Too late to start outlining?

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Gettingstarted1928
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Re: Too late to start outlining?

Postby Gettingstarted1928 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 12:33 am

kaiser wrote:
chimp wrote:
Gettingstarted1928 wrote:I still haven't figured out why making your outline is so important.

Lets say you were going to spend 40 hours studying for a particular final. Doesn't it make since to sit down and study an outline for 40 hours as opposed to outlining for most of that time and then studying it for the rest? Maybe I'm missing something.


Making outline = studying


Exactly. Outlining isn't just absent-mindedly abridging your notes. You start at the beginning and run through the concepts, reconsider hypotheticals, summarize important cases and doctrines, etc. What ends up on the page isn't really important. The important thing is that you sat and thought about these things as you created the document. Ideally, you don't even need the outline itself come exam time. It is the process of creating it that is so important, because that process equates to studying and synthesizing the course material.


Perhaps I'm just looking for a reason not to make my own outline. I'm willing to make my own, but I fear it's too late.

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johansantana21
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Re: Too late to start outlining?

Postby johansantana21 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 12:35 am

Gettingstarted1928 wrote:
kaiser wrote:
chimp wrote:
Gettingstarted1928 wrote:I still haven't figured out why making your outline is so important.

Lets say you were going to spend 40 hours studying for a particular final. Doesn't it make since to sit down and study an outline for 40 hours as opposed to outlining for most of that time and then studying it for the rest? Maybe I'm missing something.


Making outline = studying


Exactly. Outlining isn't just absent-mindedly abridging your notes. You start at the beginning and run through the concepts, reconsider hypotheticals, summarize important cases and doctrines, etc. What ends up on the page isn't really important. The important thing is that you sat and thought about these things as you created the document. Ideally, you don't even need the outline itself come exam time. It is the process of creating it that is so important, because that process equates to studying and synthesizing the course material.


Perhaps I'm just looking for a reason not to make my own outline. I'm willing to make my own, but I fear it's too late.


This is what I'm feeling but I guess since I have a little over 3 weeks until finals start, I might as well try and bust ass...

I haven't heard of anyone not outlining 1st semester and doing really well.

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Gettingstarted1928
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Re: Too late to start outlining?

Postby Gettingstarted1928 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 12:52 am

I'm under similar time constraints. I think I'm just gonna sack up and do it. I doubt we are that far behind. Do you have a memo due soon?

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johansantana21
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Re: Too late to start outlining?

Postby johansantana21 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 12:58 am

Gettingstarted1928 wrote:I'm under similar time constraints. I think I'm just gonna sack up and do it. I doubt we are that far behind. Do you have a memo due soon?


Yes pretty soon but at this point I've given up on the memo and trying to aim for a median there.

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rayiner
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Re: Too late to start outlining?

Postby rayiner » Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:00 am

therunningman wrote:It's never "too late" to start outlining. But if you have a few weeks what's the point? You would be better off studying an outline from someone who booked the class last year. For the utility of outlining to be maximized it should be done organically over the course of the semester. It should be done simultaneously with practice problems and in class hypos so you build a personal tool for exam taking. IMO


Depends on the person. My outlines from the beginning of a class are shit. I've found that doing all the reading and outlining in the month before finals is highly effective for me (if stressful).

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rayiner
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Re: Too late to start outlining?

Postby rayiner » Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:01 am

johansantana21 wrote:Isn't Desert Fox some genius slacker?


Well there is that.

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johansantana21
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Re: Too late to start outlining?

Postby johansantana21 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:06 am

Considering all but 1 genius slacker has advised me to outline, it's time for lots of coffee and outlining! Thanks guys!

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Gettingstarted1928
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Re: Too late to start outlining?

Postby Gettingstarted1928 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:09 am

johansantana21 wrote:Considering all but 1 genius slacker has advised me to outline, it's time for lots of coffee and outlining! Thanks guys!


Same. Report back.

bartleby
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Re: Too late to start outlining?

Postby bartleby » Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:54 am

i think it's helpful to go through old exams / hypos and then outline from there. so that way you aren't just "re-learning" everything and "re-reading" everything but actually seeing how it applies.

a lot of the old exams we have have policy questions on like...consideration or remedies or something, and then a huge fact pattern that forces you to go back and re-read some stuff - THEN throw that in your outline.

that's my strategy. i've already started and then stopped outlining for all my classes at least twice this semester. there's using a lot of time effectively and then there's using a lot of time to do stupid useless stuff. just be smart.

