Outline taking forever...

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nodummy
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Outline taking forever...

Postby nodummy » Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:56 pm

I started my torts outline last Friday and just reached the halfway point (10 total hours of work). Is this normal? We've read about 400 pages of the casebook (half) so there's a ton of material.

Most of my time has been breaking down each of the case briefs into shorter versions...I haven't even gotten to incorporating my notes or the black letter law. I'm wondering if I should just pick the most important cases from each section instead of listing every case we've read when they only add a small difference to the law.

Furthermore, my torts exam is closed book...should I even have an outline or are notecards better for closed book exams?

I heard some other guy saying he was already done and it only took him two or three hours.

Am I missing something, or am I spending too much time on detail?

BlueDiamond
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Re: Outline taking forever...

Postby BlueDiamond » Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:59 pm

id say you are spending too much time on the cases.. unless your professor is known to specifically test on the cases I'd say abandon the case outlining for something that will help you more

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tfer2222
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Re: Outline taking forever...

Postby tfer2222 » Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:10 pm

BlueDiamond wrote:id say you are spending too much time on the cases.. unless your professor is known to specifically test on the cases I'd say abandon the case outlining for something that will help you more


try to look at some of your prof's old exams to see if cases will be important.

Otherwise, you need to ditch the case briefing and outlining and outline the important stuff --> the bLL and nuances you get in class. I still put cases in my outlines last year, but only included maybe one line of memory-jogger and relevant applicable rule.

(Edit: there were some classes that had a few key cases that needed to be discussed more in an outline. I'm thinking of a few cases in CivPro that had split decisions,dissents, etc that provided good argument material on exams, and ESPECIALLY for con law. Cases and dissenting/concurring opinions/policy are obviously key for con law. However for Torts, I'd venture to say cases are more or less unimportant)

Your ultimate goal is to get a short, lean, and mean outline that you can completely memorize for the exam. Clogging everything up with useless case crap is going to weigh it down and slow you down.

and re: notecards v outlines:

Last year, I would make a general outline for the class (maybe 20 pages tops), and then I'd make "mini" outlines (5-10 pages), from which I would subsequently make notecards. I'd do this all while listening to music and honestly by the time I was done making the notecards, I pretty much had everything memorized anyway. Even so, I'd go through the notecards by typing the answer/reverse side of the notecard in a word document, which not only cemented the info in my brain even more, but it gave me practice typing out the BLL, nuances, etc. so I wouldn't even have to waste time thinking about how to phrase things on the exam.

All my exams were open book, but I don't really remember glancing at my outlines more than a one or two times while testing.

nodummy
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Re: Outline taking forever...

Postby nodummy » Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:34 pm

Can you give an example of the stuff that was going into your outline, aside from the cases?

Thanks.

Also, how would you handle a class like property?

target
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Re: Outline taking forever...

Postby target » Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:47 pm

nodummy wrote:Can you give an example of the stuff that was going into your outline, aside from the cases?

Thanks.

Also, how would you handle a class like property?


Gyst of my tort outline
I. Intentional torts
A. Battery
1. intent
2. offensive contact
3. resulting (directly or indirectly)
-Special rule: the Vosburg case
B. Assault
...

II. Negligence

Similarly, for property
I. Rights by...
A. Right by capture
1. no abandonment
2. intent
3. control
4. deprive of liberty
B. Right by Find
1. Abandon
2. Lost
3. Mislaid
...

Disclaimer: 1L. So any 2Ls/3Ls have suggestions, I am eager to hear.

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king3780
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Re: Outline taking forever...

Postby king3780 » Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:08 pm

nodummy wrote:I started my torts outline last Friday and just reached the halfway point (10 total hours of work). Is this normal? We've read about 400 pages of the casebook (half) so there's a ton of material.

Most of my time has been breaking down each of the case briefs into shorter versions...I haven't even gotten to incorporating my notes or the black letter law. I'm wondering if I should just pick the most important cases from each section instead of listing every case we've read when they only add a small difference to the law.

Furthermore, my torts exam is closed book...should I even have an outline or are notecards better for closed book exams?

I heard some other guy saying he was already done and it only took him two or three hours.

Am I missing something, or am I spending too much time on detail?


The amount of time it takes you to write the outline can be misleading. I could hammer out an outline in a couple hours... or I could learn as I go and think about what I'm putting in the outline and how it fits into the grand scheme of things and it will take much longer. Also, learning styles play into the equation. One person can write an outline in two hours and spend 8 hours studying the outline, while another may take 10 hours to write the outline and have learned or mastered the same amount.

