Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised IN BRIEF
Part I: Why Have Rules?
Chapter 1: The "Why and Wherefore" of Meeting Rules
Part II: So You're Going to a Meeting
Chapter 2: What Happens at a Meeting?
Chapter 3: How Decisions Are Made at a Meeting: Handling Motions
Chapter 4: Debate
Chapter 5: Amendments
Chapter 6: Postponing and Referring to a Committee
Chapter 7: How Can a Group Change Its Mind?
Part III: Voting and Elections
Chapter 8: Voting
Chapter 9: Nominations and Elections
Part IV: Bylaws and Other Rules and How to Use Them
Chapter 10: What Are the Basic Types of Rules?
Chapter 11: How Are Rules Enforced and How Are They Suspended?
Part V: Beyond the Basics
Chapter 12: Looking Up the Rules: How to Use Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised
Chapter 13: Frequently Asked Questions
Chapter 14: A Summary of Motions
Part VI: So You've Been Elected (or Appointed) ...
Chapter 15: President or Vice-President
Chapter 16: Secretary
Chapter 17: Treasurer
Chapter 18: Board Member
Chapter 19: Committee Chairman or Member
Chapter 20: Convention Delegate or Alternate
From Chapter 1 ...
As Henry Robert first conceived his book, he wanted it to be brief and simple enough to serve as a guide in the hands of every meeting-goer. He thought it might run to about 50 pages. By the time the first edition was published, he found he needed 176. Following its publication, letters asking questions about parliamentary situations not clearly answered in the book began to pour in -- by the hundreds through the years.
Consequently, over time, he was obliged to add more and more pages to answer the most common of these questions. Robert himself repeatedly revised his 1876 book. In accordance with his expressed wishes, his son, his widow, and his daughter-in-law all carried on the work after his death. And now his grandson, Henry M. Robert III, is among the team of parliamentarians (as experts in these rules are called in this country) chosen by his descendants to continue the updating and revision of the book. The manual is now in its eleventh edition under the title of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised -- commonly abbreviated RONR.
RONR, the complete rule book, now contains 669 pages of text, plus tables and index. All of its content has to be there because it may be needed, and has at some time come up as a question of procedure somewhere. RONR is designed as a reference book providing, as nearly as possible, an answer to any question of parliamentary procedure that may be met with.
But the average person doesn't have to know all this to be able to function effectively in most ordinary meetings, or even to chair one. At least 80 percent of the content of RONR will be needed less than 20 percent of the time.
For one who will brave it, RONR is written to serve as a self-explanatory text that can be read through, with topics presented in an order that will best convey an overall understanding of the entire subject matter. You need not apologize, however, if you find that to be a bigger project than you would like to take on at this point.
If you are such a person, and want to know how to get by in a meeting or as a club president, this brief book is for you.
Click here to read a talk by Henry M. Robert III that describes the purpose and features of In Brief.
NOTE: While there are many books available with “Robert's Rules” in the title, be aware that only the 2011 editions of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, published by Da Capo Press, are the current, official versions.
Short History of Robert's Rules ||
About the Authors ||
The Right Book
How Your Organization Can Adopt RONR ||
RONR In Brief ||
Frequently Asked Questions
Official Interpretations ||
Q&A Forums ||