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  1. Table of Contents
  2. Writing for Success
  3. Write More, Write Faster – Plan Your Writing For Success

For example, when telling a story, it may be important to first describe the background for the action. Or you may need to first describe a 3-D movie projector or a television studio to help readers visualize the setting and scene. You may want to group your support effectively to convince readers that your point of view on an issue is well reasoned and worthy of belief.

In longer pieces of writing, you may organize different parts in different ways so that your purpose stands out clearly and all parts of the paper work together to consistently develop your main point. The three common methods of organizing writing are chronological order , spatial order , and order of importance. An outline is a written plan that serves as a skeleton for the paragraphs you write. When you write, your goal is not only to complete an assignment but also to write for a specific purpose—perhaps to inform, to explain, to persuade, or for a combination of these purposes.

Your purpose for writing should always be in the back of your mind, because it will help you decide which pieces of information belong together and how you will order them. In other words, choose the order that will most effectively fit your purpose and support your main point. Every nonfiction writing task—from the short essay to the ten-page term paper to the lengthy senior thesis—needs a big idea, or a controlling idea, as the spine for the work.

The controlling idea is the main idea that you want to present and develop. For a longer piece of writing, the main idea should be broader than the main idea for a shorter piece of writing. Be sure to frame a main idea that is appropriate for the length of the assignment. Then expand or trim it to fit the required length.

The Write Recipe: How to set your story up for success

The big idea, or controlling idea, you want to present in an essay is expressed in a thesis statement. A thesis statement is often one sentence long, and it states your point of view. The thesis statement is not the topic of the piece of writing but rather what you have to say about that topic and what is important to tell readers.

Table of Contents

The first thesis statement you write will be a preliminary thesis statement, or a working thesis statement. You will need it when you begin to outline your assignment as a way to organize it. As you continue to develop the arrangement, you can limit your working thesis statement if it is too broad or expand it if it proves too narrow for what you want to say.

You will make several attempts before you devise a working thesis statement that you think is effective. Each draft of the thesis statement will bring you closer to the wording that expresses your meaning exactly. For an essay question on a test or a brief oral presentation in class, all you may need to prepare is a short, informal outline in which you jot down key ideas in the order you will present them.

This kind of outline reminds you to stay focused in a stressful situation and to include all the good ideas that help you explain or prove your point. For a longer assignment, like an essay or a research paper, many college instructors require students to submit a formal outline before writing a major paper as a way to be sure you are on the right track and are working in an organized manner.

A formal outline is a detailed guide that shows how all your supporting ideas relate to each other. It helps you distinguish between ideas that are of equal importance and ones that are of lesser importance. You build your paper based on the framework created by the outline. Instructors may also require you to submit an outline with your final draft to check the direction of the assignment and the logic of your final draft. If you are required to submit an outline with the final draft of a paper, remember to revise the outline to reflect any changes you made while writing the paper.

There are two types of formal outlines: the topic outline and the sentence outline. You format both types of formal outlines in the same way. Here is what the skeleton of a traditional formal outline looks like. The indention helps clarify how the ideas are related.

In an outline, any supporting detail can be developed with subpoints. For simplicity, the model shows them only under the first main point. Formal outlines are often quite rigid in their organization. As many instructors will specify, you cannot subdivide one point if it is only one part. For example, for every roman numeral I, there must be a For every A, there must be a B. For every arabic numeral 1, there must be a 2. See for yourself on the sample outlines that follow. A topic outline is the same as a sentence outline except you use words or phrases instead of complete sentences.

Writing for Success

Words and phrases keep the outline short and easier to comprehend. All the headings, however, must be written in parallel structure.

Here is the topic outline that Mariah constructed for the essay she is developing. Her purpose is to inform, and her audience is a general audience of her fellow college students. Notice how Mariah begins with her thesis statement. She then arranges her main points and supporting details in outline form using short phrases in parallel grammatical structure. This checklist can help you write an effective topic outline for your assignment. It will also help you discover where you may need to do additional reading or prewriting. Word processing programs generally have an automatic numbering feature that can be used to prepare outlines.

This feature automatically sets indents and lets you use the tab key to arrange information just as you would in an outline. Although in business this style might be acceptable, in college your instructor might have different requirements. A sentence outline is the same as a topic outline except you use complete sentences instead of words or phrases. Complete sentences create clarity and can advance you one step closer to a draft in the writing process. The information compiled under each roman numeral will become a paragraph in your final paper.

  • Writing for Success 1st Canadian Edition – Open Textbook.
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  • 1. Set writing goals – what do you want to write?!

In the previous example, the outline follows the standard five-paragraph essay arrangement, but longer essays will require more paragraphs and thus more roman numerals. If you think that a paragraph might become too long or stringy, add an additional paragraph to your outline, renumbering the main points appropriately. PowerPoint presentations, used both in schools and in the workplace, are organized in a way very similar to formal outlines.

PowerPoint presentations often contain information in the form of talking points that the presenter develops with more details and examples than are contained on the PowerPoint slide.

Write More, Write Faster – Plan Your Writing For Success

On a sheet of paper, write your working thesis statement. But despite their repetitive patterns and styles people still read their posts religiously, why? People read the articles by such Top Writers because they are consistent. Every time your fans logon to Medium they know there will at least one new post from their favorite writer. This expectation is the reason when a normal writer publishes one incredible post, overnight he becomes a Top Writer. When you start posting articles consistently, readers also begin to expect a new article on regularly.

Which pushes you to write even more and with better quality to be able to provide more value to the reader. And this consistent practice inherently helps you to improve your craft and become a better writer. Over the past year, I was never consistent, I used to write as and when I felt like writing. But that caused a lot of issues, every time I used to sit down to write I would never have a clear topic to write about.

Even if I did have a topic it would get really difficult to actually collect my own thoughts and write them down in a coherent manner. But for the past month or so I have been writing consistently and I can see the results. Now, as soon as I sit down I can come up with a decent enough topic to write about. And these topics generally come from my subconscious mind which means that I have been thinking about that topic for a while.

Which makes it incredibly easy to collect my thoughts and write them down in a coherent manner. My goal has been to write every day but that is a very difficult goal to achieve. But for now, I am happy with writing 2—3 times a week as I am consistent in that routine.