An exemplar is an illustration or description to help explain, through a practical example, how to comply with a contract requirement, or how a certain provision applies.
Sometimes it is hard to see why a particular provision is included, or how to apply it in practice.
Use an exemplar where it helps to explain an abstract concept (for example, formulas), to disambiguate a clause that might be misinterpreted, or to show in practice the effects of a provision. You can also use exemplars when you think users may require extra help to understand what is required, or where extra information can be found.
When we explain complex information we frequently use case histories or ‘for instance’ explanations. This can help people build a concrete understanding of how it might apply to their situation.
Poorly designed contract documents sometimes assumesgreater knowledge of the other party’s procedures than is actually the case. Exemplars can be added in response to feedback or common errors. This saves mistakes and builds relationships. In some cases, exemplars might go beyond explanation, and take the form of practical tools, such as actual forms, spreadsheets, or templates to be used post-signature during implementation.
© 2022 Rob Waller.
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