With outlining you first come up with section topics, then a summary of the document, and then gradually expand your ideas to create the final document. After some brainstorming, extract the key themes that you identified and give them headings. Under each heading, brainstorm some more points that are related to the heading’s theme. Having ‘filled’ the headings, you will have chunks of information on each theme, which make up a summary of your final document. You can then decide what sequence would be most appropriate, and reorder your section headings in that sequence. Outlining is effective for ‘top-down’ writers, those who begin with a big picture plan of the whole document, and then build up the details as they go. When writing a report, the outline acts as a first draft that can be submitted to a manager or client to show the progress of a project.

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