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johansantana21
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Re: Too late to start outlining?

Postby johansantana21 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:55 am

So far a failure. I write one section in my outline then I just refer to the outline I got from a previous student who had the same professor.

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cinephile
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Re: Too late to start outlining?

Postby cinephile » Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:01 am

Maybe it'd be helpful to do group outlining? This is basically what I'm doing with my study group, we just sit around and talk about what we think is important to include and it serves as a review, plus it's interesting to get other people's perspectives.

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Re: Too late to start outlining?

Postby Flanker1067 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:40 am

I am confused as to why people assume it is so time consuming. I go through, re-think about earlier concepts in light of everything we have done, fill in some gaps and finally slap a few lines down that will remind me later on. The whole process seems important and not that time consuming. Sure, if you had just a few days I would say skip it...

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Re: Too late to start outlining?

Postby keg411 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 12:47 pm

johansantana21 wrote:So far a failure. I write one section in my outline then I just refer to the outline I got from a previous student who had the same professor.


That's what I did for the most part. Copied parts of old outlines and then added in stuff from class notes and the textbook (although in one class, I used the book's format since my prof followed it). Made them functional so that I could use them during exams (this can be figured out by taking PT's which you don't need to do yet).

Seriously, don't worry too much. Do things how they work best for you. If you're feeling a certain way to do something is best, then do that.

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Re: Too late to start outlining?

Postby 09042014 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:53 pm

rayiner wrote:
johansantana21 wrote:Isn't Desert Fox some genius slacker?


Well there is that.


Nah, I'm no slacker genius.

But I did a lot better in classes I used someone else's outline for.

Most 1Ls end up spending a ridiculous amount of time on their outline. Many people I know were working on outlines until a day or two before the exam day. And then there is the issue of quality. I just don't make a very good outline.

I'm sure some people find making an outline to be great study time. It isn't for me, but everyone learns differently. But it's definitely not the most efficient. So unless you start far ahead of time, I don't think it's worth it.

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BruceWayne
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Re: Too late to start outlining?

Postby BruceWayne » Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:11 pm

Desert Fox wrote:Nah, I'm no slacker genius.

But I did a lot better in classes I used someone else's outline for.

Most 1Ls end up spending a ridiculous amount of time on their outline. Many people I know were working on outlines until a day or two before the exam day. And then there is the issue of quality. I just don't make a very good outline.

I'm sure some people find making an outline to be great study time. It isn't for me, but everyone learns differently. But it's definitely not the most efficient. So unless you start far ahead of time, I don't think it's worth it.



I'm sorry to jump on the bandwagon but I totally agree with this. To be honest, I'm not sure who started the whole outlining thing but frankly, I think for most people it's a waste of time. I think the only reason people become obsessed with them is that it's a part of law school tradition, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's a good idea.

My problems with outlining

1. It takes an ENORMOUS amount of time to properly outline a class. I mean seriously, it really does. Someone on here mentioned it already but it may take you something like 40 hours to outline a class. Most 1Ls have 3-4 classes. That's up to 160 hours outlining!!!! You do not have that kind of time!!!! Your time is too important during 1L to spend it "outlining" for 40 hours.

2. You DO NOT learn much from outlining. I'm sorry, but I don't know why people think that they learn more by rotely typing and reorganizing notes. Let me ask people something: did you ever "outline" in college? Do you know any medical students, MBA's, or other graduate students who "outline"? Do you think that they do not know how to study but that for some strange reason law students do? You are better off spending 40 hours reading, memorizing, and learning a subject from a ready made outline or your notes than by retyping stuff for 40 hours. AKA what EVERY other form of higher education student does. Law has this weird mentality where it thinks that it's unique way of doing things is the best way, even when every other form of academia has abandoned that method. But that's a story for another day...

3. It takes time away from doing practice exams; which is FAR more important than outlining. Having a perfectly typed outline is not going to help you on a 3 hour type fest issue spotter exam. Which is what 90 percent of 1L finals are.
Last edited by BruceWayne on Sat Nov 12, 2011 10:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Too late to start outlining?

Postby vanwinkle » Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:14 pm

Gettingstarted1928 wrote:I still haven't figured out why making your outline is so important.

Lets say you were going to spend 40 hours studying for a particular final. Doesn't it make since to sit down and study an outline for 40 hours as opposed to outlining for most of that time and then studying it for the rest? Maybe I'm missing something.

