Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Self-Written Outlines v. Outlines by top student  (Read 3027 times)

deathbylawschool

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Self-Written Outlines v. Outlines by top student
« on: April 18, 2003, 11:59:25 PM »
Hi fellow law students,
I'm a 1L on the verge of complete burn-out, as most of us are at this point trudging closer and closer to finals...Soon we shall be free free at last...

I had a q that perhaps 2Ls or 3Ls could answer or even 1L's who've confronted this dilemma...

as we all know, former outlines are so tempting to 1L's esp. those like me who take an ETERNITY and then some to complete an outline and feel "satisfied" that tis a good one;)

Thanks to the general camarederie amonst some of my law school classmates, I've come across several outlines written by former top students who took t/same course/same prof.

If u had a choice bw
a)writing ur own outlines or
b)memorize off a former top student (we're talking top 1 percent!?!) outline who took the same course/same prof...what would u do?? Essentially, my q is: is it more important to memorize the info OR to pound it into ur cranium by doing the actual typing up of the outline??? Obviously, the latter helps w/memory retention, but in my experience, doing the outline will severely cut down the time i can do practice tests and actually memorize the darn thang!

keeping in mind that ur first final is coming up in no less than a week and a half!?! (ok breathe) Also, another caveat:
The top student former outlines have been passed around
like SARS throughout my class. God knows who doesn't have a copy! COnsidering the infamous curve system, would doing ur own outline be beneficial in that regard???

Due to lack of time. One has gotta make a decision.
Thanks to 4 months of  sleep deprivation it took me sev weeks to do a thorough Crim Pro outline. Don't ask. It's quite embarassing, but hey, it's extremely thorough... pooha Yes I thought i was intellectually inquisitive prior to law school. Now? JUST GIMME THE RULE I SAY! That's my 2nd semester attitude...hopefully this indolence will fade once the last day of finals is finito.
ANY advice would help...
thank you so much...
i hope one day if i ever survive this, i'll be able to help other 1L's...death by law school, there's no other term for it is there?

death by law school

Andrew

  • Sr. Citizen
  • Posts: 742
  • "I just think the thing should work properly."
    • View Profile
    • Andrew Sinclair
Re: Self-Written Outlines v. Outlines by top stude
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2003, 09:50:40 AM »
Personally I think the typing of the outline is the way to learn.  I rarely even look at my outlines during the actual exam.  The exceptions are places where there are lists of factors ("three prong test") and the like.

Perhaps there is a hybrid option... use the old outline as a guide to make your own.  I did this in one class and it served me well last year.

Finally, don't forget that you're graded on only one thing in law school: exam taking.  A big part of first year exams is issue spotting, and outlines generally don't help with that.  Another big part is writing - again no help from outlines.  Remember that that top 1% student wasn't graded on her outline, she was graded on her bluebook.  While there may be a correlation between studying / outlining and good grades, by no means to the best scoring students necessarily have the best outlines.

Hang in there.  There economy is crap and any little point you can get on your exams will directly help you to get a job - so get back to that outline...

Good luck!

doyles

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Click Profile to change this text.
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Self-Written Outlines v. Outlines by top stude
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2003, 12:19:14 PM »
I agree with Andrew. it really depends on what you get out of an outline. For me, and I think for many people, the actual writing of the outline really gets it all in your brain and helps bring the course together (which is also why I wait to outline until the end of the semester, otherwise it loses the nice "bring it all together" effect).

But there are people for whom writing thr outline does nothing, the outline for them is a reference during the test, and so it doesn't matter if they made their own or not. But I think that they are the minorty.

I used a "model" outline for all of my classes--I had great upperclassmen friends who supplied me with a few outlines. I looked through them and then chose one for each class that fit my own style best, and referred to it when my own notes were sparse, or mimicked the outline levels, fonts, etc. I found it useful to have a guide, but I made sure to type in everythign myself and use my own words.

I also barely referred to my outlines during the test, and I made checklists for things like three-prong tests.

If you memorize something, you can forget it. If you create it yourself, that is far less likely to happen.

Assyrian Empire

  • Guest
Re: Self-Written Outlines v. Outlines by top stude
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2003, 07:26:53 PM »
 :)
Hey guys I was just wondering what is and outline?


