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Garner's Guide to Making Briefs More Persuasive: Tip 7 - Begin and End the Arguments with Points

Start and end the argument section with your own position, and then rebut the opposing party's points in between. Do not ignore evidence that is contrary to your position.

Garner recommends using the dialectical method:

1. State your position.

2. Review the counterposition.

3. Reach a resolution.

Begin with the factual and legal premises for your position. Acknowledge the existence of an argument against this position, but state why it's wrong. Review why the Court might still reach yet another conclusion, and then list the reasons why it should not.

  • Swiftly undercut the opposing party's positions - don't explain them at great length.

  • Don't put forward any arguments that the opposing party may not have thought of.

  • Don't make a straw man of the opposing party.

Address the opponent's points with dependent clauses such as, "Although, X argues . . . "

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