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Legal Writing

This Guide assists first-year law students with the CREAC format used in legal writing.

Analogical Reasoning: Second Example


Like the defendant in Ocheltree, Goodspeed took actions to determine if Matlak and Duncan were inside the tent. Goodspeed called out to the tent. Only after getting no response and seeing no one inside, Goodspeed entered the tent to take matches. Additionally, Goodspeed admitted in his own police report that he entered the tent intending to take matches thinking no one would notice. This statement shows that not only did Goodspeed have the intent to take the matches, but he did not have the intent to return them. Thus, a court will likely conclude that Goodspeed had the intent to commit a larceny within the tent because he entered to permanently take matches therein.



  1. Conclusory sentence: the legal writer does not properly introduce the part of the rule this paragraph in the analysis addresses.
  2. Fact-stacking: the legal writer states the facts of the instant case without doing the hard work of showing how they are analogous to the facts of the precedent case or cases.
  3. Citations: the legal writer forgets to cite the case file from the instant case.
  4. Thus/Therefore statement: the legal writer does not acknowledge the holding of the precedent case from which the analogous facts stem.



Goodspeed and the Ocheltree defendant intended to enter the tent and the home respectively to commit crimes. In both cases, the parties checked the premises to make sure no one was present before they entered.  For example, the Ocheltree defendant rang the doorbell and knocked on the door of the dwelling before he entered. Id. at 746. Similarly, Goodspeed called out and looked inside the tent to see if it was occupied before he entered. (Def. St. Pol. ¶2.) Furthermore, much like the Ocheltree defendant, who demonstrated an intent to take property from the dwelling by communicating this to his friend, Goodspeed demonstrated an intent to take property from the tent when he reasoned to himself before entering that he did not think the Duncans would notice their matches were missing. IdAccordingly, a court will likely follow the reasoning of Ocheltree and find that Goodspeed intended to commit a crime in the Duncans' tent because he checked to see if the tent was occupied and formed an intent to commit the crime before entering.



  1. Conclusory sentence effectively sets up the analysis by concluding as to how the instant case and precedent case are the same as to the intent element (red sentence)
  2. Explanatory sentence effectively explains how the instant case and precedent are the same, weaving together the relevant language from the rule and the determinative facts from the case, and in doing so, sets up the forthcoming fact-to-fact comparison (blue sentence)
  3. Fact-to-fact comparison #1 (across two sentences) states how the determinative facts from the instant case and precedent case are the same as to the intent element (green sentences)
  4. Fact-to-fact comparison #2 (across a single sentence) effectively weaves together the relevant language from the rule and the determinative facts from the cases to show how the instant case and precedent are the same as to the intent element (purple sentence)
  5. Thus/therefore statement acknowledges the holding of the precedent case and explains the predictive holding (in a because statement) by reiterating the analogous facts (orange sentence)