The write-on thread

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keg411
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Re: The write-on thread

Postby keg411 » Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:40 pm

Helmholtz wrote:I just feel like if you follow it too closely, you end up losing your unique writing voice. (I guess this depends a lot on how confident you are in the correctness and appeal of your own writing style.)


I fell victim to this and writing competition failed :lol:. But I tried to track the analysis of the samples too closely as well, and in retrospect, that was a poor idea.

Kind of happy I get another shot at it, even if it's next-to-impossible to get on as a transfer.

w_c_l2013
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Re: The write-on thread

Postby w_c_l2013 » Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:42 pm

thats how i feel. totally half assed it the first time around, and i know people with median grades who wrote on at my old school. just wondering what had worked for people the first time around so i can do it right this time. thx for the above advice.

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snowpeach06
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Re: The write-on thread

Postby snowpeach06 » Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:03 pm

The people who select at my school gave me this bit of advice "Write a logical paper that answers the question. Lots of people try to be inventive, but we really just want to see that you can read articles and comprehend what they are saying. Avoid typos and follow the bluebook for citations and you should make a journal." I think most people's problems stem from the fact that they 1. over think it or 2. bomb citations.

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beach_terror
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Re: The write-on thread

Postby beach_terror » Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:29 pm

snowpeach06 wrote:The people who select at my school gave me this bit of advice "Write a logical paper that answers the question. Lots of people try to be inventive, but we really just want to see that you can read articles and comprehend what they are saying. Avoid typos and follow the bluebook for citations and you should make a journal." I think most people's problems stem from the fact that they 1. over think it or 2. bomb citations.

+1

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mmmadeli
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Re: The write-on thread

Postby mmmadeli » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:09 pm

SeymourShowz wrote:
w_c_l2013 wrote:Can anyone who had a successful experience with write-on share some of what they think really contributed to them doing well (besides the standard - getting the volokh book).


It's hard to say exactly why I was able to make law review, but my main strategy (besides simply writing a solid paper) was to footnote the living shit out of it. I often used multiple sources per footnote, lots of textual footnotes, comparisons, anything I could think of that could be used as support for damn near every sentence, and numerous clauses as well. Do lots of footnotes necessarily equal a better paper? Obviously not. But I think it gives the grader an initial impression that the paper is well researched and thought out, giving you edge over your peers.


But by the same token...footnote (endnote) smart, and not randomly. Our page limit was wide, we had no more than 10 pages for text and no more than 15 pages for endnotes (so max 25 pages total). I barely used 18, and I think one of our sample comments used 16. Don't just footnote things that are tangentially related to what you're saying to take up space and make it look like you researched -- which I'm sure you didn't do! :)

Also, as someone else said, remember what the question is and answer it -- don't be too inventive, but I think ultimately they're looking for you to say something at least somewhat insightful (obviously with the caveat that you only have a week to right and only the background materials they give you). If you just say "this is what the law is," that's probably not going to work. A friend of mine who was on LR staff last year also told me that a lot of people are so steeped in legal writing all year that they write it like a legal memo -- lay out the facts, discuss them, make arguments etc. I really only discussed the problem case at the very beginning and the very end, other than that it was all theory and background. My argument wasn't so much, "this is what should be done in THIS case because of these facts" as "this is the test we should be applying in these kinds of cases, here's why it's better than these alternatives, and here's how it applies to this example."

I have no idea if that's helpful?

spondee
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Re: The write-on thread

Postby spondee » Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:01 pm

After grading write-on entries, I was most surprised how many people clearly blew off or completed last minute the Bluebooking, proofreading, and other finishing details. Those people didn't write onto LR, no matter how novel or clever their comment was.

illinin
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Re: The write-on thread

Postby illinin » Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:21 am

Helmholtz wrote:
Kilpatrick wrote:So if there are 4 sections in your school and one section has twice as many people that made law review as any other section, what could that mean? Rampant cheating in that section or just a coincidence?


