Just as a home builder would be reluctant to put up a house without a thoroughly worked-out strategy, so too a writer should hesitate to start an article before he has outlined it completely. In planning a structure, a designer thinks about how big a house his client desires, how many rooms he should supply, how the area available might best be assigned amongst the rooms, and what relation the rooms are to have to one another. In outlining an article, a writer must figure out how long it needs to be, what information must be included, just how much space needs to be dedicated to each part, and how the parts should be set up. Time spent in planning a post is time well invested.
Outlining the subject completely includes considering the article from start to finish. The worth of each piece of material collected should be thoroughly considered; its relation to the entire topic and to every part should be thought about.
The organization of the parts is of even higher significance, because much of the effectiveness of the presentation will rely on a sensible advancement of the thought. In the last analysis, great writing indicates clear thinking, and at no phase in the preparation of an article is clear thinking more needed than in the preparation of it.
Novices often firmly insist that it is easier to compose without an outline than with one. It certainly does take less time to rush off a special feature story than it does to consider all of the information and then compose it. In nine cases out of 10, however, when an author tries to work out a post as he goes along, relying on his belief that his ideas will organize themselves, the outcome is far from a clear, logical, well-organized discussion of his subject. The typical disinclination to make an outline is typically based upon the trouble that the majority of individuals experience in deliberately thinking of a topic in all its numerous elements, and in getting down in logical order the outcomes of such thought.
Hesitation to outline a subject typically implies an unwillingness to think.
The length of an article is determined by two factors: the scope of the topic and the policy of the publication for which it is planned. A big topic can not be properly dealt with in a short space, nor can an important theme be dealt with properly in a couple of hundred words. The length of a post, in general, need to be in proportion to the size and the significance of the subject.
The deciding factor when determining the length of an article is the policy of the publication for which it is being written. One popular publication might print posts ranging from 4000 to 6000 words, while another fixes the word count at just 1000 words. It would be quite as bad to write a 1000-word article for the former, as it would be to send one of 5000 words to the latter.
Knowing how long your article will be can help you determine how many details to include in the article and which could be left out without giving the reader only part of the most critical information on the topic. Blog articles are tricky because you can wax poetical for thousands of words but does your topic really need that much detail? Will the reader stick around for all 5000 words? Often, it's best to write somewhere in the 500-1000 or 1000 - 1500 word ranges, depending on your topic. Regardless of how many words you plan to write, always start with an outline. It will help your reader follow your thought process and ensure you take them on the journey you intend, to the conclusion you want them to reach.
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