Are there any good threads on outlining?

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glassman
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2010 7:09 pm

Are there any good threads on outlining?

Postby glassman » Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:53 pm

I wanted to start outlining for my Christmas exams and was just wondering if there are any good threads on the subject before I start. I have searched but not found anything. Anyone know of anything useful?

EDIT: Just to clarify, I'm mainly looking for general tips such as formatting advice

swimmer11
Posts: 464
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 1:54 pm

Re: Are there any good threads on outlining?

Postby swimmer11 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 5:50 pm

You can always look at 2L and 3L outlines, and use that formatting. The only thing I did different in mine is whenever I put minority view I would put FORK in caps or if it was policy I would put that in all caps, just to alert myself of additional talking points. Use the general template, and make it your own.

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glassman
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2010 7:09 pm

Re: Are there any good threads on outlining?

Postby glassman » Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:02 pm

I have been using upper year outlines, but I was thinking that I might get better collective wisdom from this community...Although, it seems that there are no guides to outlining, your small tips are good ones! I will be using them.

shadowgirl618
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 1:05 pm

Re: Are there any good threads on outlining?

Postby shadowgirl618 » Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:19 pm

Not sure about any good threads on outlining, but I can tell you if your exam is going to be open book, it's nice to have a table of contents, and Word has a nice feature to use that.

So basically use the Heading styles for your headers in your outline (Heading 1, Heading 2, Heading 3...) and categorize by unit. Then after you are all done with your outline, go back to the beginning and insert Table of Contents. Don't use a preset one if you used more than like 3 heading styles... I usually just click on the one that says "Insert Table of Contents..." and then pick the number of headings I want to show up in my table of contents. Then bam, summary version of outline at the beginning of my outline.

Hope this makes sense.

Here are some resources if you need it:
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/word-help/demo-let-word-manage-your-table-of-contents-HA010236558.aspx

MinEMorris
Posts: 228
Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2012 12:26 am

Re: Are there any good threads on outlining?

Postby MinEMorris » Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:19 pm

Really, the most bottomline advice I can give is to try to figure out what the exam will be like and what your professor will be looking for and let that have major influence over how you outline. For example, if the professor has previous exams with answers available, and in the answers the professor seems to like applying and comparing the facts of the cases learned in class to the hypotheticals, you will probably need to know the facts of the cases you learned pretty well (e.g. incorporate short briefs of the cases into your outline or have a separate document of them). On the other hand, if your teacher says that all you need is the bottomline holding of the case or wants you to rely heavily on restatement provisions, incorporating briefs into your outline would be a huge waste of space. My main criticism of most outlines if that they have a ridiculous amount of extraneous information. 80 page outlines with briefs of each case, including the procedural background, all of the historical information that the teacher explicitly said you will not be tested on, etc. Unless you have a strong reason for believing that you will be able to drop it on the exam, I see no reason to put it in your outline.

As far as structuring, in part out of laziness but mostly under the belief that it best reflected how the professor conceptualized the material, I followed the structure we covered the material in class. So for contracts, you probably first covered formation, then within formation covered the separate topics of offer, acceptance, and consideration. Accordingly, my outline would have a fat heading with "FORMATION" then have the subheadings of offer, acceptance, and consideration. Within those subheadings there might be further subheadings depending on how we covered the material (i.e. consideration might be broken up into conventional consideration and substitutes for consideration like promissory estoppel). Now, you're going to get some visual dissonance if you have a bunch of headings and subheadings. What I ended up doing was using one color for the headings per class, and then using a smaller font size/lighter gradation of the color for every subheading. I'll see if I can do that here, assuming I chose blue for contracts:

FORMATION
- general introductory points

Offer
- blah blah blah
- blah blah blah


Acceptance
- blah blah blah
- blah blah blah


Consideration
- general points

Conventional consideration
- blah blah blah
- blah blah blah


Substitutes for consideration
Promissory Estoppel
- blah blah blah
Moral Obligation
- blah blah blah


ENFORCEABILITY
...

Hope that helps, good luck.

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shepdawg
Posts: 477
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Re: Are there any good threads on outlining?

Postby shepdawg » Sat Nov 24, 2012 1:03 pm

Look at the guy with the fancy color printer.




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