LWMRLK-Legal Knowledge and Legal Writing

Module Provider: School of Law
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites: Registered for the M Res (Law) or M Res (Law and Society), or registered for another taught postgraduate programme in Law and with permission of the Director of PGT in Law.
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Prof Aleardo Zanghellini

Email: a.zanghellini@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module aims to develop and enhance students’ writing skills in the discipline of law, and to develop their ability to critically analyse and evaluate the writing of others in the discipline.

Assessable learning outcomes:
After completing the module, students will be able to:

  • identify, explain, analyse and critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses in different pieces of scholarly legal writing;
  • discuss critically the extent to which matters of style and substance can be distinguished in scholarly legal writing;
  • articulate arguments effectively and clearly in writing an assessed essay;
  • critically reflect upon the ways that writing is important in the production of scholarly work and legal knowledge.

Additional outcomes:
This module will also encourage the development of independent learning, as well as communication skills and personal responsibility.

Outline content:
The module will examine different styles of legal writing, including professional writing, judicial writing, report writing (eg, for law reform agencies) and academic writing. It is the last of these that will be the main focus of the module. Students will be consider the development of writing styles over time; writing styles and conventions in different jurisdictions; the way that academic legal writing sits within the traditions of scholarship in the social sciences and the humanities; and, importantly, the shift from legal writing at undergraduate to postgraduate level. There are significant practical dimensions to the module: using examples of writing in the disciplines we will explore the development and function of the component parts of a piece of legal writing, including writing introductions and conclusions, structuring a paper, the relationship between research and writing, and the use of sources. In doing so, students’ critical reflection on their own work will be a constant point of reference.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Teaching in this module is designed to provide students with a range of resources on which they can draw in their learning. The main elements are:

  • A list of required and recommended readings, with notes and questions that will be used to guide class discussion and reflection.
  • Six seminar classes of 2 hours each.
  • Assessed work that will be used to develop students’ skills and knowledge.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Tutorials 12
Guided independent study 88
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
8 page essay (formatted in accordance with the School of Law’s Assessed Work Rules)

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Assessment requirements for a pass:
50% overall

Reassessment arrangements:
See School of Law PGT Programme Handbook

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 20 April 2018


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