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Correct citation form, proper grammar and effective astyle are essential to effective legal writing. This page provides links to and descriptions of the Library's best resources in the following areas:
Citation, Correct citation is essential when submitting brifs and documents to a court or an employer. Proper citation is not merely a requirement, it is a matter of credibility. There are a myriad of resources to assist students and practitioners with understanding citation form and ensuring that citations are correct. Below are the best of the bunch.
The Bluebook Uncovered: A Practical Guide to Mastering Legal Citation by
Call Number: KF245 .A58 2015 Law Permanent Reserve
Publication Date: 2015-07-31
This book is designed to help first-year law students master the fundamental Bluebook citation rules that will be needed in legal research and writing courses (LRW) and in legal practice. It can also act as a Bluebook refresher for other law students, clerks, attorneys, judges, and paralegals-publisher
Universal Citation Guide by
Call Number: KF 245 .U54 Law Main Stacks
Publication Date: 2014-01-01
Also available online via HEIN's Reference Collection
User's Guide to the "Bluebook" by
Call Number: KF 245 .D853 Law Permanent Reserve
Publication Date: 2015-08-01
The goal of this little book is to make the task of mastering citation form as easy and painless as possible.
Dictionaries and Thesauri
Advocacy Words, a Thesaurus by
Call Number: K 50 .D74 Law Main Stacks
Publication Date: 2014-08-07
A lawyer's ability to choose words wisely and accurately is a valuable component for effective communication. This book arranges words alphabetically in two groups: favorable-critical (Part One) and critical-favorable (Part Two). The reader can use the columns to see the corresponding advocacy word or critical words in the opposite column.
Barron's Law Dictionary by
Call Number: KF 156 .G53
Publication Date: 2010-09-01
Also available via Bloomberg Law
Black's Law Dictionary by
Call Number: KF 156 .B53 Law Reference
Publication Date: 2014-05-01
Also available via WestlawNext.
Burtons Legal Thesaurus by
Call Number: KF 156 .B856 Law Reference
Publication Date: 2013-09-26
This reference contains over 10,000 synonyms, terms, and expressions specifically related to the legal profession.
Garner's Dictionary of Legal Usage by
Call Number: KF 156 .B49 Law Reference
Publication Date: 2011-07-01
This This book thoroughly analyzes modern legal vocabulary. For example, it provides dozens of sets of near-synonyms that have long perplexed lawyers. It concisely defines and differentiates the terms and uses asterisks to indicate words and phrases that are invariably inferior forms, making it easy for readers to tell which ones to avoid.
Lawtalk: the Unknown Stories Behind Familiar Legal Expressions by
Call Number: KF 156 .L39 Law Main Stacks
Publication Date: 2011-11-22
Law-related words and phrases abound in our everyday language, often without our being aware of their origins or their particular legal significance. This insightful book reveals the unknown stories behind familiar legal expressions that come from sources as diverse as Shakespeare, vaudeville, and Dr. Seuss.
Word Origins for Lawyers by
Call Number: K 50 .A93 Law Main Stacks
Publication Date: 2013-02-26
This book features a profuse collection of legal words and phrases, or words that are commonly used in legal work. The etymologies first focus on the meaning of the entry in the legal context, then provide the "roots" of the word focusing on ideas that a lawyer would find particularly helpful or enlightening.
Words and Phrases by
Call Number: KF 156 .W6 Law Main tacks Non-circulating
This 46-volume set contains judicial definitions, from both state and federal courts, of words and phrases, arranged alphabetically. Definitions may pertain to statutory language, court rules, administrative regulations, or business documents, among other sources. Each definition contains a citation from the court that provided the definition. Kept up to date by cumulative annual pocket supplements and replacement vols. Also available via WestlawNext.
Grammar, Punctuation, Style & Editing Guides
ABA Basic Guide to Punctuation, Grammar, Workplace Productivity, and Time Management by
Call Number: KF 250 .K73 Law Permanent Reserve
Publication Date: 2013-12-07
This book is a guide directed to employees in law offices and related workplaces who review documentation for grammatical correctness, provide written information to the legal community, or create general correspondence while often faced with time constraints, deadlines, and stress. It includes sections on sentence structure, parts of speech, punctuation review, and grammar.
Aspen Handbook for Legal Writers by
Call Number: KF 250 .B68
Publication Date: 2009-03-13
This concise and compact guide offers thorough coverage of proper legal writing technique and style to help students resolve questions and develop strong writing skills. It includes exercises that students can use to test themselves as they go.
Beyond the First Draft by
Call Number: K 94 .M35 Law Main Stacks
Publication Date: 2014-02-28
The ultimate goal of this book is to help students and practitioners understand that good writing cannot be accomplished in a single draft; good writers must be good editors. Each chapter of the book is organized around one of the principles of good writing and begins with an editing checklist for accomplishing that principle of good writing. The book explains each item in the checklist, providing students and lawyers with the instruction and straightforward editing tips that they need to become effective editors.
The Elements of Legal Style by
Call Number: KF 250 .G37 Law Permanent Reserve
Publication Date: 2002-03-21
Inspired by Strunk and White's The Elements of Style, this book explains the full range of what legal writers need to know: mechanics, word choice, structure, and rhetoric, as well as all the special conventions that legal writers should follow in using headings, defined terms, quotations, and many other devices.
The Elements of Style by
Call Number: PE 1408 .S772 Law Permanent Reserve
Publication Date: 1999-07-23
The Grammar and Writing Handbook for Lawyers by
Call Number: KF 250 .E84 Law Main Stacks
Publication Date: 2012-04-16
The Grammar and Writing Handbook shows the reader which rules need to be followed, how to choose the correct words, and the most effective way to structure every sentence to compose more persuasive, stronger material that's flawlessly written.
The Lawyer's Editing Manual by
Call Number: KF 250 .M34 Law Main Stacks
Publication Date: 2009-01-01
The Lawyer's Editing Manual includes advice on word choice and modifier placement, conciseness, sentence and paragraph structure, and effective transitions. The manual ends with conventions inspired less by consensus than by the reader's reliance on consistency, such as whether and what to capitalize or how to treat abbreviations, symbols, and lists.
Legal English by
Call Number: K 94 .H35 Law Main Stacks
Publication Date: 2015-04-03
The Redbook: A Manual on Legal Style by
Call Number: KF 250 .G375 Law Permanent Reserve
Publication Date: 2018-06-27
The Redbook is written in the style of a restatement, with black-letter rules that are followed by exhaustive comments and illustrations. The more than 600 pages cover all aspects of writing style from grammar and punctuation to drafting legislation and scholarly writing.