Robert's Rules of Order


Cheat Sheet

The Guidelines

  1. The Chair has the Floor.

  2. Raise your hand to speak.

  3. Do not Interrupt.

  4. Wait to be recognized by the Chair before speaking.

  5. An item is introduced through a (main) motion and a second.

  6. The chair facilitates the discussion of the issue, the pros and cons.

  7. The motion can be modified with amendments; a motion and a second, with discussion following. The amendment is adopted or defeated by majority vote.

  8. This (main) motion, now amended or not, continues to be discussed until someone “calls the question.”

  9. The chair can call for a vote OR the motion can be postponed.

  10. No member can speak twice to the same issue until everyone else wishing to speak has spoken to it once.

  11. All remarks must be directed to the Chair. Remarks must be courteous in language and deportment - avoid all personalities, never allude to others by name or to motives.

  12. The agenda and all committee reports are recommendations only. When presented to the assembly and the motion is stated, debate begins and changes occur.

The Rules

  1. Point of Privilege: Pertains to noise, personal comfort, etc. One may interrupt only if absolutely necessary.

  2. Parliamentary Inquiry: Inquire as to the correct motion - to accomplish a desired result, or raise a point of order

  3. Point of Information: Generally applies to information desired from the speaker: "I should like to ask the (speaker) a question."

  4. Orders of the Day (Agenda): A call to adhere to the agenda (a deviation from the agenda requires Suspending the Rules)

  5. Point of Order: Infraction of the rules, or improper decorum in speaking. Must be raised immediately after the error is made

  6. Main Motion: Brings new business (the next item on the agenda) before the assembly

  7. Divide the Question: Divides a motion into two or more separate motions (must be able to stand on their own)

  8. Consider by Paragraph (ByLaws): Adoption of paper is held until all paragraphs are debated and amended and entire paper is satisfactory; after all paragraphs are considered, the entire paper is then open to amendment, and paragraphs may be further amended. Any Preamble can not be considered until debate on the body of the paper has ceased.

  9. Amend: Inserting or striking out words or paragraphs, or substituting whole paragraphs or resolutions

  10. Withdraw/Modify Motion: Applies only after question is stated; mover can accept an amendment without obtaining the floor

  11. Commit /Refer/Recommit to Committee: State the committee to receive the question or resolution; if no committee exists include size of committee desired and method of selecting the members (election or appointment).

  12. Extend Debate: Applies only to the immediately pending question; extends until a certain time or for a certain period of time

  13. Limit Debate: Closing debate at a certain time, or limiting to a certain period of time

  14. Postpone to a Certain Time: State the time the motion or agenda item will be resumed

  15. Object to Consideration: Objection must be stated before discussion or another motion is stated

  16. Lay on the Table: Temporarily suspends further consideration/action on pending question; may be made after motion to close debate has carried or is pending

  17. Take from the Table: Resumes consideration of item previously "laid on the table" - state the motion to take from the table

  18. Reconsider: Can be made only by one on the prevailing side who has changed position or view

  19. Postpone Indefinitely: Kills the question/resolution for this session - exception: the motion to reconsider can be made this session

  20. Previous Question: Closes debate if successful - may be moved to "Close Debate" if preferred

  21. Informal Consideration: Move that the assembly go into "Committee of the Whole" - informal debate as if in committee; this committee may limit number or length of speeches or close debate by other means by a 2/3 vote. All votes, however, are formal.

  22. Appeal Decision of the Chair: Appeal for the assembly to decide - must be made before other business is resumed; NOT debatable if relates to decorum, violation of rules or order of business

  23. Suspend the Rules: Allows a violation of the assembly's own rules (except Constitution); the object of the suspension must be specified