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Law Essays and Problem Questions - How to write 1st class/high 2.1 answers

Hey guys. Hope everyone’s doing well. I’m a 1st year Law student, and I’m struggling a lot at the moment with answering problem and essay questions. I’m finding it hard to understand how to structure my answers (more so for essays than problem questions) and wondered if anyone would be able to help me understand a bit better.

Could anyone give me any examples of essays and problem questions they’ve done that have received a high mark (1st/high 2.1 preferably)? And how do you actually lay it out? Because, in most of the questions I have been attempting, I know the bits of info I should be including, but I’m finding it hard to convey my ideas and structure them in a coherent way.

I’m trying to understand this ASAP as I have exams coming up at the end of April - mid May, and want to do really well in them.

All help and advice and resources would be really appreciated.
Original post by Ali-liyyah
Hey guys. Hope everyone’s doing well. I’m a 1st year Law student, and I’m struggling a lot at the moment with answering problem and essay questions. I’m finding it hard to understand how to structure my answers (more so for essays than problem questions) and wondered if anyone would be able to help me understand a bit better.

Could anyone give me any examples of essays and problem questions they’ve done that have received a high mark (1st/high 2.1 preferably)? And how do you actually lay it out? Because, in most of the questions I have been attempting, I know the bits of info I should be including, but I’m finding it hard to convey my ideas and structure them in a coherent way.

I’m trying to understand this ASAP as I have exams coming up at the end of April - mid May, and want to do really well in them.

All help and advice and resources would be really appreciated.


Have you spoken to your LRC/library about this - there are usually plenty of courses run on how to set out answers and write academically. Your tutor and department may also offer courses on this - ask them.

No one will share essays and problem questions on TSR with you - you must know about plagiarism, surely?
The law express books have problem questions and example answers if that helps?
Reply 3
Original post by Reality Check
Have you spoken to your LRC/library about this - there are usually plenty of courses run on how to set out answers and write academically. Your tutor and department may also offer courses on this - ask them.

No one will share essays and problem questions on TSR with you - you must know about plagiarism, surely?

Yes, sorry. I realise and acknowledge the very serious issue of plagiarism. I was more looking for advice on how to approach answering these questions and how to go about answering and planning them. Sorry, I didn’t really make this clear 😅
I have been told the use of IRAC is something which works well when approaching these questions

I = Issue (The problem)
R = Rule (The statue, Law)
A = Application (How it applies to X and Y)
C = Conclusion (The outcome)

A google search of this method will provide a much more detailed explanation :smile:
I have posted some videos on YouTube in which I go through problem questions using the IRAC method. They are more suitable for year 2 and final year students (Land law and Equity and Trusts) but they may give you an idea of how it works.

Good luck

Here is my explanation of IRAC (it gets easier with practice!)

IRAC stands for Issue, Rule, Application and Conclusion. It's essentially the same as the IPAC (Issue, Principle, Application and Conclusion) and PLAN (Problem, Legal rule, Application and Note outcome) methods. There are lots of videos available explaining the technique and your own law school may provide its own guidance which you should take a look at.

Issue
Identify the question (issue) you need to answer. There may be several separate 'big' issues you need to address within the question (e.g. Has Tommy's neighbour got a right of way over Tommy's land and can Tommy 'evict' the tenant in his converted barn for not paying the rent?) and each issue will usually break down into a series of sub or 'mini' issues. Take care to frame the issue as precisely as you can as it will help you to identify the relevant law (Rule) more easily. Deal with each 'big' issue separately.

Rule
State the relevant law. Remember to provide the 'authority' for the rule. This will usually be from a statute or case. Avoid long, generalised statements of law. Break it down into bite size pieces (which I will do in my examples) and deal with each piece separately.

Application
Explain how the law is applied to the facts of the question. This is the stage students frequently find the most difficult to do (and where the most marks are!). A good tip is to imagine that the person is sitting in front of you waiting for your advice. They want to know how the law actually affects THEM. You will need to identify the relevant facts (examiners love to 'pad out' the facts with the background story) and explain how the law you have explained relates to those facts. Refer to the names of the parties in the question. Sometimes it will be very easy; sometimes not! This stage is not something that you can copy from textbooks. It is a skill that you will become more proficient at the more you practice. Try to avoid my personal pet hate; 'it's up to the court to decide'! It isn't. It's your responsibility to advise the client as to the likely or possible outcome in their case.
Issue ; questioning the question !
Rule; use case law with in that duty of care
Analysis; relate rule to issue to duty of care
Conclusion ; all 3 giveing the conclusion !

Each IRAC should have 4 issues !
1, questioning the problem question itself
2,Intentional aspect
3 ,Necessary aspect
4,reasonable aspect .

4 issues will give 4 good conclusions providing the best form of evidence needed to answer it !
This is what I’ve used .

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