How to Write a Good Law Article

Law is the set of rules that govern a community. It is enforced by a controlling authority through the use of penalties. Law serves four principal purposes: establishing standards, maintaining order, resolving disputes and protecting liberties and rights. The precise definition of law has been a subject of long debate. Some theories of law imply that it incorporates morality, while others focus on its coercive nature. Still others consider the role of legal institutions as a key part of its definition.

Law can be made by a group legislature, resulting in statutes; by the executive branch of government, resulting in decrees and regulations; or by judges through decisions that may have broader legal weight (known as case law). Some nations also employ a civil law system that relies on codes instead of laws passed by a legislative body.

The definition of law varies greatly between jurisdictions, and even within nations, depending on how much power is vested in the judicial branch and how extensive the rule-making process is. In the United States, a significant amount of law is derived through judicial decisions that have the effect of creating new laws; this is known as common law, while countries like Japan and other East Asian nations have a more structured civil law system.

When writing an article about a legal topic, it is essential to consider who the audience of the article is. Using language that is too technical or that assumes the reader has prior knowledge of a particular area of law can turn readers away. Additionally, the articles should be clear and concise to help readers understand the issues.

Identify the main point or questions you want to answer, and then work around those to develop a structure for your article. This should be clearly laid out in the title and introduction, and should be reinforced throughout the text.

Use primary and secondary sources to gather as much information about your chosen topic as possible. Carefully analyze statutes, regulatory documents, case law, and scholarly commentary to fully understand the legal framework, relevant precedents and existing arguments surrounding your topic. This will allow you to provide a more informed and comprehensive analysis than other, similar articles.

Make sure to include any relevant references. In addition, it is helpful to provide links to other articles that might help the reader understand your argument or to find additional sources of information. Scannability is crucial, especially for legal articles. The majority of readers will scan an article before deciding whether to read it in full; keep the main points, and the most important supporting evidence, at the forefront. Avoid large legal jargons, especially when writing for a general audience. The majority of readers are not attorneys and may be unfamiliar with technical legal terms. If it is absolutely necessary to use these terms, be sure to provide a glossary of legal terms or use footnotes to link to more detailed explanations. This will prevent confusion and misunderstandings.

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