Also, cases that only add a small difference to the law are what get tested typically. Just knowing the main cases is not enough. Knowing where the different lines are drawn in the law and what distinctions are being made from case to case and being able to apply it to the set of facts in the exam is where you score points. You certainly don't need fully case briefs to accomplish this. I personally wrote more than the line to jog my memory as another poster suggested, though that may have worked for him/her. For me, I would do up to four sentences on the facts, depending on how complex/important they were, followed by the rule/holding. The process of typing it all out (and not just editing a longer brief) helped reinforce it in my mind.

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5ky
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Re: Outline taking forever...

Postby 5ky » Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:35 pm

10 hours for half of an outline is not even close to "taking forever."

nodummy
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Re: Outline taking forever...

Postby nodummy » Mon Oct 10, 2011 10:53 pm

I meant 10 hours for half of a quarter-year outline.

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5ky
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Re: Outline taking forever...

Postby 5ky » Mon Oct 10, 2011 10:59 pm

nodummy wrote:I meant 10 hours for half of a quarter-year outline.


I have no idea what this means. If it took 10 hours to finish a quarter, I don't think that's too bad. For Torts, it's kind of slow, but whatever. I'd say my civpro outline took me about 40 hours.

If it took 10 hours to finish an 1/8th, then yes, that is probably too long.

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rocon7383
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Re: Outline taking forever...

Postby rocon7383 » Tue Oct 11, 2011 7:38 pm

Is there a generally accepted idea on how to study for a closed book exam? I have begun to outline, but really don't want to be wasting time if its not a good idea.

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king3780
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Re: Outline taking forever...

Postby king3780 » Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:36 pm

rocon7383 wrote:Is there a generally accepted idea on how to study for a closed book exam? I have begun to outline, but really don't want to be wasting time if its not a good idea.


Quite frankly, outlines shouldn't be used for open book exams, except for maybe a quick scan for specific phrasing or if something's right there on the proverbial tip of your tongue and you can't quite remember it. The utility in an outline is the preparation of it. For that reason, it's just as useful for a closed book exam. Some will say you should prepare and memorize an outline for a closed book exam. I think you basically memorize it by going through the process of analyzing and synthesizing. Either way, the recommendation is the same: outlines are good for closed book exams.

jjlaw
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Re: Outline taking forever...

Postby jjlaw » Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:04 pm

How do I know that I'm including enough nuances of the law? Are nuances like "if/then" statements and policy discussion?

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bankruptedcasino
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Re: Outline taking forever...

Postby bankruptedcasino » Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:15 pm

I only included cases in my outline to show the nuances of the rule. Otherwise, I stuck to black letter law.

SAMPLE:

Adverse Possession
I. ELEMENTS
(1) Entry
(2) Open and notorious
i.) Open and notorious if a reasonable owner would have been put on notice that an adverse possessor was on the property.
a.) Near a freeway is acceptable.
b.) Back brush behind fenceline where original owner lived is not acceptable.
(3) Continuous for the statutory period
(4) Adverse and under a claim of right
i.) Good faith standard:
Smith v. Doe: Plaintiff's claims that he did not know that the land did not belong to him were evidence of good faith.
Roe v. Funkhauser: Plaintiff's constructive notice (defendant put "No Trespassing" signs where a reasonable person would have found them) was enough to defeat a good faith standard.
ii.) Aggressive trespass standard
Roe v. Funkhauser (reverse): Would have met this standard.
iii.) Neutral standard

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tfer2222
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Re: Outline taking forever...

Postby tfer2222 » Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:02 pm

jjlaw wrote:How do I know that I'm including enough nuances of the law? Are nuances like "if/then" statements and policy discussion?


if it's a nuance or fork you think might somehow help make more arguments on the exam, include it and mark it FORK: or NUANCE: that's what i did.

also sometimes got some extra forks from supplements

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Angus MacGyver
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Re: Outline taking forever...

Postby Angus MacGyver » Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:10 pm

rocon7383 wrote:Is there a generally accepted idea on how to study for a closed book exam? I have begun to outline, but really don't want to be wasting time if its not a good idea.


Mnemonic!

JD2014
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Re: Outline taking forever...

