Persuasion: An Annotated Bibliography
13 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2009
Date Written: Fall 2009
In keeping with the mission of J. ALWD, this bibliography focuses on books and articles that tell us something about how to persuade in legal writing. The backbone of the bibliography is scholarship that dedicates itself explicitly to the task of illuminating something about the mysterious phenomenon of persuasion in legal communication. Included here are articles such as those addressing the use of policy arguments, classical rhetoric, and metaphors in legal writing. But also included are articles and books that can tell us something important about persuasion in legal writing but that have, for whatever reason, not discussed writing or law practice explicitly. These include ruminations on argumentation theory, “framing” of legal arguments, and semiotics. Together, they tell a riveting story of how lawyers go about the business of convincing people.
My goal here was to set out a kind of “greatest hits” of persuasion; a starter list for someone who wants to learn more about the topic. In doing so, my focus was on works that analyze persuasion deeply and theoretically, and less so on “how to” lists. This is not a judgment on the utility of the shorter “how to” lists of persuasion, which are valuable tools and eminently useful to both practitioners and academics. But I thought this bibliography should be a celebration of the renaissance of the discipline of persuasion and rhetoric in law and legal writing, and the treatment of persuasion as a theoretical, academic pursuit. So the works that follow are (mostly) those that go beyond a statement of what is persuasive toward a more analytical examination of why or how something persuades.
Keywords: legal writing, legal rhetoric, persuasion, argumentation theory, framing, classical rhetoric, semiotics, legal communication, metaphor, narrative
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