How to Create an Outline For All of Your Articles

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By Graham Lee

You’ve done it through junior high, you expanded it longer through high school into essays, then in college it became chapters, in university it developed into dissertations for your degree, until finally, later in life it became reports for the manager in the dead end job.

No matter how many times you’ve done it, writing has proven to be a task you continuously avoid. This is probably because in those earlier years it was a task that involved writing about things you were not interested in, and that needed to be done to get through school, college, university or to keep the boss happy.

Now at a time when writing could help your online business, you need to change your attitude, because writing articles for your website has proven to be one of the best ways to generate traffic, visitors, customers, sales and profits.

While there are a great number of people who do have the right attitude towards article writing, there are still those who would rather walk on hot coals than do some article writing. The thing that sets the willing people apart from others when it comes to article writing is that they are prepared and have some methods and procedures they always follow when writing articles.

The Research

The starting point should actually occur before you sit down to physically write anything remotely resembling an article.

If you see something; a newspaper or magazine article, a news item on TV, or anything that you think would or could be made into an interesting article, that other people may be interested in knowing or reading, write it down, cut out the piece and file it. You should keep a file filled with cut-outs and notes for each topic you want to write about.

When you come to sit down to start writing your article, write down some of the ideas and sentences that you feel will look good in your article. These will become some of the focal points that could help make your article creative, interesting and appealing to a reader.

Brainstorm and jot down your most brilliant ideas first. Think of some ways to attract the interest of your reader. Designate a time frame where you can write down all the ideas that you can use for your articles. Do as much research for facts and background information as you can before you start and then you will be in a good position to know what you want to put into your article.

By this time you should have done all your research and information searching. Review and reread your ideas and notes, gain sufficient familiarity with your topic so that writing them into a coherent article later on would be easy for you.

The Outline

Creating an outline for all your articles makes you prepared. You have an idea of what to do first and make a plan for your succeeding steps. Being prepared makes the job easier and faster. Being organized will allow you to put away any disorientation and confusion you face when writing articles.

An outline can act as the design or blueprint for your article. This will guide you in creating the introduction, body and conclusion of your article. Start by writing down the main topics and titles you want to include. Next expand on these by adding your sub topics and sub titles.

As you would provide a first sentence for your article that would immediately grab the attention of your reader, you would need attention grabbing topics, titles, sub topics and sub titles to lead your readers further into the article. Many readers will ‘scan’ an article first, looking at the titles and sub-titles, and only then read the complete article if something captures their interest.

These are the frames or skeleton of your article, now it’s time to add the flesh and the meat of your article. While the introduction will usher in the ideas of your article, you will need to connect all your paragraphs and sub topics to form the body of your article. The conclusion will wrap up your points and drive in what you are saying in your article.

The Draft

The outline for your article would also require you to write a draft first. The first article you produce on a certain topic will not be the final article you want to publish. It may take more than one attempt to get the complete article right but remember that it is called a draft for a reason. Your outline should be perfected as each draft is written and this draft is meant for your eyes only, so there’s no reason to feel ashamed. As you read and re-read each draft, editing as you go, you will clearly see the bigger picture and write an article that will perfectly suit what is demanded of it.

As you read and re-read what you have written down, refer to your outline so that you don’t drift away from the ideas for the article that you had first written down. It is very easy to get caught in the moment and get lost in your writing frenzy. Your outline will help you keep in track. All those hours spent in researching, brainstorming and outlining your article will not go to waste. This will serve as your guide in writing articles. Trust and rely on your outline because this will prove to be a very helpful tool in writing all of your articles.

The Final Result

A carefully planned and fully prepared project will guarantee and ensure a problem and worry free procedure that can virtually go without any hassles. Creating an outline for all your articles will mean you are ready and can breeze through writing an article in no time at all.

The final result will be a well researched and well thought out article, one that is well written and gets the point you are trying to make across easily, and is understood by your reader.

To help you with the next article you write, keep in mind the steps discussed in this article and use them time and time again.

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About the Author

Graham Lee is CEO of The Income Zone, where you will find online ebusiness tools for web entrepreneurs. Graham is also the owner of a number of other websites offering tools and information about internet marketing and working online.

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