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(Toothless Johnny, Our Chief Dog Officer, Is Stressed When Asked To Outline Essays)

How do I Outline My Bar Exam Essay Before Writing?

The process of outlining lets you see things you might otherwise miss. By using “thought triggers,” you proceed through the analytical steps necessary to write a complete answer.

If appropriate to your jurisdiction’s essay style, use each call-of-the-question to set up your numbering scheme and organize your answer.
For each call-of-the-question, identify the issue in controversy. The issues come from one or two possible sources, depending on the particular form of the essay:
  1. In the general-style essay, determine the issues directly from the fact pattern.
  2. In the specific-style essay, use the interrogatory to guide your articulation of the issues.
For each issue, consider the “building blocks of the rule” relevant to addressing your problem:
  1. Procedural elements (i.e., motion to suppress; burden of proof of beyond a reasonable doubt)
  2. The general rule
  3. Elements/factors
  4. Exceptions to general rule
  5. Distinctions
  6. Defenses/limitations
For each rule, match it to the relevant facts.
Finally, follow the method and answer the question from our previous 6-part series on Writing the MEE



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