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Using an Outline to Enhance Article Writing

When it comes to writing articles, many of authors use brainstorming to stimulate article ideas. Although it may be nice to know what to write about, you also need to know what to write and how to write it. There are times when this can be just as difficult as deciding what to write about. One method used to solve this problem is using an outline. As a matter of fact, an outline – as a tool can be instrumental in helping you to save a lot of time, energy and stress.

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An outline is defined as a summary of work. That summary is usually composed of headings and subheadings. These headings and subheadings are often categorized as individual paragraphs. They are used to give you an idea as to what you should write for each paragraph or at least what each paragraph should be about.

When you really think about it, an outline is like a written brainstorming session. The only difference is that you are taking your brainstorming a step further, by building off the ideas that you originally came up with. As I stated earlier, an outline will save you time. Unfortunately, there are many writers who believe that an outline will actually cost them time; But more often than not this isn’t in most case.

An outline can take on average five minutes to fifteen minutes to create, but what you need to remember is you are creating for yourself. Essentially, you are creating a guide to follow. Once you have an outline, you will find yourself just writing, as you already have the set of ideas needed to write an article. This alone will save you a considerable amount of time. In fact, with a detailed outline, you are less likely to experience writers block, which could not only cost you time, and maybe stress as well.

In addition to saving time and stress, outlines often help writers produce better articles. An outline acts as a guide for you; so therefore you will find that using an outline results in more organized articles. To emphasize this point even more, you'll find that article writers who use outlines are usually able to create easy to read articles. This is because when a writer uses an outline, they often find a way to make their article paragraphs flow together, which is important to many readers.

Your articles are more likely to be filled with important information, if and when you use an outline. Many article writers have great ideas, but when it comes time to turning those ideas into an article, many writers draw a blank. Having all of your article ideas or points that you would like mentioned in your articles recorded in an outline is the best way to ensure that nothing is left out. This is just another one of the many ways that outlines help article writers create better content.

When it comes to outlines, one of the most common questioned asked is “what should an outline look like?” In all honestly, it really doesn’t matter. As previously mentioned, most outlines are composed of heading and subheadings. A heading is often used to describe the main point or topic of each paragraph.

Subheadings are often used to outline how that paragraph will be handled; therefore, a summary of the points covered in the paragraph will often be outlined in a subheading. The format that you use can be a traditional outline, like what is used in most college or high school educational programs, but the decision is yours to make. In fact, for the best chance of success, you are urged to create your own outline, one that you feel comfortable creating and reading.

The first step in creating an outline is to create a main point to focus on. This point is often referred to as (in higher educational settings) a thesis statement. For instance, if you are interested in writing an article on creating your own gift baskets, your thesis statement could be “creating your own low-cost gift baskets,” and so on.

No matter what you are writing about, your thesis statement should be the first thing that you write down. It is what you, essentially, will be building off of. Each of your paragraphs and your outline’s headings and subheadings will be dependent on your thesis statement, which, as mentioned before, will be the main focus point of your article.

The decision as to whether you want to use an outline or not is yours to make; however, you are advised to keep the above mentioned points in mind. Whether you find yourself struggling to find something to write or if you are unorganized, an outline may be the solution to your problem

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