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Law School Writing Center

Your Writing Specialist’s Tips for Better Writing

While relying on a checklist to stay organized has obvious benefits, using a checklist should not replace taking a mindful approach to the researching and writing processes.

A checklist can help you keep track of the steps you must take as you move from blank page to final product, but the checklist cannot correct your errors for you or tell you whether you have corrected an error in the most appropriate manner. At each stage in the research process, and again at each stage in the writing process, give yourself the opportunity to take a step back and consider whether what you are doing makes sense!

Moreover, a checklist presents stages in a linear format, but the researching and writing processes are not linear. You likely will need to backtrack at various points in these processes to find additional references, revise and edit drafts, add or move footnotes, etc. Backtracking is not an indication that you have done anything wrong! On the contrary, if you do *not* find yourself moving both forwards and backwards through these checklists as you work on your project, then you likely are not taking as thorough and thoughtful an approach as you should be.

If you have any questions or concerns, the Library and Writing Center are available to help!

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