After Step 8, you will hopefully have cued the judge to want to find in your favor. After Step 9, you will have shown the judge that the law permits your desired outcome. In Step 10, you will edit and organize your message so that you can communicate it with maximum persuasive effect.

The way you write can affect all 3 main persuasion processes. For example, if you do not write clearly, then your audience will not understand the logic of your argument.349 Your writing style can also affect your reader's emotions—well-written prose makes readers happy, but a poorly written document forces the reader to struggle through the document.350 You will please your reader if you use clear language and effectively organize your material. This takes time. To save you time, consult the following checklists and try plain language software (such as StyleWriter) that checks your writing for clarity and precision. As for organizing your material, the checklists use the storytelling structure described in Step 8.

Writing well and eliminating 'trivial' errors can also enhance your credibility.351 Your writing style affects credibility in several ways. Credibility comprises 3 parts: 'good moral character', 'good will', and 'intelligence'.352 The first element, 'Good moral character', involves zeal, respect, candor, truthfulness, and professionalism.353 The second element, 'good will', refers to your disposition to a specific audience or opponent354 (for example, the judge or opposing counsel), whereas good moral character refers to your general moral makeup:

'[E]ven when an advocate is otherwise known to be of sound moral character, ill-will can undermine the advocate's credibility in a specific matter by bringing the advocate's motivation into question.'355

The third element, 'intelligence', involves many traits. For the purposes of Step 10, the most relevant intelligence traits include your ability to organize your argument, empathize with the reader, pay attention to detail, and articulate your argument.356The checklists below use each of these credibility elements.

349 Michael R Smith, Advanced Legal Writing: Theories and Strategies in Persuasive Writing (2002) 98.

350 Michael R Smith, Advanced Legal Writing: Theories and Strategies in Persuasive Writing (2002) 98; Miriam Kass, 'The Ba Theory of Persuasive Writing' in Priscilla Anne Schwab (ed), Appellate Practice Manual (1992) 179, 179.

351 Michael R Smith, Advanced Legal Writing: Theories and Strategies in Persuasive Writing (2002) 169.

352 Michael R Smith, Advanced Legal Writing: Theories and Strategies in Persuasive Writing (2002) 103.

353 Michael R Smith, Advanced Legal Writing: Theories and Strategies in Persuasive Writing (2002) 104.

354 Michael R Smith, Advanced Legal Writing: Theories and Strategies in Persuasive Writing (2002) at, for example, 123.

355 Michael R Smith, Advanced Legal Writing: Theories and Strategies in Persuasive Writing (2002) at, for example, 124.

356 Michael R Smith, Advanced Legal Writing: Theories and Strategies in Persuasive Writing (2002) at, for example, 128. See also Robert J Condlin, '"Cases on Both Sides"—Patterns of Argument in Legal Dispute Negotiation' (1985) 44 Maryland Law Review 65, 84–5.

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