Thinking Like Your Readers

Thinking Like Your Readers


The key to effective legal writing is to think like your readers. Making the shift from writer to reader is hard to do. We get so wedded to our own thinking that we often read what’s in our heads, not what’s on the page.


One of the easiest ways to start thinking like your readers is to get some distance from your writing. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Stop writing, do something completely different, then come back to your work with fresh eyes
  • Read your writing aloud
  • Have someone else read your writing to you

Putting some time and space between you and your writing gives you the fresh eyes and ears needed to understand your words as your readers will.


The key to successful gardening is thinking like a plant.

~Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, quoting gardening expert Irma Dombrusch