffolk University Law School Research Paper No. 09-12. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1352725

Stephanie Roberts Hartung (Contact Author)

Northeastern University - School of Law ( email )

416 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
United States
(617) 373-3307 (Phone)
(617) 373-5056 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.northeastern.edu/law/faculty/directory/hartung.html

Shailini George

Suffolk University Law School ( email )

120 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02108-4977
United States

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