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Author Topic: How long are your outlines?  (Read 1084 times)

nealric

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How long are your outlines?
« on: November 01, 2007, 09:57:48 PM »
I am wondering about property (specifically). My outline is only coming out to about 20 pages total (extrapolating to end of the semester).

Is there a high probability I am missing something? I keep seeing 60+ page outlines out there.
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jacy85

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Re: How long are your outlines?
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2007, 11:33:47 PM »
How long your outline is depends entirely on you and what you use it for.

I usually end up with an outline somewhere between 45 and 55 pages, and I write, tab and highlight the crap out of it.  I use my outline during the exam.  I've always had time to use it, and this has worked out extremely well for me.  Other people think that anything over 10 pages is too long, and prefer their outline to really be little more than a skeleton outline of the course.  This wouldn't work for me, but it works for them.

So if you feel comfortable with your 20 page outline, and are pretty confident that you'll be able to remember everything you need with just what's on those 20 pages, then I'd say your good to go.  Remember that outlining is a very personal thing, and there's no reason for you to make a 60 page outline when 20 may work just fine for you.

brightline

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Re: How long are your outlines?
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2007, 12:44:46 AM »
My outlines were generally about 20-30 pages depending on the class. From that, I would make a 1 page, front and back checklist that I would either bring in to the exam or memorize and recreate during the exam.

Most of my exams first year were closed book. If you do plan to use your outline on the exam, I think having a table of contents and tabbing it might be a good idea. For some people it may be just as effective or more effective to have what you need on 1-2 pages. Do not shrink the print down. What goes on those 2 pages are things that will be too hard to memorize or distinguish. Things that are easy to memorize / distinguish just stay in your head. Or at least that's how I did it.

thorc954

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Re: How long are your outlines?
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2007, 01:07:29 AM »
mine were generally 12-18 pages total.  however, my property outline ended up being 25 pages.  It was short till the very end of the semester where it seemed like the most important information came.  I like to use my outline during the exam itself, so i try to keep it shorter.  25 pages was manageable with tabs and everything.  If yours is short, dont stress it.  I used some 12 page outlines for classes my 1L year.  sometimes all you need is 12 pages.  A guy that taught the 1L outlining workshop thing kept his civ pro outlines to 4 pages, which was ridiculous.  Do what works for you though.  If your outline is short, it is short.  If you are decent at determining what is important, then you should be fine.  Size doesnt matter in this situation.

Lascar

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Re: How long are your outlines?
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2007, 02:31:52 AM »
Lots of people first year worried about the "length" of their outlines, and I was no exception.  I would not worry about it too much though.  I think you'll find that the most important part of the outline is writing it, and that in doing so, you tend to really anchor your understanding of the subject matter.  Mine first semester were between 20 and 30 pages.  I wrote much longer ones second semester (up to 50 pages) but saw no improvement in grades (went from a 3.85 to a 3.78).  If you do write longer ones though, make sure you also write a "checklist" of the main areas of the course to quickly run through on test day. 

StevePirates

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Re: How long are your outlines?
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2007, 11:36:03 AM »
My outlines were generally about 20-30 pages depending on the class. From that, I would make a 1 page, front and back checklist that I would either bring in to the exam or memorize and recreate during the exam.

Most of my exams first year were closed book. If you do plan to use your outline on the exam, I think having a table of contents and tabbing it might be a good idea. For some people it may be just as effective or more effective to have what you need on 1-2 pages. Do not shrink the print down. What goes on those 2 pages are things that will be too hard to memorize or distinguish. Things that are easy to memorize / distinguish just stay in your head. Or at least that's how I did it.

this is my policy either.  don't worry about how long your outline is... worry about what you do with your outline.

danbranum

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Re: How long are your outlines?
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2007, 02:02:29 PM »
My 1L outlines were typically very long, like up to 50 pages, but then close to exam time I would create shorter versions for quicker studying and referencing for open book tests.  It really just depends on what you are using the outline for.  If you are like me and didn't do class reading at all and did the PLS method instead, outlines are your meat to study so they need to be hearty.  I also think that it depends on your memory.  I never liked to abbreviate too much because I was afraid I'd forget the points I wanted to remember.  But, if you have a great memory, shorter may be better. 
All my outlines are posted here:
www.danbranum.com/lawschool.htm
Dan.