As you make an outline, you sift through your notes, review the material, and figure out how each part works as you condense the material. Then you figure out what the best order to sort the material is, which can be just as important, since it'll likely be the same order you use the material on the exam.

If you study a pre-made outline you might be able to pay attention to the ordering and structure and reasoning that dictates why the outline presents the material that way. Or you might just memorize a bunch of stuff. On an exam, what matters isn't how much you know, what matters is how much and how well you can apply what you know. Making an outline forces you to think about how the rules and cases work, and what matters on exam day is knowing how they work, not just having memorized what they are.

Some people don't need to make their own outlines, and know how to apply the law on an exam anyway. For 2Ls and 3Ls that know how to do well, they might be able to get what they need just from reading an outline, and they've taken enough exams to know what they need to do. But for most 1Ls I still highly recommend making your own outline because the process of making it teaches you the material. It's not the only way to learn, but it's the only way that's easy to explain to people who've never taken an exam before.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Too late to start outlining?

Postby vanwinkle » Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:21 pm

BruceWayne wrote:2. You DO NOT learn much from outlining. I'm sorry, but I don't know why people think that they learn more by rotely typing and reorganizing notes. Let me ask people something: did you ever "outline" in college? Do you know any medical students, MBA's, or other graduate students who "outline"? Do you think that they do not know how to study but that for some strange reason law students do? You are better off spending 40 hours reading, memorizing, and learning a subject from a ready made outline or your notes than by retyping stuff for 40 hours. AKA what EVERY other form of higher education student does. Law has this weird mentality where it thinks that it's unique way of doing things is the best way, even when every other form of academia has abandoned that method. But that's a story for another day...

This is incredibly flawed reasoning. Outlining is unique to law school because law exams are unique to law school, and call for unique study methods. An MBA wouldn't outline for an exam like law students do because an MBA won't be tested in the same manner law students are. Other forms of academia rely less on outlining because rote memorization is more sufficient there.

Law students aren't supposed to just be learning "the law". This is a huge fallacy, I think, among potential and current law students. What you're actually studying is how to think; you're studying how to apply the law. Each class has different subject matter but similar principles of legal application. Like I said in my prior post, not everyone needs to outline, but outlining will teach most people who do it about legal application.

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Always Credited
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Re: Too late to start outlining?

Postby Always Credited » Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:34 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:2. You DO NOT learn much from outlining. I'm sorry, but I don't know why people think that they learn more by rotely typing and reorganizing notes. Let me ask people something: did you ever "outline" in college? Do you know any medical students, MBA's, or other graduate students who "outline"? Do you think that they do not know how to study but that for some strange reason law students do? You are better off spending 40 hours reading, memorizing, and learning a subject from a ready made outline or your notes than by retyping stuff for 40 hours. AKA what EVERY other form of higher education student does. Law has this weird mentality where it thinks that it's unique way of doing things is the best way, even when every other form of academia has abandoned that method. But that's a story for another day...

This is incredibly flawed reasoning. Outlining is unique to law school because law exams are unique to law school, and call for unique study methods. An MBA wouldn't outline for an exam like law students do because an MBA won't be tested in the same manner law students are. Other forms of academia rely less on outlining because rote memorization is more sufficient there.

Law students aren't supposed to just be learning "the law". This is a huge fallacy, I think, among potential and current law students. What you're actually studying is how to think; you're studying how to apply the law. Each class has different subject matter but similar principles of legal application. Like I said in my prior post, not everyone needs to outline, but outlining will teach most people who do it about legal application.


thanks for beating me to the punch so I didn't have to type something like this

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Re: Too late to start outlining?

Postby downing » Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:50 pm

What I've been doing: I've been outlining for about a month and a half, so my outlines for Torts and Ks are fully updated. I started my Constitutional Law outline but have a lot more to do. I find outlining to be helpful. I also have an old outline for crim from a 2L friend who got a great grade, and the class is a take home exam, so I feel like I could just use his, although I'll study it to see if there's anything I should add.

My opinion: The process of outlining should be a process of studying. If your outline is the product of simple copying and pasting, you obviously won't be learning anything. The point (IMO) is to synthesize the jumble of data you receive from your professor's and textbooks into a single document that (hopefully) isn't too big or dense.

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Always Credited
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Re: Too late to start outlining?

