|Outline (Wikimedia Creative Commons Share Alike 3.0 Sfoerster)|
Writing article outlines (and taking brief notes within those outlines) is invaluable. Online article writers sometimes forget their own strengths. One of those strengths is retaining information. Writers retain information the same way they impart it. As an online article writer, one of the best ways to retain information gained from sources is to write it down. A well written outline can boost your online article writing speed and quality.How does writing outlines help?
Outlines are an online article writers best friend in many ways. They allow you to recall subject information readily. They remind you of your train of thought. They present your angle so you don't veer off track. They also help you to write articles quickly and efficiently. By writing your headline, sub-title, sub-headings, trains of thought and notes out in advance, you can come back to an article the next day and dash it off like nobody's business.
Where does your angle come into play?
Write your angle down. Depending on the search-ability of your subject matter, your angle should be presented either in the title or subtitle of your article. What would your reader search for? This is your headline. What new information do you have to impart? This is your angle. Would someone be searching it? If so, it can be your headline. If not, use a dash in your headline (followed by the new information) or use it as your sub-title.
How can you record your notes and train of thought?
How can online article writers record their train of thought in an outline? Where do notes go? How do you designate these so they aren't mistakenly written into your article? Your subheading should reflect the direction you wish to take with your article. These are the main points. Under your sub-headings, place your notes and trains of thought in parenthesis. Now when you actually write your article, you will know exactly what you wanted to say.
When do sources come into play?
Your sources should be listed at the end of your article. Occasionally, you will quote your sources within the article. When that happens, link directly to your source. When writing an outline for your online article, paste your source URLs after the body of the article. Now you can go back to those sources anytime for a reference.
Do I always need an outline?
While I can't answer that question for you, I can tell you this. I always use an outline. Why? I never know if I will have time to complete an article right then and there. Having an outline insures that I can come back and write an article based on my previous research, both quickly and efficiently. My personal opinion is that online article writers produce higher quality content when an outline is used (irregardless of whether they write the article now or later). Writers retain information best the same way they impart it, by writing it down.
This article was previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.