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Friday, December 27, 2013

How NOT to use facts in your exam answer.

I know that we say "use the facts in your answer," but maybe we don't do a great job of explaining what we mean. 

When you put one of the exam question's facts in your answer, do so for a reason, and that reason should be to apply those facts to a legal concept.  (Remember IRAC?  The "A" in IRAC is all about using the facts in the exam question to apply to the issue that you've identified and the rule that you're using.)

What not to do?  Don't just restate the facts in your answer.  That's wasted space.  We remember (albeit vaguely) what facts we put in our questions.  Some of us put in only those facts that we think are relevant to triggering the discussion that we want to see in your answers (plus a few facts that help us transition from one issue to another); some of us put in extraneous facts ("red herrings") to see if we can sidetrack you.  So telling us the facts that we put in the question, by itself, won't get you any points.  You have to link those facts to an issue and a rule. 

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