Postby Always Credited » Fri Nov 11, 2011 3:18 pm

downing wrote:What I've been doing: I've been outlining for about a month and a half, so my outlines for Torts and Ks are fully updated. I started my Constitutional Law outline but have a lot more to do. I find outlining to be helpful. I also have an old outline for crim from a 2L friend who got a great grade, and the class is a take home exam, so I feel like I could just use his, although I'll study it to see if there's anything I should add.

My opinion: The process of outlining should be a process of studying. If your outline is the product of simple copying and pasting, you obviously won't be learning anything. The point (IMO) is to synthesize the jumble of data you receive from your professor's and textbooks into a single document that (hopefully) isn't too big or dense.


I've always maintained that if you can turn a 90-page shitshow of a document into an ultra-consolidated 3-5 page breakdown of the course, you're going to get an A

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Re: Too late to start outlining?

Postby snowpeach06 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 3:47 pm

johansantana21 wrote:I have old outlines, but I was thinking if it's not too late I could make my own outlines. I did start taking reading notes around 5 weeks into class so it shouldn't be too bad?

But was wondering how much of a help it is in actually making own outlines.

Isn't Desert Fox some genius slacker? Anyone else have relevant advice?

I don't know shit until I start outlining. My outlining consists of me reading supplements, old outlines and my notes to put everything in my words on my outline. Once I'm done, I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on the material, and then to study I just do sample problems, or make flow charts or whatever. To each their own, but, yes, I do find it EXTREMELY helpful. Just find your own best method.

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johansantana21
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Re: Too late to start outlining?

Postby johansantana21 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 5:38 pm

Weird, I don't learn much about structure and stuff when I outline...The structure I follow is just the order in which we cover the topics which seem pretty intuitive.

It does help me nitpick as I have to review all my class notes and try to see which cases are important and what the final controlling rule is.

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rayiner
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Re: Too late to start outlining?

Postby rayiner » Fri Nov 11, 2011 7:00 pm

I agree with DF, with the proviso that you gotta figure out what works for you and be willing to change up if what you're doing isn't working.

Reading someone else's outline does nothing for me. None of it sticks. When I make my own outline, particularly in the process of condensing it, things start sticking. Yes, they're time consuming, but at the same time I tend to hit diminishing returns with one or two practice exams so it's not like I have much else to do.

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Extension_Cord
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Re: Too late to start outlining?

Postby Extension_Cord » Fri Nov 11, 2011 7:15 pm

snowpeach06 wrote:
johansantana21 wrote:I have old outlines, but I was thinking if it's not too late I could make my own outlines. I did start taking reading notes around 5 weeks into class so it shouldn't be too bad?

But was wondering how much of a help it is in actually making own outlines.

Isn't Desert Fox some genius slacker? Anyone else have relevant advice?

I don't know shit until I start outlining. My outlining consists of me reading supplements, old outlines and my notes to put everything in my words on my outline. Once I'm done, I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on the material, and then to study I just do sample problems, or make flow charts or whatever. To each their own, but, yes, I do find it EXTREMELY helpful. Just find your own best method.


How do you not know shit before outlining? I think I get between 10% to 40% out of an outline depending on the class. the remaining 90% to 60% is stuff I already drilled into my mind. Coincidently, the class I get the most of outlining is the class I do the least amount of reading for...

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Holly Golightly
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Re: Too late to start outlining?

Postby Holly Golightly » Fri Nov 11, 2011 7:17 pm

Extension_Cord wrote:
snowpeach06 wrote:
johansantana21 wrote:I have old outlines, but I was thinking if it's not too late I could make my own outlines. I did start taking reading notes around 5 weeks into class so it shouldn't be too bad?

But was wondering how much of a help it is in actually making own outlines.

Isn't Desert Fox some genius slacker? Anyone else have relevant advice?

I don't know shit until I start outlining. My outlining consists of me reading supplements, old outlines and my notes to put everything in my words on my outline. Once I'm done, I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on the material, and then to study I just do sample problems, or make flow charts or whatever. To each their own, but, yes, I do find it EXTREMELY helpful. Just find your own best method.


How do you not know shit before outlining? I think I get between 10% to 40% out of an outline depending on the class. the remaining 90% to 60% is stuff I already drilled into my mind. Coincidently, the class I get the most of outlining is the class I do the least amount of reading for...

I know nothing about any classes or how to put anything together until finals.




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