First of all, I need to put a little disclaimer here: not every professor in every law school uses IRAC. Most professors do use IRAC and it is usually the preferred method on the Bar Exam.
The following is short and sweet and definitely not a comprehensive explanation of IRAC. This is to give you the basic gist if you really do not know where to start.
IRAC: Issue, Rule, Application, Conclusion. That isn’t so bad, is it?
Issue: Usually there is more than one issue. In fact, I would be worried if you only find one issue. An example of an issue: The issue is whether or not Sam committed a battery on Arlene.
Rule: This is an explanation of the black letter law that will govern the question. Battery is a harmful or offensive contact with a plaintiff’s person.
Remember, you will need to focus on which rule and which elements of that rule are relevant. What if Sam was acting offensively but didn’t actually touch any part of Arlene or her person? This leads us to our Application part.
Application or Analysis: Application of the rules to the fact is where many people have problems because they often make it conclusory. When you write your application of rule to facts, this really means explaining your thought process in a logical way. Don’t just say Sam didn’t commit a battery on Arlene. You want to explain that in this situation, while Sam was being rude and obnoxious and saying offensive words, he did not actually touch Arlene or her person. This leads us to the conclusion.
Conclusion: most likely, Sam did not commit a battery.