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Author Topic: Making your own outline v. Outline from past years  (Read 1756 times)

brandy4k

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Making your own outline v. Outline from past years
« on: September 21, 2007, 07:13:44 PM »


So, here's the deal.
I've got tons of outlines from 2L,3Ls who took the same class with exact same professor last year.
I've look at all their outlines and compared them with class lectures, and so far they'll all identical materials.
These outlines are pretty good ones too.
Shall I bother writing my own outline even though these are pretty good?
I've been incorporating my own notes to these outlines for past few weeks but I'm not sure what to do when October comes and everyone starts making outlines.

Any advices?

Jhuen_the_bird

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Re: Making your own outline v. Outline from past years
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2007, 09:43:15 PM »
tag (although I would guess making your own is better)

thorc954

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Re: Making your own outline v. Outline from past years
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2007, 10:14:41 PM »
def make your own, the most important part is making it yourself...

jacy85

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Re: Making your own outline v. Outline from past years
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2007, 09:28:28 AM »
Since it doesn't sound like you're going to make your own even if we suggest it, I'll make a different suggestion.  Take 2 of the outlines you really like, that are in a format you like, and that have been pretty accurate in covering the materials.  Pick the one you like the most, and then use the other one and your class/reading notes to add, supplement, and rewrite your favorite.  It's important, IMO, to go line by line, topic by topic.

Then, once that's done, read through it and try to shorten it.  Rewrite more, summarize in your own words, etc.  One stupid little thing I do is I look for lines of the outline that have only a few words on the last line.  I'll try to shorten it up to not "overflow."  It seems like a dumb exercise, but it gets me to read through the outline, think critically about what I absolutely want/have to have in there, and become familiar with my outline and the subject matter all at once.

By actively going through an outline like this, you'll probably get a lot of the same benefit of making your own.  After first semester, I've done this for every class.

I'll add a small word of warning though - this may not be the best approach for ConLaw.  Not making my own outline in that class was a mistake for me.  I did well on the exam at the end of it, but I walked into the open book exam in a panic and didn't feel like "editing" an old outline was enough to learn the material.  Then again, maybe I just didn't really get ConLaw all that much.  To each their own.

lawmama09

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Re: Making your own outline v. Outline from past years
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2007, 09:42:50 AM »
Well at our school, the rule for most professors is that you can only use material you had a substantial part in creating, so technically, using an old outline would be a violation. I highly doubt you'd get caught, but it is something to think about.

To me, making the outline is the whole point of the exercise. I barely even look at the outline during exams at all. I use the outline making process as a way to review everything I have done for the semester. I don't even start making one until toward the end of the semester and when I do, it forces me to go through class notes, book notes, case briefs, etc. That's the reason to do it, not so you have a pretty document to take to the exam.

Jhuen_the_bird

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Re: Making your own outline v. Outline from past years
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2007, 09:54:08 AM »
What I plan on doing is to not really look at the outlines I've received from others, and to start making my own (maybe look at their headings to get an idea where to start), and then compare mine to theirs ... just to see if I missed anything.  Also, though, I hear it's a good idea to meet w/ a friend or two in your section and compare outlines to fill in "gaps" (maybe where you zoned out in class or didn't read a case very closely for example).

matty

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Re: Making your own outline v. Outline from past years
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2007, 07:42:40 PM »
For FREE outlines go to http://www.lawschoolstuff.net

PJP

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Re: Making your own outline v. Outline from past years
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2007, 01:33:01 AM »
I personally have a hard time familiarizing other people's outlines.  Also I noticed their outline doesn't always have what I'm looking for.  When I made my own outline, I'm very comfortable with what I wrote there and by looking at certain parts for a second, I automatically remember what they were about.  For other people's, I feel I have to study their outlines again.  Plus mine is better for my class and my purposes.  Only problem is that mine is pretty long.

thorc954

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Re: Making your own outline v. Outline from past years
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2007, 09:48:30 AM »
write in smaller print and increase the size of your margins and you can decrease the length of your outline :)

I put all the case stuff in short hand an in micro print so that when i glance at a page of the outline all I see is the relevant rule..