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Creating An Outline For An Article

Apr 1, 2008
When we were in high school we all had to create outlines for one assignment or another. It could have the basis for a book report, an essay, or any topic on which you were assigned to write on. At the time, it was probably viewed as foolishness by the students who were doing them.

When it comes to any kind of writing, many people are adverse to the idea. They would rather swallow a cup full of nails than write. While others relish the idea of writing as much as they might enjoy a good meal or some favorite past time. It is these people who make it enjoyable to write and, when we read their work, it shows.

Yet, how does an outline fit into article writing? what is its function? Is it even necessary?

Let me start by answering the latter question first. Are outlines needed in article writing? For the average person I would say yes. The reason is simple, it helps keep your ideas organized and focused. There are writers who can turn out articles without using any sort of outline. They know what they wish to write and how they wish to write it. For the rest of us there are outlines.

As a rule,the longer the work being written, the greater the need for outlines. Authors of books often have pages and pages that consist of nothing but an outline before they write their first words in their work. They use it to organize the plot line of their book and any specific details that may be required.

I like to think of outlines as the framework of the article I wish to write on. They need not be complicated or long. After all, the average article is roughly 500 - 600 words long. Some are longer or shorter depending on the type of article being written.

When creating an outline, an introduction is needed, then the article body, and finally a conclusion. In each case, a few ideas are added. For the introduction and conclusion, a general overview and summary are all that is needed respectively. They need not be too detailed as your details will be covered in the body.

It is in the body that the outline's true value comes out. It is here where the writer organizes his ideas into an easy to read work that makes sense to his or her readers. Not only does the writer organize the ideas, but it is here that those ideas are being expressed in easy to follow means.

In other words, the ideas are being organized into the order they are being expressed and how each idea is being expressed. Here, personal experiences are added, tips are being discussed, or steps are being described in a particular order. Once done, the author can review the work and make changes BEFORE he begins writing. In this way, changes can be made fairly simply and without a great deal of work.

For the majority, outlines are required to make their works flow and stay organized. The idea of writing need not be the tedious job that many think it is. Using an outline can make the job much easier and far more successful.
About the Author
RP Smith is the owner of the website http://www.e-profitsubmissions.com/
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