SOAS University of London

School of Law

Critical Thinking, Writing, and Research

Module Code:
Module Not Running 2022/23
Year of study:
Year 1

This is a skills-based course, wherein students will learn the fundaments of legal research and writing (eg: how to read a statute, how to read a case, etc…), as well as more general analytic skills, critical reading strategies, how to develop and sustain an argument, and a range of different writing skills. The module will incorporate exercise-based assessments linked to the content of the other core modules.

Please note, this module will first run in 2020/21, and is not available for enrolment during 2019/20.


  • 2 hours seminar per week.

Scope and syllabus

  1. How to read a statute
  2. How to read a judgment; casebriefs
  3. Reading comprehension - reading strategies, how to cope with large amounts of reading
  4. What is an argument?
  5. What is critical analysis?
  6. Writing: constructing an argument
  7. Writing: structuring an essay
  8. Writing: sustaining an argument
  9. Creativity

Method of assessment

  • Case Brief & Analysis : 25%
  • Reading Comprehension Exercise: 25%
  • Critical Analysis of one assigned text: 35%
  • Mock Essay Outline: 15%


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules