Legal writing is a very special genre. As an author you are significantly limited to certain structures, logic and unwritten rules. Although, even a very organized form of a memorandum can’t guarantee that your reader will get the message you are trying to get across. For solving such a problem it is worth to use a technique that leads the reader from the top of the article right to the end – starting with your conclusion. You must get used to the role of the “leader” while framing your writings.
“But why is starting with conclusion important?” – one may ask. Such a beginning helps your readers understand what you are going to talk about, the main matters and the structure of your memo in general. There is, actually, no unified structure of writing a memo and starting with conclusion, the point is that you shape the form according to a certain logic of storytelling. Without a doubt the main goal of writing a memorandum is to tell about all relevant facts concerning your case, so the structure generally depends on the case itself. Though, there are some tips that are worth to use that you will find further in our legal writing guide.
First of all – keep your readers attention. If you fail to draw the attention in the very beginning, the chance that the main body is going to be read carefully and intelligently is almost equal to zero:
- To draw the attention, try to start with the background story, mention who are the parties and what is the nature of the issue. While telling the backstory, try to avoid lengthy sentences and complex constructions as they distracts the attention. Don’t write the facts there either.
- After having mentioned some general information, move on to describing the issue. Here is the time to use some facts. Use them to make a concrete basis for further story of the case in the main body. In this part you can also make several questions which you are going to answers. The point is that this opening is going to reveal the answers. But again, avoid complex structures, state it clear and short.
- One more useful tip, while framing the conclusion in the opening is the use simple language. As it was mentioned above, using complicated language forms is completely inappropriate. The beginning of your writing must be clean and straightforward without any unnecessary information.
- You may even try saying your sentences out loud. Check if they sound plain enough. Fix all awkward sentences.
- Write as you would speak to your colleague. That sort of semi-formal speech is just perfect for writing. It involves a lot of special vocabulary to convey all the nuances you are talking about but with plain grammar at the same time.
Remember that the opening is going to tell your reader what to look for later on. Place the strongest writings in the very first paragraphs to emphasize them properly.