This is not an original concept although I don't know of a written reference. It's just something other instructors teach, and it seems to work!
This is the "ABCDE" procedure for an in-flight engine failure emergency. This doesn't replace knowing the memory items for all the other forms of emergency covered in your POH.
A - AIRSPEED - Set the plane for "Best Glide Speed". In a Cessna 172 this is 65K.
B - BEST FIELD - Locate a suitable landing site, don't overlook any close airports, but otherwise find a good looking field that's wide and long and oriented into the wind. Turn towards this field. It's not good enough to just locate a field, you have to be able to land on it. If you arrive over the field too high you can always circle down to lose altitude, if you're not going to reach the field because you didn't turn immediately towards it there's nothing that can help you gain altitude.
C - COCKPIT CHECK - Why did the engine stop and can you re-start it. Don't overlook the obvious, if you just "moved something" and the engines stopped, "move it back". In the Cessna 172 the "L" check can cover this "fuel selector, fuel valve, mixture, throttle, carb heat, mags, master". If you have time pull out your emergency checklist.
D - DECLARE AN EMERGENCY - Tell somebody what's happening. If you were already in contact with ATC or FSS or even Unicom at an airport, tell them. Otherwise use the emergency frequency (121.5) to call your Mayday and location. Set your transponder to 7700.
E - EXIT, PREPARE - Brief you passengers and make other preparations for the forced landing. In a Cessna 172 you should cover issues such as seat belts fastened, seats pushed back as far as they will go, open the door but hold it closed to prevent jamming.
That's it, the "ABCDE" approach to emergency procedures.