Skrewku08

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Re: Self-Written Outlines v. Outlines by top student
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2005, 05:58:51 PM »
Definately write your own. When you assimilate the material it helps cement it in your head. That is going to help your analysis on the exam when you do it yourself. I did not do very well my first semester because of this, then when I wrote my own my grades improved dramatically. You should get the top student outline and use it to make sure that you do not have any holes in the outline. Also, use it get an idea of how to assimilate the material. Bottom line, it will help you for the exam to do it yourself.

dft

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 519
    • View Profile
Re: Self-Written Outlines v. Outlines by top student
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2005, 11:36:03 PM »
Definately write your own. When you assimilate the material it helps cement it in your head. That is going to help your analysis on the exam when you do it yourself. I did not do very well my first semester because of this, then when I wrote my own my grades improved dramatically. You should get the top student outline and use it to make sure that you do not have any holes in the outline. Also, use it get an idea of how to assimilate the material. Bottom line, it will help you for the exam to do it yourself.

hey the guy probably already graduated from LS -- this thread is from 2 years ago!

tycom

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
Re: Self-Written Outlines v. Outlines by top student
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2005, 09:10:13 PM »
I realize this thread is old, but...

For what it's worth - I found that combining an old top student's outlines with my notes and deleting the extra information I didn't need was the best bet. 

Reason being - Old top 1% student's outline is probably filled with things you won't need to know.  But, I bet it has everything will would need to know as well.  If you add your class notes to what is already there, and delete the excess garbage (mainly, this will be history, irrelevant policy, etc...) you can come away with a shorter, better outline with much less effort than actually manufacturing your own. 

The only problem is that you probably will have to study it more than you would if you made your own.  I just used the extra time to take practice exams using the outline.

btideroll

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 71
    • View Profile
Re: Self-Written Outlines v. Outlines by top student
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2005, 03:05:58 PM »
Everyone learns differently. By doing your own outline you are learning. The last thing you want to do is memorize someone else's outline. Sure it would be a good thing to have so that you generally know what the prof will cover so you can hone your focus, but I wouldn't put doing my own outline in the backseat to a pre-written outline. I don't care if they were Law Review or not.

Just my 2 pennies

http://cacheofreason.blogspot.com



Hi fellow law students,
I'm a 1L on the verge of complete burn-out, as most of us are at this point trudging closer and closer to finals...Soon we shall be free free at last...

I had a q that perhaps 2Ls or 3Ls could answer or even 1L's who've confronted this dilemma...

as we all know, former outlines are so tempting to 1L's esp. those like me who take an ETERNITY and then some to complete an outline and feel "satisfied" that tis a good one;)

Thanks to the general camarederie amonst some of my law school classmates, I've come across several outlines written by former top students who took t/same course/same prof.

If u had a choice bw
a)writing ur own outlines or
b)memorize off a former top student (we're talking top 1 percent!?!) outline who took the same course/same prof...what would u do?? Essentially, my q is: is it more important to memorize the info OR to pound it into ur cranium by doing the actual typing up of the outline??? Obviously, the latter helps w/memory retention, but in my experience, doing the outline will severely cut down the time i can do practice tests and actually memorize the darn thang!

keeping in mind that ur first final is coming up in no less than a week and a half!?! (ok breathe) Also, another caveat:
The top student former outlines have been passed around
like SARS throughout my class. God knows who doesn't have a copy! COnsidering the infamous curve system, would doing ur own outline be beneficial in that regard???

Due to lack of time. One has gotta make a decision.
Thanks to 4 months of  sleep deprivation it took me sev weeks to do a thorough Crim Pro outline. Don't ask. It's quite embarassing, but hey, it's extremely thorough... pooha Yes I thought i was intellectually inquisitive prior to law school. Now? JUST GIMME THE RULE I SAY! That's my 2nd semester attitude...hopefully this indolence will fade once the last day of finals is finito.
ANY advice would help...
thank you so much...
i hope one day if i ever survive this, i'll be able to help other 1L's...death by law school, there's no other term for it is there?

death by law school

tycom

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
Re: Self-Written Outlines v. Outlines by top student
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2005, 10:49:39 PM »
Exactly.  Everyone differs.  I'm not a fan of making my own outlines.  I don't organize them well, and, frankly, when I made my own (for 2 classes), they weren't easy on the eyes.  I found my time was better spent using another's for organization and general information purposes.  By adding to it, you are taking the time to make your own outline - that is, picking out what is important from your own class notes, and making sure it's in there already.  If not, you add it.  Once done, go over it, delete the stuff you don't need.

Cosmoline

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Self-Written Outlines v. Outlines by top student
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2005, 03:04:41 PM »
I did my best on exams when I prepared my own outline and a sub-outline called a "scrib sheet" with memory points.  This only works if it's coming from your own brain, though.  Looking at other people's outlines is only really useful to see if you're missing any major themes.