This paper will provide answers to five different questions, creating a seamless flow of answers from one question to the next. It will work to compare differences between two emails, determining which one is professionally written and which one is not. It will determine which email has all of the required components for professionally communicating. It will next compare two reports determining which one is best to read aloud in court. It will answer the question of the importance of proper spelling, formatting, grammar, and documentation to court documents and, finally, it will address the importance of APA formatting and learning how to avoid plagiarism when presenting researched material in court.
Keywords: comparison, emails, reports, formatting, documentation, importance

Professional Email Correspondence
All professional documents have one thing in common, or should have one thing in common, the fact that they look professional in nature. This means that the document is not only formatted properly, but that it displays appropriate spelling, punctuation, grammar, and formatting. The document indicates from the manner in which it is written that the writer is an educated individual whose manner of speaking indicates that they are, if not fully knowledgeable on the subject matter, knowledgeable enough to present themselves in the best possible light, showing their credibility and intelligence through their writing. When reviewing the two emails, it is possible to see that the second email to Dr. Pettler is the more professional of the two documents. The first email appears to be written by an elementary school student, while the second appears to be from a college level student requesting assistance from their professor. Though the basic subject matter of both emails is the same, it is the second that is the more professional of the two, as it uses proper spelling, grammar, formatting, and punctuation; these are the required components for communicating in a professional manner (Purdue OWL, 2013).

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As with the first comparison between documents, the report that should be read aloud is the one which maintains the use of proper spelling, grammar, punctuation, formatting, and sentence structure. This report will not only be read aloud in court, but it will be submitted into the court documents as a matter of public record. In order for the report to maintain its semblance of credibility, it must be properly written, properly punctuated, and properly designed from top to bottom. Long before an individual ever enters the courtroom, they must work to prepare all of the documents that will be used in conjunction with each case; such documents must be properly formatted in order to even be accepted by the court and must maintain appropriate and proper English in order to maintain the credibility of the individual presenting the document and the information contained therein (Microsoft, 2013).

All documents filed within a court must be formatted to fit the specific rules for the court within a given state, and it is to this end that formatting, grammar, vocabulary, and documentation are of the utmost importance when creating such a document, as a result (Legal Voice, 2013). If a court document is not formatted properly the case will not be heard, depending on the document submitted improperly, and the document itself will be rejected (Legal Voice, 2013). If this document is in regards to a key piece of evidence, this could mean the difference between a conviction and a criminal walking out Scott free. It could mean the difference in getting a search warrant before evidence is destroyed at the scene, and it could mean the difference between one crime and many.

While not all courts in all states utilize APA formatting, most do, or a variation thereof. In order to work to ensure that the formatting of the document is correct, beyond the page layout, an individual must have a firm grasp of APA. This works to ensure that the appropriate citations are present within the document itself, working to avoid plagiarism and decreasing the likelihood that an individual’s credibility will be shot. In order to see how damaging a valid charge of plagiarism may be to an individual’s reputation, one simply must look to Rand Paul and the latest case of a senator being called out for plagiarizing (Cornwell, 2013). This is not the first time that Rand Paul has been caught in recent months for plagiarizing, but it is the most severe, giving the source that he failed to cite this time is Forbes (Cornwell, 2013). Given Paul’s failure to cite his source, it may cost him his career as senator, showing just how seriously America takes the matter of plagiarism and how imperative it is to use proper formatting when creating all documents, not just those to be submitted to the courts.

  • Cornwell, R. (2013, November 10). As somebody else once said.. Kentucky senator Rand Paul exposed for plagiarism. Retrieved from http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/as-somebody-else-once-said-kentucky-senator-rand-paul-exposed-for-plagiarism-8930820.html
  • Microsoft. (2013). Using documents effectively in court. Retrieved from http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/word-help/using-documents-effectively-in-court-HA001149811.aspx
  • Legal Voice. (2013). How to format court documents. Retrieved from http://legalvoice.org/tools/documents/HowtoFormatCourtDocuments.pdf
  • Purdue OWL. (2013). Writing the basic business letter. Retrieved from https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/653/01/