A written summary of a case written thus:Parts of the case [are] selected [by the writing of the brief] as important, organized for the purpose at hand, rather than the haphazard order in which they may be reported. (Schubert, p 25)
Briefs are not an exercise in copying -- but rather a method of organization and clarification for a specific purpose. Pages 25 (bottom) - 28 (middle) is the BRIEF.
Your syllabus states:
"Students should be able to demonstrate that they can brief and understand appellate court decisions".
There are other requirements for this course as well, but this guide focuses on helping you:
In 1870 at Harvard University Professor Christopher Columbus Langdell decided that the best way to teach law students was to have them read cases rather than textbooks. Textbooks explicitly state the rule of law and explain why it exists. Cases, however, are the stuff of real life. Cases contain the rule and also illustrate how the rule applies to different sets of facts.
After reading the cases, Langdell engaged his students in a Socratic dialogue where he grilled the students on what the cases meant. The idea behind the case method is that each case illustrates one tiny rule out of an entire body of law. By synthesizing each rule into a larger body of law, the student progressively learns not only the rules but also the process of legal reasoning.