Are you preparing for the Law National Aptitude Test (LNAT) and feeling nervous about the essay section? The LNAT essay or the famous ‘Section B’ is a critical component of the test that assesses your ability to critically analyse and communicate complex legal issues. In this article, we’ll provide you with essential tips, examples, and practice questions to help you ace the LNAT essay.

What is the LNAT Essay?

The LNAT essay section is a 40-minute task that requires you to write a maximum 750-word essay on one of three given essay prompts. The essay is used to assess your ability to argue a point, analyse information and communicate effectively in writing. 

LNAT Essay Scoring

The section B of the exam does not carry an official score. Nevertheless, the significance of the LNAT essay varies across universities. Some universities disregard section B altogether, while others devise their own marking scheme.

How Do LNAT Unis Use Your Essay?

Universities that do consider the LNAT essay as part of your application may use it in a variety of ways. They may compare it against your personal statement or use it as a reference when asking questions during your interview.

Your LNAT essay score will certainly be a factor if admissions tutors have to choose between you and similar applicants for acceptance on their law degree course.

When it comes to the importance of Section B, Oxford University appears to prioritise it the most. They employ a percentage-based scoring system to evaluate the essay’s quality.

Assessment Criteria

The essay is assessed based on several criteria, including:

  1. Clarity of thought and expression: This refers to the coherence and organisation of your essay. You must present your arguments in a clear and concise manner.
  2. Knowledge and understanding: Your essay must demonstrate a thorough understanding of the prompt and legal concepts related to the topic.
  3. Persuasiveness: You must present a persuasive argument that is well-supported with evidence and reasoning.
  4. Structure: Your essay must have a clear introduction, body, and conclusion.

Section B of the LNAT exam is designed to test the following attributes needed to study law:

  • Your ability to follow a logical structure
  • Your capability to be clear and persuasive
  • Your capacity to develop a coherent argument
  • Your ability to convey your argument

Overall, the purpose of the LNAT essay is to measure your ability to express your view on an issue in a clear, convincing and logical way.

Writing Prompts

The essay prompts provided in the LNAT exam usually revolve around legal and social issues, including topics such as criminal justice, human rights, and the role of the law in society. You do not need to have any prior knowledge of law or legal concepts to write an effective essay; however, having some background knowledge can help you analyze the question better.

You will be presented with three unrelated questions such as:

  • Should women in the US have access to an abortion?
  • Developed countries have a higher obligation to tackle climate change than developing countries. Discuss the extent to which you agree with this statement.
  • Should the law require people to vote in elections?

When choosing your question, you will want to select one that you have some level of interest in and knowledge of because you will need to provide an informative answer.

Preparing for the LNAT Essay

Before you begin writing your LNAT essay, it is essential to prepare thoroughly. The following are some tips to help you prepare for the essay:

  • Research the topic: familiarise yourself with legal concepts and current affairs related to the topic. Reading newspapers, legal blogs, and opinion pieces can help you gain insight into the issue.
  • Prepare an outline: Create an outline to organise your thoughts and ideas. The outline should include an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. A well-structured essay is more likely to receive a high score.
  • Practice writing essays: Practise writing essays on a variety of topics to develop your writing skills. You can find sample essay questions online, in LNAT prep books, or by taking a practice test.

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How To Plan Your LNAT Essay

When sitting Section B of the LNAT exam, you will first need to choose a question. The question you choose will determine how you plan your answer. Take two minutes to read every question carefully and make sure you know what each question is asking. 

Once you have selected a question, take five to ten minutes to plan your answer. The main purpose of your plan is:

  • To pinpoint what your argument is
  • How you are going to express your argument
  • Creating a rough structure to keep your essay focused and organised

When creating a plan, generate ideas and write them all down – use bullet points, a pros and cons chart or a mind map to list your ideas. Determine which ideas are relevant to form your basic argument. 

Next, review the balance of your argument and ensure that you have considered arguments for both sides of the debate. Include any examples of real-world information that you can use to support your arguments, and then assess your overall plan thinking about what conclusions you can draw from your arguments.

Once you have formed a plan, you can develop a structure for your LNAT essay.

