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Does Including Case Summaries Enhance Contract Law Answers?

Question from jfg, Does Including Case Summaries Enhance Contract Law Answers?

Answer from AI:

When studying contract law in the UK, understanding how to effectively answer exam questions is crucial for success. One common query among students is whether including case summaries and the names of the defendant and plaintiff in their answers can earn them extra marks. Here’s a general guide on this topic, emphasizing the importance of consulting with your educators or legal professionals for personalized advice.

Understanding the Role of Case Law in Contract Law Exams

Case law plays a significant role in the study and practice of contract law in the UK. It helps illustrate how legal principles are applied in real-life scenarios, offering insight into judicial reasoning and the evolution of legal doctrines. When answering exam questions:

  • Relevance: The inclusion of relevant case summaries can demonstrate your understanding of the legal principles at play and how they have been interpreted by the courts.
  • Application: Showing how a principle from a case applies to the question at hand can help articulate your argument more convincingly.
  • Analysis: Discussing cases allows you to engage in critical analysis, comparing or contrasting the case facts with those of the exam question.

Will Including Case Names and Summaries Earn Extra Marks?

While the marking criteria can vary between institutions and even from one instructor to another, there are a few general points to consider:

  1. Clarity and Relevance: Simply listing case names or providing summaries without clearly linking them to the question’s requirements might not fetch extra marks. The key is how you use these cases to support your arguments.
  2. Depth of Understanding: Demonstrating a deep understanding of case law, including the facts, legal issues, and judicial reasoning, can showcase your analytical skills and may positively influence your marks.
  3. Accuracy: Accurately naming the parties involved (plaintiff and defendant) and providing correct case citations shows attention to detail, which is a valued skill in legal studies.

Best Practices for Incorporating Case Law in Exam Answers

To maximize the effectiveness of including case law in your contract law exam answers, consider the following tips:

  • Be Selective: Only include cases that are directly relevant to the question. Irrelevant cases can detract from the quality of your answer.
  • Summarize Wisely: Provide concise summaries of cases, focusing on the aspects most relevant to your argument.
  • Explain the Relevance: Don’t assume the examiner will know why you’re mentioning a case. Briefly explain its significance to your answer.
  • Practice: Regularly practice writing answers that incorporate case law effectively. This can help you become more adept at selecting and summarizing relevant cases under exam conditions.


Including case summaries and the names of the defendant and plaintiff in your contract law exam answers can potentially enhance your answers and demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter. However, the effectiveness of this approach depends on the relevance, accuracy, and application of the case law to the question asked. Always ensure your answers are well-structured and directly address the exam question, using case law as a tool to bolster your arguments.

For more detailed guidance on writing legal essays and exam answers, the University of Law’s Study Resources can be a helpful starting point. Remember, it’s also beneficial to consult with your instructors or legal professionals for personalized advice tailored to your specific course and institution’s requirements.

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