September 13, 2006Volume 5 Number 33 Issue 120     
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How to Create an Article Using an Outline

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Life is not being kind to me. Two weeks ago I suffered great from migraine headaches, this week I have pneumonia. Just can't seem to get healthy for any period of time. I wanted to do a number of things this week, but I'm operating too slowly. I have playing a little more with the Impact Audio program *8>) I am not sure that I have the voice for putting audio on my sites, but I think that I may be able to persuade a friend to give it a go.

If you have ever tried to write an article, whether back in school, or in your private or business life, you will want to read this article.

How to Create an Article Using an Outline

We’ve done it since junior high. No matter how many times most of us have done it, writing articles has proven to be a task that many have studiously avoided. Now at a time when writing articles could help your job or business, facing the task at hand can still create aversive behaviours.

While there are a great number of people who do not have a bad attitude toward article writing, there are those who would rather walk on red hot coals than do some article writing. What sets people apart from others in their attitude toward article writing is that they are prepared and have some practical methods and procedures for writing articles.

Creating That Outline

One of the methods you can use to prepare yourself when tasked to write an article is creating an outline first. Creating an outline for your article helps prepare you for the task ahead. 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 for disorientation to be shunned.

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. Using point form, you can write down some of the ideas and sentences that you feel will look good in your article. These could become the focal points that could help make your article creative, interesting and appealing to a reader.

A carefully planned and fully prepared project pretty much guarantees a problem and worry free procedure. Creating an outline for your article will get you ready and allow you to breeze through writing an article in no time at all. Here are some tips and guidelines on how to create an outline for your article.


Depending on the length of the article to be written, spend five to ten minutes brainstorming. Jot down all of your ideas without worrying whether they are good or bad. Try to think of some ways to attract the interest of your reader. Jot them down. Now is the time to do your research and information gathering.

Review and reread your ideas and notes to become intimately familiar with your topic. Using your brainstorming notes and information from your research, sort your ideas, keeping the good ones and discarding the rest. Using the good ideas, write a brief outline of your article. Make sure to include both facts that support and facts that weaken your point of view.

Determine Sub Topics and Titles

The next step is to determine your sub topics and sub titles. You need a first sentence for your article, one that immediately grabs the attention of your reader. You need to do the same for your sub topics.

Fleshing Out Your Article

Now you have the skeleton of your article, and it’s time to a flesh out your article. Be sure to connect all your paragraphs and sub topics. Ideally, one paragraph should lead to the next, and one sub topic to the next. Now that you have completed the body of your article, you need to generate a conclusion that will wrap up your points and drive home what you are saying in your article.

Once you have completed this, you have a first draft. At this point I like to put the article aside for 24 hours, just to let my mind look at other things. The next day, with a fresh outlook, reread your outline. Compare your article to the outline to see if you have drifted away from what you had first written down. Trust and rely on your outline because it is a very helpful tool in writing your article. Your outline will help you keep on track. Keep any deviations from the outline that add to your article. Be ruthless! Delete the rest. Add in any pertinent points from the outline that you may have missed, and slip in any fresh ideas that you may have come up with overnight.

Final Touches

Now is the time to read your article with an eye to determining whether it meets the criteria for the initial reason you wrote the article. If it meets the criteria, you are ready to move on, if not go back and fix the offending areas.

Once you are sure that your article meets the criteria, read your article out loud. It doesn’t matter whether or not you have someone listen. You will be amazed at the little errors you will detect. Once your article passes this test, get someone else to check your article for grammar and spelling. I am always amazed at the simple things I miss, because I know what should be there. Correct the errors your proofreader has spotted, then check one more time for inconsistencies and overly long sentences.

Now publish your article and enjoy the praise that comes with a job well done!

Until next time…


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