The Student Room Group

Answering law exam questions

If I am asked to :
(1)Critically discuss a concept
(2) Explain a concept fully (3)List and analyze
(4) Discuss fully
(5) Discuss (just discuss)
How do I structure my answers correctly to get an A in my law exams?
Hi there,

The following information you're about to read are tips and methods I learnt from my law course at Coventry University.

When addressing a problem scenario question, we usually follow the IRAC structure. So I stands for Issue, R stands for Rule, A stands for Application and C stands for Conclusion.
When answering a problem scenario question, you deal with each issue in the scenario one at a time in different paragraphs. Firstly, you identify the issue e.g. whether A is guilty for crashing into another car whilst under the influence. Secondly, you identify the rule, hence, the law (legislation/case law) which you believe is linked with the issue e.g. Road Traffic Act 1988. Then, you apply the rule you identified with the scenario and decide if it proves A to be guilty or not. Finally, you conclude your paragraph and then move on to the next issue, following the same structure.

When addressing an essay question, you will most definitely be critically analysing. I would ideally follow the following structure: Introduction (explaining what you will be addressing in your essay; what is your aim and the objectives; the structure of your essay, including chapters maybe), depending on the question you may describe the topic briefly and then begin your critical analysis, which includes explaining what each academic and critics have said regarding the topic.

I'm not exactly a fan of essay questions. When you critically analyse the essay question, you would address each issue in the question one at the time.

E.g. of an essay question I found on the internet: 'Copyright law does not protect an idea, it protects the expression of an idea.” With relevant examples discuss the above statement.' ->

Break it up firstly:

Copyright law does not protect an idea.

Copyright law protects the expression of an idea instead.

(4 different paragraphs)
What is copyright law?
What is meant by protecting a mere idea and protecting the expression of an idea?
What academics agree and disagree with the statement?
How far do you agree with the statement? Do you agree with what the academics have stated?

I can't be 100% sure this is right, but this is how I would address a problem scenario question and a essay question after studying law for three years.

I hope this helps and makes sense too.

Best wishes,
Coventry University Student Ambassador

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