How many times have you read a story, poem or article and you had to stop halfway because something was not just right? You stopped probably because the article did not flow well.
You may even have experienced something similar with your work. You wrote something but didn’t think it fit quite well. This and many more problems can be avoided with an outline.
Here are four benefits you stand to gain from taking the time to outline your work;
An outline helps you focus your attention. It helps you determine what to write. It gives you a roadmap from start, through the middle, and to the end.
Outlining actually helps you write more quickly, more effectively.
It is far easier to review the flow of your information over a page or two than over hundreds of pages. Even for shorter documents, like a blog post or e-mail message of substance, it is a good idea to at least jot down an information outline.
What do you need to tell your audience? Is it in the right order? Are the transitions logical? What are the relationships between topics and subtopics? Is the hierarchy transparent?
Reviewing an outline makes it easy to determine if the right amount of emphasis is placed on each topic. Simple enough. You might find that you need to move things around to get the right balance, or perhaps you will decide to remove information.
An outline is much easier to review for any gaping holes. You will not have to go through the whole document looking for those holes. You can look at the topics and subtopics to ensure you have covered everything you must tell your audience.