LNAT Essay: Section B
You’ve got a better idea of the LNAT multiple choice questions, but what about the LNAT essay? It’s time to turn to those good old written communication skills as we guide you through the essay section of the LNAT and how to create a compelling argument.
Although your overall score is not based on your essay, it’s still crucial that you write something that’s going to impress law school admissions, so read our advice carefully…
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LNAT Essay: The Basics
Section B of the LNAT exam, also known as the LNAT essay, lasts 40 minutes. You will select one of three possible titles and write a well-argued essay.
The key to doing well in this section of the LNAT exam is picking the right title, planning the essay carefully, writing it well, and giving the LNAT examiners what they want.
Below you’ll find all of our greatest LNAT essay tips and tricks to succeed in each of these goals.
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How to Write the LNAT Essay Well
LNAT Essay Structure
Your essay will be 500-600 words long, with an absolute maximum of 700 words, and 40 minutes is plenty of time – It won’t take long for you to write this.
That means you’ll have a good amount of planning time. We suggest taking a full 15 minutes to do this. We’ve written out the bones of a good LNAT essay structure to give you an idea of how to write it. Here is an example of how to structure LNAT essay:
- Definition of key terms;
- Explanation of assumptions;
- Framing of the question;
- Signposting your approach.
Next section: Arguments in Favour of Your Position
- Reasons why you agree/disagree with the topic.
- Three clear, well-defined arguments with examples.
Arguments to the Contrary
- Identifying arguments against your position.
- An attempt to undermine these.
- What you believe and why.
LNAT Essay Tips and Top Tactics
The ability to communicate your ideas clearly and concisely is essential. Poor spelling and grammar is an immediate red flag. The examiners are expecting strong writing skills, and clearly planning your essay is the first step to producing a great final draft. But when you’re writing it up, here are some LNAT essay tips to bear in mind:
- Keep sentences short. This will enhance clarity and make your arguments more persuasive.
If you are using a lot of semicolons or employing multiple conjunctions (like ‘and’ or ‘but’) in a single sentence, simplify your approach.
- Think about how your essay sounds. Obviously, you can’t read out loud. But by sounding out the words in your head as you write them, you will get a sense of how they flow – and, crucially, whether they make sense.
- Link your paragraphs together by ending a paragraph with a sentence which leads to the next, or beginning the next with a sentence that ties in with the previous one. This will make your writing flow well and will help you with your essay structure.
- Your introduction and conclusions are important, but you mustn’t spend too much time on these. Your introduction should cover a brief overview of the topic and your proposed method of answer the question. The conclusion is where you reinstate the arguments presented and give your overall final decision.
- Remember the words of Enrique Jardiel Poncela: “when something can be read without great effort, great effort has gone into its writing.”
Make it easy for the examiner to follow your arguments and buy into your viewpoint.
LNAT Essay Questions
During your exam, you’ll be given a selection of essay titles to choose from which will cover a broad range of topics. Your best bet is to pick the theme you know the most about, as opposed to the one you’re most emotionally involved with. Since you’ll have no way of knowing what will come up in your exam, it’s best to read up on current affairs as much as you can beforehand. Check out our guide to preparing for the LNAT here for more general LNAT tips.
As soon as you read the essay titles, you should start thinking: ‘what approach can I take and how can I clearly frame this question’? Use your initial thoughts to write your plan once you’ve decided on your chosen essay topic. It sounds like an obvious point to make, but be sure you understand the question fully before committing to it, and be confident that you can offer various arguments supporting the idea as well as refuting it in order to present a different viewpoint.
LNAT essay topics tend to be quite eclectic. They are usually either a quote to discuss or wide-ranging questions. Some LNAT essay sample questions include:
- What disciplinary sanctions should teachers be allowed to use?
- Make the best case you can for public funding of the arts.
- How should judges be appointed?
- ‘It is right that students should contribute to the cost of their degrees.’ Do you agree?
- Does it matter if some animal and plant species die out?
Ideally, there will be at least one title that you understand well and can formulate some arguments around. Remember: the quality of argument trumps personal opinion.
It is essential that you avoid any title which seems ambiguous, or contains terminology you’re not familiar with. Writing an essay based on uncertainty is like building a house on sand!
What LNAT Examiners Want
The LNAT website specifically says: “don’t sit on the fence.” It claims to be an exam that rewards creativity and originality of argument. LNAT examiners don’t want you to play it safe, but to offer an interesting viewpoint and defend it rigorously.
Another thing to bear in mind is that opinions are not highly prized. It’s all about building a strong case. So, avoid listing unexplored views or personal thoughts.
LNAT is also extremely precise on word count. Be aware that 500-600 words is ideal, and more or less will not be looked upon favourably. So, practice writing essays that hit the right length every time.
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LNAT Essay Score
Although your total score will be taken from the LNAT multiple choice section of the exam, the essay is an integral part of the exam and is used to assess your ability to present a solid argument. There is no LNAT essay mark scheme.