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Using the Idea of Mathematical Proof to Teach Argument Structure

Perspectives: Teaching and Legal Research and Writing, Vol. 15, No. 1, p. 50, Fall 2006

4 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2011  

Mary Dunnewold

Hamline University School of Law

Date Written: January 1, 2006

Abstract

Most legal writing textbooks explain that in the “A” section of the IRAC (Issue, Rule, Application, Conclusion) paradigm, the analysis or argument section, the writer should apply the law to the facts and draw a conclusion. Students are usually advised to do this in a step-by-step manner. But some students need more explicit guidance about what this means and how to actually structure a law-to-facts application on the page in a way that meets the expectations of a legal reader. This article looks at how legal writing is in some ways more comparable to mathematical writing than literary writing. Consequently, drawing on the idea of mathematical proof can help students understand how to structure an argument.

Keywords: Mathematical proof, argument structure, geometric proof paradigm, math, IRAC, legal writing

Suggested Citation

Dunnewold, Mary, Using the Idea of Mathematical Proof to Teach Argument Structure (January 1, 2006). Perspectives: Teaching and Legal Research and Writing, Vol. 15, No. 1, p. 50, Fall 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1954853

Mary Dunnewold (Contact Author)

Hamline University School of Law ( email )

1536 Hewitt Avenue
Saint Paul, MN 55104-1237
United States

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