The Power of Connectivity: The Science and Art of Transitions
18 Legal Comm. & Rhetoric: JALWD 65 (2021)
16 Pages Posted: 31 Jul 2020 Last revised: 18 Nov 2021
Date Written: November 13, 2021
Transitions matter, yet they are an underrated aspect of legal writing. This article argues that legal writers should pay more attention to transitions and use them to make the connections between ideas more transparent to readers. First, the article uses the cognitive science behind transitions to show that transitions can speed processing time and improve comprehension, and to explain why some transitions work better than others. Second, the article explores the art of transitions such as point headings and rhetorical questions with the help of a Justin Timberlake song and a stand-up comedy act. Finally, the article explains how substantive and linking transitions help improve flow and readability in legal writing, especially through the use of first, second, and third (and no more).
Keywords: transitions, science behind transitions, legal analysis and writing, legal professions, rhetoric, trial and appellate advocacy
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