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Author Topic: Best way to outline for a course?  (Read 1732 times)

M112

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Best way to outline for a course?
« on: July 16, 2010, 11:16:46 AM »
What are the best methods for outlining a course?  Is it best to just use an outline like the Emanuel series for the casebook and than add, for each class session, specific points of emphasis, questions the professor poses, and other terms or opinions he expresses that may deiate from the Emanuel outline? 

If this is not what you would suggest for outlining, please explain.  Any help is appreciated.

drpoker

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Re: Best way to outline for a course?
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2010, 11:25:11 PM »
I wouldn't recommend that approach.  There are many ways.  Different approaches work for different people.  I suggest starting your outline from scratch.  Take notes while reading for your class, including briefing your cases.  Take very good notes during class.  Then combine your homework notes, class notes, and case briefs to make your outline.  Then use a supplement such as Emanuel's to fill in the gaps.  Also, don't assume Emanuel's is the best outline.  It depends on the subject, and it also depends on the casebook.  Sometimes there are outlines specific to casebooks.  Finally, E&E should be used after the outline.  It will gauge your knowledge of the material.

Michigan_Saintsfan

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Re: Best way to outline for a course?
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2010, 06:07:11 AM »
Yeah there really is no one best way. Some of my friends had 100 page outlines and mine were rarely more than 30. I would just generally start with the syllabus or the casebook subject headings and fill it in with case squibs, the rules and anything important the prof said. Or at least stuff that seemed important at the time. If there was a policy to justify any of the above, I threw that in because I always liked to work that into my essays.


kenpostudent

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Re: Best way to outline for a course?
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2010, 02:03:32 AM »
100 page outline? 30 page outline? Really? If your outline is more than 10 pages and the exam is NOT open book, it is worthless. You need an outline taht you can memorize. You really can't effectively memorize more than 10 pages. I would recommend grabbing some treatises really good supplements. Look at the table of contents of those treatises and compare that to your syllabus. Where the areas overlap, draft an outline around the main points. Add the big ideas to your outline. I use this initial outline (which generally takes a weekend to complete, within the first week of the course) as a roadmap. I use it to familiarize myself with important concepts so I know what is important so I can spot those concepts in cases very quickly. Then, on a weekly basis, I update my outline for what I learn in the courses. Generally, I have to revise the outline once a month because it's very difficult to synthesize rules without seeing the big picture. It takes about a month to complete a module, sometimes more or less. When a module is complete (i.e. character evidene say for evidence or Perfection for secured transactions), I synthezise the rules for that section and revise the outline around those sythesized rules. My weekly reviews generally just incorporate the material for that week and class notes (which are sparse, I don't believe in taking copious notes in class because so little of what is said in class is relevant to an exam; the more you write, the more you have to eventually wade through). This gives me two important advantages: 1. I review and memorize my outline throughout the semester, so by the time dead week rolls around, I know my outline like my right hand knows my male private part; 2. I try to stay at least a week ahead of my reading, so, by the time the last week of class rolls around, I'm not preparing for class, but instead doing practice exams. An extra week of practice exams is incredibly helpful.

Generally, my outlines consist of sythesized rules, one to two sentence case summaries, exceptions to and expansions of rules, policy objectives, and relevant facts and hypos that illustrate rules. Again, let me reiterate, my outlines are generally no more than 10 pages, UNLESS the exam is open book, in which case I annotate the outline and create a table of contents for quick use. I then take the 10 page outline and condense that down to a one-page attack outline during the two days before an exam. Basically, that outline consists of words or phrases to spark my memory to my larger outline or a strategy for how to analyze a question on a particular issue. That has worked very well.

Michigan_Saintsfan

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Re: Best way to outline for a course?
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2010, 02:57:59 AM »
Perhaps you are the one who cannot memorize more than 10 pages. Anyways, to each his own. I like mine just fine. If you don't, then do it some other way kid.

kenpostudent

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Re: Best way to outline for a course?
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2010, 04:07:33 AM »
I can't memorize more than 10 pages. Even if I could, I wouldn't want to. If you can't summarize a course in 10 pages (+ 5 pages for involved courses, i.e. secured transactions or sales), then you may notknow the material as well as you should (or maybe you just like to wade through a morass of unecessary text). Either way, my way works with less work. Getting good grades with a modicum of work is the goal.