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Author Topic: Does anyone have directions on how to make outlines?  (Read 2009 times)

jstonehead

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Does anyone have directions on how to make outlines?
« on: September 16, 2004, 11:04:15 AM »
Does anyone have directions on how to make outlines?  I think I'm gonna start making one this Saturday, but I don't even know where to start.

jeffjoe

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Re: Does anyone have directions on how to make outlines?
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2004, 11:08:32 AM »
Does anyone have directions on how to make outlines?  I think I'm gonna start making one this Saturday, but I don't even know where to start.

I'd get an example of one to get the idea.
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lawgirl

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Re: Does anyone have directions on how to make outlines?
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2004, 12:03:04 PM »
I did a copy and paste from one of my other posts when someone asked how to outline. This is a very general explanation. If you need more help, let me know.

LawGirl





I'll answer it in chunks since this board likes to time out. **Where do you learn to do outlines*** I don't know what other schools do, but ours had a one day Intro to Law School session where they gave us a bunch of information and part of that was how to outline. Your school may do the same. Sometimes you can find tips on outlining in the law school prep books that are out there (Law School Confidential, Law School Without Fear, etc.). I don't remember which books actually show you how to do it.

In general, the first thing to use is your syllabus. A lot of teachers will assign readings based on a skeleton outline of the course (ex: Week 1: Intentional Torts: Battery. Week 2: Intentional Torts: Assault.....Week 5: Negligence: The Element of Duty, etc.). You can use this as a main structure and then go to your table of contents in the book to see the structure of the course as a whole: Main Topics and Subtopics.

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LawGirl
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   Re: whast is outlining? Why do I care about it?
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2004, 02:13:34 PM »   

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That is how you construct your skeleton outline. You are looking for the main topics and subtopics to put in your outline. For torts, it will be the main causes of action (Intentional Torts, Negligence, Strict Liability) and under each of those the types of torts that fit into that category (Intentional Torts: Battery, Assault, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, etc), and under each specific tort, the elements that are required to prove each of them. As you outline, you will be filling in examples of case law that flush out what the elements are and how to prove them.
Just as an example:
                     Torts
I. Intentional Torts
     A. Battery
          1. Elements of Battery
                a. Intent to cause
                     1. Definition of Intent
                          a. kjsflksjflskfsldfjslfjs
                          b. ksjflflkflsflskjflkjflsj
                     2. Case Law
                          a. Garrett v. Dailey
                              1. Facts
                              2. Law
                              3. Reasoning
                              4. Holding
               b. A Harmful or Offensive
                     1. Definition of Harmful
                           a. Cases explaining harmful
                           b. alfjlfslflkfjalkjdlkf
                     2. Definition of Offensive
                           a. Cases explaining offensive
                           b. slfjslkfsjfljfdlksjfd
               c. Contact
                    1. aslkfjsdljllsjlfjs
                    2. alfjdslksjlkfjlsd
               

     B. Assault
          1. Elements of Assault


II. Negligence
     A. Elements
          1. Duty
          2. Breach
          3. And so on, and so forth

In short, you use the syllabus and your case book table of contents to get the structure and then you use your class notes to fill in the information.

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LawGirl
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   Re: whast is outlining? Why do I care about it?
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2004, 02:24:07 PM »   

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After you have outlined for awhile (and I recommend outlining whenever you make a major shift in class,ex: from the inentional torts to negligence), you will start to understand what information you need to include and what information you don't. For example, in my sample outline above, I put a case name and then put the major parts of a case (facts, law, reasoning and holding). These are the major things that I include when I brief a case for class, but I don't put them all in my outline. For my outline, I might just put a one line sentence of the facts of the case to refresh my memory and a one or two line sentence for the main gist of what Garrett v. Dailey stood for.

Once you are done, you will have a major outline for each class. When you study, you can then study the class outline in parts. For example, when I study Torts, I take the part of my outline involving intentional torts and keep that separate from negligence. I separate the intentional tort outline into its parts: Battery, Assault, etc. I study one part at a time (Battery). Then I study the next part (Assault). I study each part separately, keeping in mind that these are all the causes of action under the main heading of intentional torts.

