This is a list of further reading on legal and other skills for law students. More advanced materials for final year and postgraduate students are located further down the page.

General advice on study skills

General advice on legal methods and skills

    • Emily Finch and Stefan Fafinski, Legal Skills (Oxford University Press 2017)
    • Sharon Hanson, Legal Method, Skills and Reasoning (3rd ed. Routledge-Cavendish 2010) (see Routledge Legal Skills page)
    • James Holland and Julian S. Webb, Learning Legal Rules : a Student’s Guide to Legal Method and Reasoning (Oxford University Press 2016)
    • Steve Foster, How to Write Better Law Essays: Tools and Techniques for Success in Exams and Assignments (Pearson 2016)

Critical thinking

Grammar and usage guides

    • John Seely, Oxford A-Z of Grammar and Punctuation (2nd Oxford University Press 2009)
    • Jeremy Butterfield, Oxford A-Z of English Usage (Oxford University Press 2007)
    • Lesley Ward and Geraldine Woods, English Grammar for Dummies (UK edition) (John Wiley 2007)
    • University of Sussex Punctuation Guide

Advice on writing (general)

  • George Orwell’s classic ‘Politics and the English Language’ Collected Essays, (London: Mercury, 1961), p. 337; also in In Front of Your Nose (New York: Harcourt, 1968), p. 127
  • Pinker’s 6 Tips
  • Mark Tredinnick, Writing well: the essential guide (Cambridge University Press, 2008);
  • Alastair Fowler, How to Write (Oxford University Press 2006)
  • Provost, Gary 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing (Penguin, 1985)
  • Economist Style Guide
  • Mark Forsyth, The elements of eloquence: How to turn the perfect English phrase (Icon Books Ltd 2013)
  •        OWL Purdue Online Writing Lab

Writing guides for law students and lawyers:

    • Higgins, Edwina, and Laura Tatham. Successful Legal Writing. London: Sweet & Maxwell, 2010;
    • Strong, SI .How to Write Law Essays and Exams. Oxford UP
    • Askey and McLeod Studying Law
    • Power and Teare Writing for Law

Academic Writing

More advanced materials. 

These are likely to be more relevant to final year law students and postgraduates.

Legal method and methodology:

  • William L. Twining and David Miers, How to do Things with Rules: a Primer of Interpretation (5th ed. Cambridge University Press 2012)
  • Cryer, R., T. Hervey, B. Sokhi-Bulley and A. Bohm Research Methodologies in EU and International Law (Oxford: Hart, 2011)
  • Salter, Michael and Julie Mason Writing law dissertations: an introduction and guide to the conduct of legal research (Harlow, England ; New York: Pearson/Longman, 2007)
  • Morris, C. and C. Murphy Getting a PhD in Law(Oxford: Hart, 2011).


Critical thinking guides
    • Stella Cottrell, Critical thinking skills : developing effective analysis and argument (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005); and Palgrave’s study skills site
    • M. Neil Browne and Stuart M. Keeley, Asking the right questions : a guide to critical thinking (Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2007);
    • Richard Paul and Linda Elder, Critical thinking: tools for taking charge of your learning and your life (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2006) (there are short guides also by Paul and Elder).
    • S. Morris Engel, With good reason : an introduction to informal fallacies (6th Bedford/St. Martin’s 2000)


  • Writing style advice
    • Howard S Becker, Writing for social scientists: How to start and finish your thesis, book, or article (ReadHowYouWant. com 2010)
    • Helen Sword, Stylish academic writing (Harvard University Press 2012)
    • Helen Sword, Air & light & time & space: How successful academics write (Harvard University Press 2017)

    • Steven Pinker, The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century! (Penguin Books 2015)
    • Patrick Dunleavy, Authoring a PhD: How to plan, draft, write and finish a doctoral thesis or dissertation (Palgrave Macmillan 2003)
    • Organizing your social sciences research paper


Readability tools

Academic career