Outlining Strategy

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heyitsemm
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:16 pm

Outlining Strategy

Postby heyitsemm » Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:32 pm

I have just started outlining and was looking for some feedback (i.e. I am wondering If I will finish below median using this strategy).

This is what I do when I outline: First, I read a the relevant parts of the supplement for whatever class I am outlining. As I read I take notes on whatever I think is important and outline that, keeping in mind things my professor has not covered as well as different terminology my professor uses. After this I go to my class notes to double check the supplement did not contradict/ differ majorly from my professor, but my main goal is to fill in my outline with any nuances in the law my professor talked about in class or whatever else I took notes on since the professor thought it was important/ is specific to the particular professor. After this I go to my case briefs and check for any factual nuances from them I think are important and insert this onto the outline and whatever else I think is important (which is usually not much more than a sentence or two at most, aside from landmark cases). Do you think this strategy relies on the supplements too much, or is this pretty solid?

jarofsoup
Posts: 1952
Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 2:41 am

Re: Outlining Strategy

Postby jarofsoup » Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:57 pm

heyitsemm wrote:I have just started outlining and was looking for some feedback (i.e. I am wondering If I will finish below median using this strategy).

This is what I do when I outline: First, I read a the relevant parts of the supplement for whatever class I am outlining. As I read I take notes on whatever I think is important and outline that, keeping in mind things my professor has not covered as well as different terminology my professor uses. After this I go to my class notes to double check the supplement did not contradict/ differ majorly from my professor, but my main goal is to fill in my outline with any nuances in the law my professor talked about in class or whatever else I took notes on since the professor thought it was important/ is specific to the particular professor. After this I go to my case briefs and check for any factual nuances from them I think are important and insert this onto the outline and whatever else I think is important (which is usually not much more than a sentence or two at most, aside from landmark cases). Do you think this strategy relies on the supplements too much, or is this pretty solid?



I am kinda taking this approach for Civ Pro. Put do not neglect the teachers policy outlook it can be a big deal for some of your teachers. Try to talk to some 2ls if you can.

zomginternets
Posts: 547
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2011 1:59 pm

Re: Outlining Strategy

Postby zomginternets » Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:32 am

In my 1L year, I went in reverse order from you: I outlined from rules in cases and class notes first, then added to my outline with supplements, and asked the prof questions if anything did not match up. This year (2L), I'm outlining from the supplement first, then looking at class notes/cases second. I don't think it really matters which way you do it.

pasteurizedmilk
Posts: 460
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2008 8:12 pm

Re: Outlining Strategy

Postby pasteurizedmilk » Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:44 am

Solid. Remember to hone in on terms your prof uses--that's really important. A busy/bored professor will scan for familiar buzzwords and hone in on those areas, so you can make sure you rack up a bunch of points for each topic if you use their terminology.

My outlines were organized so that I had 2 pages covering each major topic. It was in pamphlet form so when I opened it I was looking at 2 pages (the back of one and the front of another) on the same issue.

Left side:

Analysis
(order of analysis, e.g. a tort)
1. Duty
2. Breach
3. Injury
4. Causation

This section is an order of analysis that I will apply on the exam. Obviously unnecessary for something as simple as the four elements, but in more complex areas it can be expanded upon.

The next section was "Issues."

Issues
1. Special relationship?
2. Dangerous activity? Strict liability?
3. Eggshell plaintiff?
4. Superseding cause? Intervening cause? Foreseeable?
etc. etc.

This section is basically a quick list of potential issues that could arise in a given issue spotter. I would read through the exam right next to this list, and check off the issues that are presented by the fact pattern. This allows me to ensure that I hit every topic the professor might be attempting to elicit.

The right side of the 2 page pamphlet contains a short outline with quick blurbs on the law from important cases/statutes. Thus, once I've done the read through with the issue spotter checklist I begin writing using the listed order of analysis and making sure I hit each issue I've checked off on the issue section.

I found this to be really effective.
Last edited by pasteurizedmilk on Fri Oct 14, 2011 1:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

shock259
Posts: 1737
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:30 am

Re: Outlining Strategy

Postby shock259 » Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:11 pm

^^ That seems like it would be really helpful. I may make a shortlist of those terms as well. Alternatively, I think I may highlight each potential common issue on my final outline.

Per the original topic, I'm doing the reverse order too. Using primarily casebook and cases to get a general skeleton, then using a commercial outline/supplement to heavily modify. Classnotes are added when the class topic comes up, and those take precedent over the rest. I'm not sure if it really makes a difference what order it goes in. Sometimes the commercial outline is spot on to what prof/casebook says, but sometimes it is way different (and way more confusing).




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