We read a lot of multistate essay exam (MEE) answers. We notice that sometimes students make formatting mistakes that are easily avoided! Here we discuss what common mistakes to avoid in your multistate essay exam format.
Multistate Essay Exam Format: Common Mistakes to Avoid
1. Do not obsess over issue statements.
Short and sweet issue statements are fine. You do not need to say something like, “Did Art violate the business judgment rule when he did not consider for more than 10 minutes whether entering into the contract with Y corporation was fair?”
Some students spend a lot of time on issue statements, then they fail to utilize facts in their analysis. Or they don’t completely address the issues when it actually counts! A simple issue statement–e.g. “Business judgment rule” — is fine. You can include all the relevant facts in your analysis of the issue.
2. Don’t use the “C-RAC” formula.
Some students always start with a conclusion. They will either put the conclusion right into their issue statement. Or they will start their paragraph with a conclusion. As a general rule, we recommend you revise your multistate essay exam format to put the conclusion at the end.
The problem with putting your conclusion first is if you get the conclusion wrong it is immediately obvious to the grader that either your rule or your analysis is lacking. Some graders seem to lose faith in the answer from the outset or barely read your rule/analysis.
So, the takeaway is: If you are sure your conclusion is correct then sure, state it first. Otherwise, put it at the bottom of your essay answer. And do not put it in your heading!
3. Use the facts.
A grader should be able to figure out what the essay is about solely from reading your answer. In other words, your answer should refer to all of the relevant facts in your analysis section.
If a person cannot figure out what the fact pattern states solely from reading your answer, this is a sign you do not have enough facts in your analysis.
Not only will including more facts make your answer look more lawyerly, but it will also lead to a longer and more detailed answer. All around, this will help you improve your score. It is a good idea to make it a habit to include a detailed factual analysis when you format your multistate essay exam answer. It will certainly boost your score.
4. Make sure your multistate essay exam answer tracks the issues presented.
Sometimes students will combine two issues into one heading. Or they will separate issues when there is no need to. As a general rule, the multistate essay exam question will tell you what to discuss and what not to (sometimes very clearly!). You should make sure not to combine issues together or it will look like you forgot to discuss something at first glance. You should also avoid separating issues unnecessarily or your answer may look unfocused.
Looking for tips on how to structure a multistate essay exam answer? Check out this post.
Good luck writing your multistate essay exam answers! Please comment below or contact us if you have any questions.
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