Identifying the elements of a case note

There are some common elements to most case notes (which you would have noticed if you read through a few): a summary of the facts and the reasoning in the case (also called the ratio), and an analysis of the judgment’s implications. In this section, we will call these elements the case summary and the case analysis.

The case summary will generally encompass everything that is not the analysis – that is, the facts, procedural history, and the explanation of the ratio (reasoning).

The case analysis is an essay that uses the case as a springboard for your original ideas regarding the impact or significance of the case. As such, it is generally desirable to follow the rules for writing essays.

Remember that the structure of the case note is flexible, so your instructions may not align neatly with the case summary and case analysis division introduced here. This will be explored in more detail in the Better writing section of this resource.

Consider the following example to learn more about the case summary section and how to write it.

NOTE: The purpose of this resource is to demonstrate how an average student paper could be improved. DO NOT use the example paper as a model for your own assignment.

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