Is it easier for you to sit down and start writing or to think through what you want to say ahead of time? Although it adds an extra step before you put pen to paper, there are six really good reasons that prove why taking the extra time to outline your article is worth it in the long run.
- Writing an outline helps to organize your thoughts. With an outline in hand, you can decide the best way to lead the reader through the information in your article before the writing process even begins.
- An outline helps you identify the most important points. As you’re crafting your outline, you can continually refer to your thesis statement, and leave out any material that does not directly relate to your topic.
- Outlines can show where there are gaps in information. For example, you may have an illustration for point A, and a quote from an expert from point C, but nothing for point B. Now you can see where to spend a little more time gathering resources.
- An outline keeps you from wandering from your thesis.
- A written outline gives you a “snapshot” of your article–an overview that quickly lets you see where you are going and how you want to get there.
- Outlines help you put all your energy into writing. Once you have thought through what you are going to say, and the order you’d like to say it in, you can write smoothly and continuously like a spider crafting an elaborate web.
When you hear the word “outline,” what is the first thing that comes to mind?
Joy? Coffee? Torture???
Comment with your answer below.