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Chapter 15. Outlining: The Best Way to O... > The Benefits of Outlining

The Benefits of Outlining

Word's outlining feature gives you a quick and convenient way to organize (and reorganize) any document or Web page. The larger your documents, the more valuable you will find the organizing capabilities that outlining provides. As you'll see, with outlining it's easy to view your document at a very high level, then drill down to any specific element that needs attention, and move large blocks of text easily. In other words, you can see the forest and the trees—and work with both.

Communicating with Word: Use Outlining to Make Things Easier

Use outlining to plan your document before you start to write. First, brainstorm–and enter the content you want to include in rough form. Then, use Word's outlining tools to reorganize the text, decide what should be emphasized and which areas are minor details subordinate to more important points.

Organize your sections by heading and then support them using the subheadings. Traditionally, the first paragraph under a heading should introduce the subject or focus for that heading, and the subheadings should provide an argument to support the heading. Under each subheading, introduce your argument in the first paragraph, and then provide evidence to it. The last paragraph should often summarize the evidence, and restate the argument. After the last subheading is complete, as the last paragraph in the section, draw together each subheading and restate the purpose you outlined in the first paragraph. This purpose is your focus for the section, and by following this format, you will focus your reader's attention and deliver a more compelling argument.



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