Previous pageTask A: Coherence in writing
Next pageTask C: Getting your writing RIGHT
Index pageWorkshops index
Task B: Common spelling errors in legal writing
Ask any lecturer - there is nothing more off-putting than to read an assignment that is full of spelling errors. Learning to spell correctly is a long-term project. Spelling checkers are of great assistance in identifying errors in your writing, but they have many limitations and your spelling will be exposed under exam conditions anyway. Your written presentations are part of how you conduct yourself in your professional life. If you are a poor speller, use your studies as an opportunity to identify and remediate the problem.
You will learn:
The following words are the correct spelling for a bank of words commonly misspelled in legal writing. There are sometimes choices for the spelling of many words, so the spelling preferred by UNE Law School has been explained to you. Choose the words you feel you may be unsure of and click the link for an explanation of the common errors made by students.
Now that you have some information about the spelling of these words, practise your skills using this crossword.
Challenging your computer spell checker
The spell checker is an excellent tool to assist your writing; however, you need to understand its limitations. Hitting the wrong key may create a 'typo' (not the word you intended e.g. 'contact' instead of 'contract'). If the 'typo' is spelled correctly, spell check will not let you know. Spell check won't be able to help you with homophones (e.g. who's/whose, principle/principal) and other commonly confused words (affect/effect, except/accept). All your marker will see will be a paper full of careless/unusual errors. You will need to proofread your work carefully for spelling in the final stages of your writing.
Each of the sentences below contains an error that was missed by the spell checker. Read the following sentences and write them correctly on your scratch pad.
The principle reason for the case against the appellant failing was that the mens rea for the crime could not be proven.
A majority of the High Court excepted the decision of the lower court.
In his judgement, Smith JJ considered the issue of voluntariness in the context of sexual assault.
The issues before the jury was whether the verdict should be manslaughter or murder.
Doctors were concerned that they would be liable for a criminal charge if they with drew treatment from a brain-dead patient.
In recent years, the law of sexual assault has undergone significant changes to reflect changes in societies thinking.
The government recognised the role of the women's movement in the revision of it's laws of sexual assault.
Changes in the laws of sexual assault effected all generations of the heterosexual and homosexual population.