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Law Talk

34 Pages Posted: 10 Nov 2005  

Susan DeJarnatt

Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law


The relationship between speech and writing has been a major issue in composition theory in recent decades. This article reviews the primary trends in composition theory that deal with the relationship between speech and writing in an effort to bring this discussion to the law school community. The article explores the specific discourse community that law students find themselves in, with the dissonance between the oral discussions of reading that predominate in the law school classroom and the evaluation based on written examinations that follows that discussion. It proposes ways to change the polarity of the law school writing class so that students can ease their entry into the new discourse community of law through talking with each other directly about their writing.

Keywords: legal research and writing, discourse community, composition theory

Suggested Citation

DeJarnatt, Susan, Law Talk. Duquesne University Law Review, Vol. 40, No. 489, 2002. Available at SSRN:

Susan DeJarnatt (Contact Author)

Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law ( email )

1719 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States

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