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 on for some useful LNAT essay help.
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LNAT Essay Tips and Tactics
The LNAT essay questions and topics are completely unseen and therefore you could be faced with three questions that you have absolutely no background knowledge on.
Therefore planning your LNAT essay is absolutely imperative because you will not have prepared or learned the material for these questions beforehand.
There are several ways you can prepare yourself for this sort of outcome.
Read on for our top LNAT essay tips to help you ace section B of the exam.
LNAT Essay Tip 1: Know Your Argument
The first thing you should do is lay down your underlying argument and response to the question before you begin.
A good tip is to write this as the heading of your essay plan to ensure that when you’re creating your structure and picking the best points to argue that you’re always reverting to your main stance on the question.
Doing this is beneficial as it allows you to continuously ensure you are focusing on the question and ensures you don’t get sidetracked.
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LNAT Essay Tip 2: Brainstorm your points, then choose the most persuasive
We know how stressful timed exams can be, but resist your initial desire to rush into writing your response and use the first minute or two of your planning time strategically. Write down all possible points and evidence you could use to defend your chosen argument.
After you’ve got that out of your system, you will be able to more easily pinpoint which particular points you will be able to expand on in order to convince the reader of your main stance.
A good tip is to pick no more than four main points to argue, with three being optimal within the time constraints given in the LNAT.
The reason why three compelling arguments are better than ten, for example, is simple – merely asserting the points you have does not convince the reader of your argument.
You need to spend time to properly explain what you mean by it as well as supporting your assertion with relevant evidence, examples and analysis in order to connect it to the main premise of your argument.
A reader is never going to feel adequately convinced by a series of ambiguous statements which don’t cohere to the main argument.
LNAT Essay Tip 3: Plan your 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.
You’ll have a good amount of time to do this. We suggest taking a full 15 minutes.
The key to writing a good essay is finding a method that works for you and which helps you to build a logical argument. Once you’ve decided on a structure for your essay, make sure you stick to it.
Universities want to see that you can structure an argument persuasively and articulate your ideas in a cohesive manner.
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.
2. Next section: Arguments in Favour of Your Position
- Reasons why you agree/disagree with the topic.
- Three clear, well-defined arguments with examples.
3. Arguments to the Contrary
- Identifying arguments against your position.
- An attempt to undermine these.
- What you believe and why.
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LNAT Essay Tip 4: Make the First and Last Impressions Count
A strong introduction and conclusion are musts in any essay and it’s no different for the LNAT. These both need to be impactful as they are the first and last attempts to highlight the strength of your response to the question.
An introduction should be used as a way to clearly highlight your argument and introduce the points you are going to use to illustrate it.
By accentuating the way you intend to defend your argument, you will not only intrigue your reader but begin to convince them you are right.
A conclusion, on the other hand, should be used as a final emphasis of your presented argument as the right one and should leave the reader feeling persuaded of your argument even if their personal response would be different.
Finally, make sure the argument you emphasise in your conclusion matches the argument presented in your introduction.
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How to Write the LNAT Essay Well
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.
- Make it easy to read. In the words of Enrique Jardiel Poncela: “when something can be read without great effort, great effort has gone into its writing.”
Avoid over descriptive language and jargon. The examiner should be able to follow your arguments and buy into your viewpoint easily.
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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!
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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 LNAT 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.
Tips written by Alicia Gibson
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