Writing the LNAT Essay

The following tips can help you write a compelling LNAT essay:

  • Introduction: The introduction should be brief and clear. It should introduce the topic and provide a thesis statement that outlines the argument you will make in the essay.
  • Structure: The essay should be well-structured and organised. Use clear topic sentences to introduce each paragraph and transition sentences to connect them.
  • Thesis statement: The thesis statement is the central argument of your essay. It should be clear and concise and should be presented in the introduction.
  • Use of evidence: Use evidence to support your argument. This evidence can come from a variety of sources, including legal cases, academic journals, and newspapers.

How to Structure Your LNAT Essay

Your LNAT essay structure should be built around a solid introduction and conclusion. Everything in between needs to be included in a way that maintains the flow of your essay. Paragraphs should connect with each other and your points should feel natural, without any sudden changes of topic or tone.

Your LNAT essay structure should look something like this:

  1. A solid introduction outlining your main argument.
  2. A paragraph or two developing on your main argument with three to four valid points.
  3. A section that covers any counter-arguments to your argument and reasons why they can’t be substantiated.
  4. A strong conclusion with a summary of your main argument and how you have demonstrated the strength of your points.

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LNAT Essay Examples

To get a better understanding of what a high-scoring LNAT essay looks like, it’s helpful to look at sample essays and examples. Reading well-written LNAT essays can help you understand the essay format, style, and structure, as well as how to develop and support an argument effectively.

There are many sources of LNAT essay examples and sample essays available online. Some universities and colleges offer sample essay questions and essays on their websites, while other websites and books provide practice essay questions and sample essays.

When looking for LNAT essay examples or sample essays, it’s important to choose high-quality examples that follow the scoring criteria and demonstrate strong critical thinking and analytical skills. Some sample essays may be poorly written or may not follow the essay format and structure required by the LNAT, so it’s essential to choose reputable sources.

Good LNAT Essay Example

Topic: Should the death penalty be abolished?

The death penalty has been a highly debated issue for decades. While some people argue that it is a necessary punishment for the most serious crimes, others believe that it is inhumane and should be abolished. In my opinion, the death penalty should be abolished for several reasons.

Firstly, the death penalty is not a deterrent to crime. Countries with the death penalty have not shown lower crime rates compared to those without it. Moreover, wrongful convictions have led to the execution of innocent people, which is a grave injustice. The death penalty is also more expensive than life imprisonment due to the legal costs of appeals and lengthy court proceedings.

Secondly, the death penalty is a violation of human rights. It is a cruel and inhumane punishment that goes against the principles of a just society. The possibility of executing innocent people and the emotional toll on the families of both the victim and the accused are reasons to reconsider the use of the death penalty.

In conclusion, the death penalty should be abolished as it does not deter crime and is a violation of human rights. Alternative forms of punishment, such as life imprisonment without parole, should be considered.

Explanation: This essay is a good example of an LNAT essay as it presents a clear argument with supporting evidence. The author uses a clear structure to organise their ideas, with each paragraph addressing a separate point. They also provide specific examples to support their argument, such as the fact that the death penalty is more expensive than life imprisonment. Finally, they conclude their essay by summarising their points and presenting a clear position on the issue.

Bad LNAT Essay Example

Topic: Should smoking be banned in public places?

Smoking should not be banned in public places. People should have the freedom to smoke wherever they want. Smokers pay taxes, so they should be able to smoke in public places. It is unfair to ban smoking when alcohol is not banned. People should have the right to choose whether they want to smoke or not.

Explanation: This essay is a bad example of an LNAT essay as it presents a weak and unsupported argument. The author does not provide any evidence or specific examples to support their position. They also do not address counterarguments or consider alternative perspectives. The essay lacks a clear structure, with each paragraph containing disjointed thoughts and ideas. Additionally, the author’s grammar and spelling errors detract from the overall quality of the essay.

Key Takeaways

The LNAT essay is a crucial component of the LNAT exam, and performing well on it requires careful preparation and planning. Understanding the format of the essay, scoring criteria, and the type of questions that are typically asked is essential to achieving success.

To excel in the LNAT essay, you must be knowledgeable about legal concepts and issues, conduct thorough research, and develop a well-organised outline. It’s also important to carefully structure your essay, develop a strong thesis statement, and use appropriate evidence to support your arguments.

In addition to these fundamental strategies, there are many additional tips and techniques that can help you succeed, such as managing your time effectively, being clear and concise in your writing, and practicing with sample essay questions.

Ultimately, the LNAT essay is an opportunity to showcase your intellectual abilities and your potential as a law student. By understanding the exam and preparing carefully, you can set yourself up for success and take the first step towards a fulfilling legal career. 


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