Outlining - working from old outlines

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jd20132013
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Outlining - working from old outlines

Postby jd20132013 » Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:00 pm

Now, I know you're supposed to make an outline from scratch.

But I'm looking at the notes I take in class and I just have no idea where I'd even start drawing from.

I've started looking at old outlines to kind of give me a feel but have been rewording them in my own words.

Useless? a little less useless?

Thoughts? At least this way I'm getting something down in a structure...

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YourCaptain
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Re: Outlining - working from old outlines

Postby YourCaptain » Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:06 pm

You're on precisely the right track. Use the old outlines to supplement your outline, and if you like the format, use it.

shock259
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Re: Outlining - working from old outlines

Postby shock259 » Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:40 am

I think that is the best way. Don't reinvent the wheel. I'm basically using equal part Emanuels, class notes, and old student's outlines to come up with mine. When in doubt, class notes govern. Most of my time is on how to organize it all in a coherent way (moreso than the actual words and principles), but when you draw on a lot of sources, it is easier to see an intuitive way to put it all together.

Also: be aware that some outlines are bad. My school has an outline bank that people can submit their outlines to, and I have found most of them are marginally useful, at best. Most are just confusing and very convoluted.

Just make sure you sincerely practice with your outlines before exam time and tweak them. I can already see it is tempting to look at my outline and think I'm done "studying" for those chapters. but I haven't really learned to apply all of that content ... yet.

target
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Re: Outlining - working from old outlines

Postby target » Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:47 am

shock259 wrote:I think that is the best way. Don't reinvent the wheel. I'm basically using equal part Emanuels, class notes, and old student's outlines to come up with mine. When in doubt, class notes govern. Most of my time is on how to organize it all in a coherent way (moreso than the actual words and principles), but when you draw on a lot of sources, it is easier to see an intuitive way to put it all together.

Also: be aware that some outlines are bad. My school has an outline bank that people can submit their outlines to, and I have found most of them are marginally useful, at best. Most are just confusing and very convoluted.

Just make sure you sincerely practice with your outlines before exam time and tweak them. I can already see it is tempting to look at my outline and think I'm done "studying" for those chapters. but I haven't really learned to apply all of that content ... yet.


Endorsing this. One of my professors writes our textbook, and goes in order from front to back. So, I use the table of content as a backbone to my outline. HTH.

jd20132013
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Re: Outlining - working from old outlines

Postby jd20132013 » Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:31 am

Thanks for the help everyone.

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Mickey Quicknumbers
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Re: Outlining - working from old outlines

Postby Mickey Quicknumbers » Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:34 am

They're definitely helpful for macro organization, and maybe understanding how some body of knowledge flows. For instance, you may know everything about personal jurisdiction and have no clue how to actually answer a personal jurisdiction question, seeing a checklist organization on an old outline can really help with that.

This is actually even more true now in Income tax where provisions fly in every which direction and have no organizational relationship to the topics.

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Lasers
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Re: Outlining - working from old outlines

Postby Lasers » Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:34 pm

depends on how good the outline you're using is.

i'm doing pretty much doing the exact same thing, simply rewording/reformatting old outlines and adding few select things from class or my own insights. the thing is, i know these students got A's in the class, and their outlines/notes are often the exact same as what I would have put down, or even better.

so basically, i'm actually just adapting old outlines into something i can study/use easily.

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leobowski
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Re: Outlining - working from old outlines

Postby leobowski » Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:13 pm

I did much better with making my own outline from scratch (a combination of class notes+ supplement notes as backbone), than I did with relying heavily on 2L/3L outlines. YMMV.

Metaread
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Re: Outlining - working from old outlines

Postby Metaread » Sun Oct 02, 2011 2:45 am

YMMV means what?

Anyway, on topic: I'd say work from old outlines, with some modifications. Make sure to actually look over the material/black letter law as you do so. Some synthesized outlines are too wordy or skip out important key words in terms of art.

Still, one thing that annoys me a lot about outlining from outline banks is that you have little idea how well the outline authors did in the class. I do think creating your own outline would take far too much time. Just look over old outlines, see what's useful, combine them, cut out stuff your professor didn't cover in class/casebook readings, and modify into your own words.

Another major nuisance is formatting....some old outlines have i) and a)'s all over the place and text in zigzag lines across the page. It doesn't help that Microsoft Word is very counterintuitive when it comes to autoformatting i) and a)'s.

morris248
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Re: Outlining - working from old outlines

Postby morris248 » Sun Oct 02, 2011 10:46 am

I do think creating your own outline would take far too much time


Good advice only if you are not interested in your grades.

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buckilaw
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Re: Outlining - working from old outlines

Postby buckilaw » Sun Oct 02, 2011 11:10 am

You don't really need to make your own outlines. If you have an old one that you tweak as you go along you get nearly all the benefit of making your own with a fraction of the work.

spondee
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Re: Outlining - working from old outlines

Postby spondee » Sun Oct 02, 2011 11:15 am

morris248 wrote:
I do think creating your own outline would take far too much time


Good advice only if you are not interested in your grades.


Or if you'd rather spend that time on practice problems and practice exams.




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