Postby JD2014 » Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:33 am

also sometimes got some extra forks from supplements


Any advice on a good torts supplement? I have Freer for civ cro and Dressler for crim, but nothing for torts. The E&Es are good but not very detailed, and the hornbooks are detailed but too often dive into tangents that aren't really useful for a 1L. (For example, how would one approach informed consent when transplanting an organ from one minor to another).

Are there any good 1L supplements for torts?

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Doritos
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Re: Outline taking forever...

Postby Doritos » Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:36 pm

Outlines are incredibly professor specific. My outlines varied a lot depending on the prof. Does the prof focus on cases a lot? Policy? Is the exam multiple choice? Time crunch issue spotter? Does the prof expect 25 pages or does the prof strongly prefer an exam under 10 pages? All of these things are relevant to how I would approach an outline as a 1L. As a 2L I just kind of throw things on the page after I've been drinking...

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crossarmant
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Re: Outline taking forever...

Postby crossarmant » Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:58 pm

Have you been taking notes as you read? I've been taking notes as I read, less briefing, more rule summarizing; and I was able to turn my reading notes, with class notes additions, into an outline relatively easy while adding some E&E logic in. I drafted mine up for a closed book Torts midterm like that and got an A on it. I feel like if you really try and work as you go, you get more out of the class.

But yeah, 10 hours to compress all of your class into a refined outline does seem a little high, though it really depends on how much of that was spent legitimately working and how much of it was spent dicking around.

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Gamecubesupreme
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Re: Outline taking forever...

Postby Gamecubesupreme » Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:20 pm

I think I easily spent over 100 hours on my Civ Pro outline.

So 10 hours for half a quarter isn't too much.

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YourCaptain
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Re: Outline taking forever...

Postby YourCaptain » Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:24 pm

Gamecubesupreme wrote:I think I easily spent over 100 hours on my Civ Pro outline.

So 10 hours for half a quarter isn't too much.


100 hours?

You did it incorrectly.

I made every outline in a day, starting from 7:30am and finishing around 5:30pm. Then every weekend I'd spent ~8 hours updating all of them, revising, formatting, and making them better. So between 7 outlines (1 elective) I spent ~100 hours.

100 hours for one alone is absurd; that time could be better spent going over E&E/MC hypos and looking over practice tests and trying to match the model answer.

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5ky
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Re: Outline taking forever...

Postby 5ky » Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:36 pm

YourCaptain wrote:
Gamecubesupreme wrote:I think I easily spent over 100 hours on my Civ Pro outline.

So 10 hours for half a quarter isn't too much.


100 hours?

You did it incorrectly.

I made every outline in a day, starting from 7:30am and finishing around 5:30pm. Then every weekend I'd spent ~8 hours updating all of them, revising, formatting, and making them better. So between 7 outlines (1 elective) I spent ~100 hours.

100 hours for one alone is absurd; that time could be better spent going over E&E/MC hypos and looking over practice tests and trying to match the model answer.


I think it's hard to do it "incorrectly." I also don't quite understand your math, because it seems like you spent more than 100 hours total.

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YourCaptain
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Re: Outline taking forever...

Postby YourCaptain » Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:21 am

5ky wrote:
YourCaptain wrote:
Gamecubesupreme wrote:I think I easily spent over 100 hours on my Civ Pro outline.

So 10 hours for half a quarter isn't too much.


100 hours?

You did it incorrectly.

I made every outline in a day, starting from 7:30am and finishing around 5:30pm. Then every weekend I'd spent ~8 hours updating all of them, revising, formatting, and making them better. So between 7 outlines (1 elective) I spent ~100 hours.

100 hours for one alone is absurd; that time could be better spent going over E&E/MC hypos and looking over practice tests and trying to match the model answer.


I think it's hard to do it "incorrectly." I also don't quite understand your math, because it seems like you spent more than 100 hours total.


Yeah my math is off, probably closer to 150 hrs for all 7. Regardless, if you're spending 100 hours on a single outline, you're doing it incorrectly in the sense that you A) either have very dense notes full of insignificant minutiae or B) you don't quite grasp what you're supposed to be picking out and placing into the outline.

Maybe it was an excellent civpro outline, but again, that amount of time involves a lot of waste and you should be able to find a better use for that much time.

hangtransferloose
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Re: Outline taking forever...

Postby hangtransferloose » Wed Oct 19, 2011 9:19 pm

Get an outline from a 2L or 3L and fill in the gaps as necessary. Then pay it forward next year by sharing it with a 1L.




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