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The “White-Glove Inspection” Making Sense of Proof-reading  and Polishing Presented by  “ Grumpy” Ed Telfeyan
The typical “last instruction” <ul><li>“ And make sure you proofread that final draft.  Work at editing it so that you rem...
This is polished? <ul><li>Our client’s is entirely different (unlike  Flanagan ).  She didn’t make any repairs because the...
Identifying the problem <ul><li>What skills did they have? </li></ul><ul><li>They worked hard and were committed to the wo...
So, what was I doing wrong? <ul><li>Obviously, my message –  </li></ul><ul><li>PROOFREAD! </li></ul><ul><li>EDIT!  </li></...
 
 
Sample lecture <ul><li>In military inspections, every particle of dirt, every patch of grease, every speck of dust must be...
From the military to the law office <ul><li>In legal writing a document must be similarly clean; that is, it must not cont...
Identifying “errors” <ul><li>For purposes of the “white-glove inspection, an error is anything in the document that would ...
The ten-step approach – Steps 1-5 <ul><li>The approach is to go from the “macro” to the “micro.”  </li></ul><ul><li>1 - Re...
The ten-step approach - Steps 6-10 <ul><li>6 - Read it again for the specific purpose of checking all cites for accuracy a...
Important last point <ul><li>One other lesson from the boot camp experience.  </li></ul><ul><li>To keep the white-glove in...
The end result – a “clean” document <ul><li>This step-by-step approach makes meaningful the loosely understood tasks of “p...
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White glove presentation

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White glove presentation

  1. 1. The “White-Glove Inspection” Making Sense of Proof-reading and Polishing Presented by “ Grumpy” Ed Telfeyan
  2. 2. The typical “last instruction” <ul><li>“ And make sure you proofread that final draft. Work at editing it so that you remove all the typos and other errors that you wouldn’t want your boss or your prof or your opposing attorney or your judge to see. The key is to polish the final draft so that it is error free.” </li></ul>
  3. 3. This is polished? <ul><li>Our client’s is entirely different (unlike Flanagan ). She didn’t make any repairs because the nature of the lease and because she didn’t need it. It doesn’t matter whether the servent estate doesn’t approve, which was the case with our client. She controls the use of the easement. It’s just like Flanagan in this respect. Therefore, no abandonment and she should prevail. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Identifying the problem <ul><li>What skills did they have? </li></ul><ul><li>They worked hard and were committed to the work. </li></ul><ul><li>They understood the legal paradigm and the basic requisites of good legal analysis. </li></ul><ul><li>They had a basic understanding (to a greater or lesser extent) of the mechanical rules of good writing. </li></ul>
  5. 5. So, what was I doing wrong? <ul><li>Obviously, my message – </li></ul><ul><li>PROOFREAD! </li></ul><ul><li>EDIT! </li></ul><ul><li>POLISH! </li></ul><ul><li>- wasn’t getting through. </li></ul><ul><li>I needed a better approach – </li></ul><ul><li>The “White-Glove Inspection.” </li></ul>
  6. 8. Sample lecture <ul><li>In military inspections, every particle of dirt, every patch of grease, every speck of dust must be cleaned from all surfaces so that the inspector’s white gloves are still white when he or she wipes the area. </li></ul><ul><li>The way to pass the commander’s white-glove inspection is to conduct your own before he or she arrives. </li></ul><ul><li>Thus, the white-glove inspection in military barracks becomes the work done in advance of the official inspection that assures that you will pass that official inspection. </li></ul><ul><li>The goal is to make the barracks clean, as in devoid of any dirt, grease, dust or other foreign matter that would show up on the commander’s white gloves. </li></ul>
  7. 9. From the military to the law office <ul><li>In legal writing a document must be similarly clean; that is, it must not contain any errors. </li></ul><ul><li>Thus, the legal writing “white-glove inspection” removes all errors from the document before it leaves your office (or is turned in to your prof). </li></ul><ul><li>The first point we need to understand is our definition of an error. </li></ul>
  8. 10. Identifying “errors” <ul><li>For purposes of the “white-glove inspection, an error is anything in the document that would cause the reader to lose (even momentarily) his or her train of thought. </li></ul><ul><li>Thus “errors” include grammatical glitches, structural awkwardness, organizational confusion, and even substantive imprecision. </li></ul>
  9. 11. The ten-step approach – Steps 1-5 <ul><li>The approach is to go from the “macro” to the “micro.” </li></ul><ul><li>1 - Read the draft, considering its logical consistency and organizational flow. Locate gaps in logic and confusion in organization. Redraft as necessary. </li></ul><ul><li>2 - Read it again, considering whether paragraphs are too long or contain more than one thesis. Break overly long paragraphs into shorter ones; add thesis sentences as necessary. </li></ul><ul><li>3 - Read it again. Consider whether each sentence follows logically from the one that precedes it and leads logically to the one that follows it. Add transition words/phrases where necessary. </li></ul><ul><li>4 - Read it again. Consider whether each sentence is worded as carefully, accurately and succinctly as possible. Edit as necessary. </li></ul><ul><li>5 - Read it again, checking each sentence for grammatical accuracy. Consider the placement of all punctuation. Look for comma splices/run-on sentences/incomplete sentences, et al. Edit as necessary. </li></ul>
  10. 12. The ten-step approach - Steps 6-10 <ul><li>6 - Read it again for the specific purpose of checking all cites for accuracy and case names for correct spelling. Edit as necessary. </li></ul><ul><li>7 - Read it again. This time check for typos and hidden mistakes (e.g. “statue” instead of “statute,” “lead” instead of “led,” “not” instead of “now”). Edit as necessary. </li></ul><ul><li>8 - Spell check. Grammar check. </li></ul><ul><li>9 - Read the draft yet one more time. This time read it for “pleasure,” taking pride in your final product, but looking for hidden glitches. Edit as necessary. </li></ul><ul><li>10 - Print out the final copy of your draft (the one you intend to hand-in/submit). Check for print quality, pagination, proper margins, et al. Make adjustments and re-print as necessary. </li></ul>
  11. 13. Important last point <ul><li>One other lesson from the boot camp experience. </li></ul><ul><li>To keep the white-glove inspection to a minimum, we all learned the benefit of the “clean as you go” rule. </li></ul><ul><li>So in legal writing, the approach is to dust each draft, even as it is being created. </li></ul>
  12. 14. The end result – a “clean” document <ul><li>This step-by-step approach makes meaningful the loosely understood tasks of “proof-reading” and “polishing.” </li></ul><ul><li>When successfully presented and taught, the “white-glove inspection” becomes part of your students’ work ethic and will enhance their appreciation of the meaning and importance of good legal writing. </li></ul>

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