When I feel like I have a good grasp on Intentional Torts, I then move onto Negligence. I set intentional torts aside and put all of the stuff for negligence in front of me. I then separate negligence out into its main sectios, which are the elements of duty, breach, etc. I study each of those separately, keeping in mind that these all go under the topic of negligence.

This is the approach that I take for each class. If you do it correctly in your study time before the exam, it will all come together. You will see the patterns and how things group together. Everyone learns differently, but this is what worked for me.

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LawGirl
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   Re: whast is outlining? Why do I care about it?
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2004, 02:35:50 PM »   

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You also asked about flow charts and note taking in class. I used flow charts for one class (Civil Procedure). I used it after I had already outlined and started studying. It was a way to test my knowledge and see if I was understanding the relationships between concepts. In general, I think you should use whatever works. The best advice I can give you is that the more you actually work with tne material, the better. If you have a system that works for you, use it. Above all else, do whatever it takes to understand the law at the minute level (black letter law, for example; the definition of intent for battery purposes), but MAKE SURE you can put it into some kind of a structure
(Torts: Intentional Torts, Negligence, Strict Liability).

As for note taking, I'm not sure what you are asking. I use a laptop (I wrote them by hand the first semester and it is much easier with a laptop). I try to figure out what the structure of the class is for that day (ex: Civil Procedure: Subject Matter Jurisdiction: Types: Diversity Jurisdiction and Federal Question Jurisdiction) and how it would fit in an overall structure for the class. And then I take notes. I might use a header: Diversity Jurisdition and take notes over all of the cases and what ever the prof says pertaining to diversity jurisdiction. Then, when the prof moves to federal question jurisdiction, I make a new header for that and do the same thing. 
 
 
 
 

jeffjoe

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Re: Does anyone have directions on how to make outlines?
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2004, 12:08:28 PM »
I think lawgirl deserves her own board.   :D
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zemog

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Re: Does anyone have directions on how to make outlines?
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2004, 12:16:30 PM »
That was a very good explanation and falls inline with what my profs and upper classman have said.

jeffjoe

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Re: Does anyone have directions on how to make outlines?
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2004, 12:42:22 PM »
Lawgirl rules.
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lawgirl

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Re: Does anyone have directions on how to make outlines?
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2004, 03:41:26 PM »
Aw, you guys are so sweet!!!!

baseballjones

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Re: Does anyone have directions on how to make outlines?
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2004, 09:07:57 PM »
Great strategy with one exception.  I would not include even that much about cases unless it is a landmark case (of course Con Law is a major exception and maybe Civ. Pro. depending on your profs style).  Garrett v. Dailey is not important in the long run.  The knowledge with substantial certainity standard is what u need from that case for example.  No facts at all are required. no holding.  just reasoning and that can be explained without any reference to the case.

just my opinion.  but I don't want approx 100 page outlines for each of my classes.  I'm shooting for 30-40 with the exception of prop. which might extend to 80.  leaving out cases will tighten up your outlines.

dtonsing

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Re: Does anyone have directions on how to make outlines?
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2004, 10:39:45 PM »
The best online source of information for “how to outline” is Suffolk Law Professor Herbert Ramy’s work. “An outline,” explains Professor Ramy, “is an attempt to reduce the often chaotic mix of materials a student possesses for any one class into a more logical order and a more manageable length.  When created correctly, an outline will become a student’s primary, and possibly only, study aid for exams.  While students create outlines in order to have an aid from which to study, it is the creation process that is actually the most important reason to spend valuable time writing an outline.”  (See complete instructions for course outlines – I call them “course summaries” – at Professor Ramy’s web site:
http://www.law.suffolk.edu/offices/stuservices/asp/files/CreatingCourseOutline.doc.)
If you have questions after reading Professor Ramy's work, send me an e-mail with your questions and I'll do my best to help you out.

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slacker

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Re: Does anyone have directions on how to make outlines?
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2004, 11:06:32 AM »
Thanks, folks, for the info here. I'm also getting to the point of starting outlines for my classes, and I appreciate the starting advice.