From what I've seen, coincidence and/or awesome 1L LRW prof (I think there's one prof at Michigan who pretty much always has twice as many of his students write onto LR than the other LRW profs).


In the section of which you speak, competition for grades was pretty fierce by the end of 1L. Most of us didn't have a lot of guidance (from LRW or otherwise) and a lot of talented people focused on making LR because the curve was really unpredictable.

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Kilpatrick
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Re: The write-on thread

Postby Kilpatrick » Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:31 am

illinin wrote:
Helmholtz wrote:
Kilpatrick wrote:So if there are 4 sections in your school and one section has twice as many people that made law review as any other section, what could that mean? Rampant cheating in that section or just a coincidence?


From what I've seen, coincidence and/or awesome 1L LRW prof (I think there's one prof at Michigan who pretty much always has twice as many of his students write onto LR than the other LRW profs).


In the section of which you speak, competition for grades was pretty fierce by the end of 1L. Most of us didn't have a lot of guidance (from LRW or otherwise) and a lot of talented people focused on making LR because the curve was really unpredictable.


I was kind of kidding, it was just weird how many people from that section made it. I don't think this explanation makes any sense though. Do you think that people were not competing for grades or focusing on making law review in the other sections?

illinin
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Re: The write-on thread

Postby illinin » Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:53 am

Kilpatrick wrote:
illinin wrote:
Helmholtz wrote:
Kilpatrick wrote:So if there are 4 sections in your school and one section has twice as many people that made law review as any other section, what could that mean? Rampant cheating in that section or just a coincidence?


From what I've seen, coincidence and/or awesome 1L LRW prof (I think there's one prof at Michigan who pretty much always has twice as many of his students write onto LR than the other LRW profs).


In the section of which you speak, competition for grades was pretty fierce by the end of 1L. Most of us didn't have a lot of guidance (from LRW or otherwise) and a lot of talented people focused on making LR because the curve was really unpredictable.


I was kind of kidding, it was just weird how many people from that section made it. I don't think this explanation makes any sense though. Do you think that people were not competing for grades or focusing on making law review in the other sections?


Wish I had a witty retort that would be up to TLS standards. However, I haven't finished my coffee yet. But maybe I should try to start a section flame war in the write-on thread before school starts, just to keep things interesting... ;)

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Kilpatrick
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Re: The write-on thread

Postby Kilpatrick » Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:56 am

I'm fine to just chalk it up to coincidence. No witty retorts are necessary.

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traehekat
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Re: The write-on thread

Postby traehekat » Sun Aug 07, 2011 12:51 pm

spondee wrote:After grading write-on entries, I was most surprised how many people clearly blew off or completed last minute the Bluebooking, proofreading, and other finishing details. Those people didn't write onto LR, no matter how novel or clever their comment was.


Yeah I am pretty sure the only reason I wrote-on was because I spent much, much more time on the Bluebooking portion of the competition than probably anyone else. For the earlier poster who was looking for tips on how to do well for write-on, this is pretty much it. Everyone's comment is going to look the same, most likely, and even if your idea or analysis is inventive/creative, how are graders supposed to really measure that anyway? Yeah it's nice, but it's much easier to weed people out by just counting up Bluebooking errors.

EDIT: BTW, the above is actually advice from a 2L/3L who posted earlier in this thread. It made complete sense to me so I decided to follow it and it ended up paying off.

So yeah, in a nutshell: make sure your comment is well-organized and free of error, then make sure your Bluebooking is as close to perfect as possible.

unbeknownst
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Re: The write-on thread

Postby unbeknownst » Sun Aug 07, 2011 8:04 pm

I wrote on from the dead bottom in my class. I drank shit tons of wine and cried a lot during journal week. My comment was about four pages too short and my citations were quite simplistic. That all being said, I really think the write-on is different at each school. Don't rely on advice here except... just do your best. Make sure that when you turn it in, you're proud of what you did. Not some halfassed Comment because you spent too much time bluebooking, not some halfassed Bluebooking because you spent too much time bullshitting on the Comment.

