Form and Substance

Bench & Bar Kentucky, Vol. 67, No. 2, p. 51, March 2003

1 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2006

See all articles by Richard A. Bales

Richard A. Bales

Ohio Northern University - Pettit College of Law

Abstract

In legal writing, form is substance. If a writer is sloppy about matters like grammar and spelling and citation form, readers will assume the writer is equally sloppy in legal research and analysis. Even worse, readers may find the prose so difficult to read that they simply stop trying.

This essay presents four tips to help avoid embarrassing prose. First, use proper case citations, custom-tailored to the local jurisdiction. Second, check spelling, and don't rely on Spellcheck. Third, use impeccable grammar. Fourth, proofread everything.

Keywords: legal writing, form, substance, grammar, prose, citation, spelling, proofread

JEL Classification: K00

Suggested Citation

Bales, Richard A., Form and Substance. Bench & Bar Kentucky, Vol. 67, No. 2, p. 51, March 2003. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=913763

Richard A. Bales (Contact Author)

Ohio Northern University - Pettit College of Law ( email )

525 South Main Street
Ada, OH 45810
United States
419-772-2205 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://law.onu.edu/node/3073

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