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Exercises from LEGAL WRITING IN PLAIN ENGLISH, Bryan A. Garner

§ 29. Weave quotations deftly into your narrative.

Exercises

Basic

In the following passage, edit the lead-in to the quotation. Make the second sentence sharper and more informative. To do this, you'll need to figure out (1) what the point of contrast is with the first sentence (that is, what the But is contrasting with), and (2) what the point of the quotation is. Keep your revised lead-in under 15 words.

This Court held that Julia was entitled to damages for loss of consortium and affirmed that portion of the judgment. But the Court also held as follows:
[A] claim for negligent infliction of mental anguish that is not based on the wrongful-death statute requires that the plaintiff prove that he or she was, among other things, located at or near the scene of the accident, and that the mental anguish resulted from a direct emotional impact upon the plaintiff from the sensory and contemporaneous observation of the incident, as contrasted with learning of the accident from others after the occurrence. Julia has not met either of these requirements and therefore may not recover for mental anguish.
Thus, . . .

Intermediate

In a single legal publication, find two examples of well-introduced quotations. Highlight them. Provide the full citation for your source. If you're part of a writing group or class, bring a copy for each colleague.

Advanced

In a single legal publication, find two examples of poorly introduced quotations. Photocopy the pages containing the lead-in and the follow-up to each quotation, and edit each passage to supply a new lead-in that asserts something about the quoted material. Provide the full citation for your source. If you're part of a writing group or class, bring a copy for each colleague.


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© 2001, Bryan A. Garner

These exercises appear in Bryan A. Garner's Legal Writing in Plain English: A Text with Exercises, published by The University of Chicago Press and available at bookstores and on the Web at www.press.uchicago.edu.


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