Save Time When Writing With Better Outlines

Faced with a writing task, many of us start with a simple outline -- notes or questions covering the "what", "how" and "why" of the piece. A more complete outline with answers to match those points will make writing much easier.

Photo by Kelly Kree

Marina Brito writes at One Spoon at a Time about how planning a complete outline (instead of what she calls her half-outline) makes for a better final product. Previously, she might have outlined an article about walking a dog like this:

  • Why walk the dog?
  • Who walks the dog?
  • Where to walk the dog?

A more complete outline would add the answers in addition to the questions:

Question: Why walk the dog? Answer: To get some fresh air and exercise

Even if you don't outline using questions, the advice still helps. Make each point on the outline not just a topic (eg, "audience") but a fuller summary or answer (such as "The target audience is Kiwis"). Many of us learn to outline using just topics rather than the sentence summary style, or don't take the time to create a complete outline. Spending more time on the outline upfront can help you write faster because your ideas are already refined.

How to Save Tons of Writing Time -- By Using a Complete Outline [One Spoon at a Time]


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