Experimenting with structure

Hi everyone

This activity is designed to help you think about how to structure your essays.

I’ve provided a list of headings (in alphabetical order) and would like you to put them in the order you think best supports an argument that answers the question:

  • Should we amend the Australian Constitution to provide protection for human rights? with
  • Yes, because …

Email Chantal for an annotated version of the table of contents that has explanations for the logic and tips for thinking about structure in your future essays.

The list of headings at the top of the page is in alphabetical order; they are numbered to help you keep track.  The number attached to each heading does NOT correlate to the heading number – it is just the location of that heading in alphabetical order.

This is more entertaining – and more effective – if you collaborate with a colleague on the activity so consider setting up a zoom meeting to do it together with shared screens. The discussion you have will give you additional perspectives on how people organise their arguments.

Have fun!

If you’ve already played with the Constitutional law essay, try a comparative law structure.

This structure is modified from an article by Devika Hovell and George Williams, ‘A Tale of Two Systems: The Use of International Law in Constitutional Interpretation in Australia and South Africa’ (2005) 29 Melbourne University Law Review 96. From the abstract:

The use of international law in constitutional interpretation has sparked heated debate between judges on the High Court of Australia, most recently in the Court’s decision in Al-Kateb v Godwin.  This article examines the attitudes, anxieties and assumptions that appear to underlie the High Court decision-making on the issue.  This examination is undertaken in light of the work of the Constitutional Court of South Africa.  The work of this Court provides a useful comparison to the extent to that the South African legal system has been restructured to enable a close engagement with international law.  The South African experience of the last decade provides an informed basis and a developing body of case law against which to assess concerns regarding the Australian legal system’s relationship with international law.

Based on this information, how would you organise the following headings?