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ndirish2010
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Re: The write-on thread

Postby ndirish2010 » Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:34 pm

Definitely spend time on the bluebooking. Also, it is probably more important if your note has correct citations than if it is well written.

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blurbz
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Re: The write-on thread

Postby blurbz » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:04 am

I was curious about one section having twice as many people as the others, too. I agree with Kilpatrick that it's a coincidence.

However:

illinin wrote:
In the section of which you speak, competition for grades was pretty fierce by the end of 1L. Most of us didn't have a lot of guidance (from LRW or otherwise) and a lot of talented people focused on making LR because the curve was really unpredictable.


This doesn't quite pass the laugh test for me. Grades were a pretty big deal in my section, too. The curve was pretty tough to gauge in my section, too. People seemed to want good grades in my section, too. People seemed to want LR in my section, too. I'd be willing to bet it was the same in all four sections and that section D just won the battle--Pure coincidence. I would believe something else with more data points, maybe, but we just don't have the data.

missinglink
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Re: The write-on thread

Postby missinglink » Tue Aug 23, 2011 8:13 pm

Just turned in my write-on competition comment this morning. I caught one minor grammatical error looking over it casually later. :|

Hope that doesn't sink me.

Baylan
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Re: The write-on thread

Postby Baylan » Tue Aug 23, 2011 8:34 pm

missinglink wrote:Just turned in my write-on competition comment this morning. I caught one minor grammatical error looking over it casually later. :|

Hope that doesn't sink me.


The majority of write on notes/comments are what we all like to call "shit."

I refused to go back and read mine once I turned it in. When I did 4 months later, I found several large grammatical mistakes.

I still made Law Review

missinglink
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Re: The write-on thread

Postby missinglink » Tue Aug 23, 2011 8:38 pm

Baylan wrote:
missinglink wrote:Just turned in my write-on competition comment this morning. I caught one minor grammatical error looking over it casually later. :|

Hope that doesn't sink me.


The majority of write on notes/comments are what we all like to call "shit."

I refused to go back and read mine once I turned it in. When I did 4 months later, I found several large grammatical mistakes.

I still made Law Review

It's amazing what the time pressure can make you miss.

5 days, 250 pg packet, 7 endnotes to Bluebook, and a PS to write.

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traehekat
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Re: The write-on thread

Postby traehekat » Tue Aug 23, 2011 8:50 pm

just got the write-on packet for NU transfers. uuughhhh not again.

missinglink
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Re: The write-on thread

Postby missinglink » Thu Aug 25, 2011 4:30 am

Good luck with that.

I was looking through my Bluebook test again (bad idea, I know). I caught a couple errors that I failed to mark. Or rather, on one of my drafts I did mark, but failed to transcribe over to my clean copy. :cry:

There's probably no sense in worrying about all this right now, but does anyone have any experience with a few BB points lost on a Production test not being fatal to the overall submission?

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mmmadeli
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Re: The write-on thread

Postby mmmadeli » Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:45 am

missinglink wrote:There's probably no sense in worrying about all this right now, but does anyone have any experience with a few BB points lost on a Production test not being fatal to the overall submission?


Well I can tell you this...I was talking to a few friends of mine about the production test after we turned it in but before the results came back. We all caught different error. Obviously there was a lot of overlap, but also a fair number of things that I caught and they didn't, and that each of them caught and I didn't. But we all got on. I don't know about other schools, but I got the sense that here at least, they put in so many that they don't really expect you to catch them all.

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kalvano
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Re: The write-on thread

Postby kalvano » Fri Aug 26, 2011 9:26 am

Every submission is going to suck, from what I have gathered in talking with EIC's at LR and Journals. It's just about which submission sucks a little less.

missinglink
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Re: The write-on thread

Postby missinglink » Fri Aug 26, 2011 4:07 pm

I feel kind of stupid because the errors I missed were the obvious ones.

The ones that I caught were the less obvious errors, like the number 5 missing from middle of a URL string ( 235593 ).

Here's hoping mine sucks a little less than most. :mrgreen:




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