Here’s a tip: Don’t go too far down the research rabbit hole!
I keep my notes in a Google Doc on the same page where I’m eventually going to create my outline and write my article.
Having all the information in one place will allow you to write faster when the time comes.
I was certain organizing my thoughts in advance would stifle my creativity and make my writing stiff and uninspired.
After all, how can serendipity happen if you’ve got everything planned?
Developing your outline is like building a house-- without a solid foundation or BIG idea, the walls will cave in.
Your introduction needs to be connected to your personal BIG idea that best explains the essay topic.I found a lot on the basics of structure, but not much about how to actually use outlines to improve the organization of your writing. As you’re reading, take notes when you see interesting research or quotes you might want to share.Note the URLs, too, so you can reference them with links in your article.You’ll write with more clarity, and you’ll do it all faster and more efficiently. Prewriting exercises provide structure and meaning to your topic and research before you begin to write a draft.It is important for you to feel that you are starting to make immediate progress towards writing your essay.Your outline is like a billboard that you see when you are driving in the car-- listening to music, talking on the phone and reading street signs-- where the most your mind can read is 7 words or less.A thesis states a premise or theory that your paper will go on to prove. If you need more specific help with writing a thesis statement, try checking with any university writing center. You may come across a few things that don’t quite fit into your article as their own sections, but seem important to mention nonetheless. (If you want to be traditional, use Roman numerals.I often begin this step while I’m doing my recon reading and ideas are popping into my head. Don’t invest a lot of energy in organizing just yet. I think they make my outlines look fancy.) Include topic segments.Outlines are just guidelines, so they shouldn’t feel restrictive.And yet, you’ll be surprised how the simple act of creating one will give your articles more structure and keep them focused and on-point.