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Law School Writing Center

Keeping Your Reader Interested and Informed

Roadmaps should appear throughout your paper, not only in the introduction where you lay out the structure of your paper as a whole. Remind your readers regularly where they have been and where they are going as they navigate your work. Sign posts, such as transitions and words of emphasis, also help readers recognize where they are in the trajectory of your reasoning.

 

Define key terms early in your paper. You have become the expert on your topic by conducting thorough research, but your readers do not share your level of familiarity with authorities and terms of art.

 

If you are concerned that your readers might find your topic boring or unaccessible, try doing the following:

1. Remind them of the practical importance of your investigation: What is the impact of the problem you have identified?

2. Offer anecdotes to illustrate through storytelling.

3. Craft analogies to more familiar topics that readers likely have encountered.