Tips By Bamboo Forest Wouldn’t it be fantastic if there was a method ensuring every article you wrote was concise, relentlessly focused and said everything you wanted it to? There is. I recommend using a thesis statement and outline for many posts that you pen. Jesse Hines has written, “A thesis statement is generally one or two sentences in which you clearly lay out your focus, idea or argument.” While in an academic setting a thesis statement is included in your actual paper, I’m referring to something you write just for yourself. Write a thesis statement before you begin your post and it will set the tone for the rest of your article. It will encourage you to stay consistently aligned with what you’re trying to get across, making your article stronger and better. After the thesis statement has been made, you’re now ready for the outline. Have you ever gone to the grocery store without a grocery list? I don’t know about you, but I have. And the outcome often results in forgetting important items that you really wanted to purchase. It’s a real bummer, isn’t it? This can happen with your writing, too. If you write a post without first gathering exactly what you want to include, you’re bound to forget a few important points that would have made your article better. Let’s not do that. Prior to writing an outline, I recommend you first look over any notes you have pertaining to the post you’re about to write. Then, simply break it down. I take a real relaxed approach to writing an outline and I recommend you do as well. Remember, we’re not submitting this outline to a stuffy teacher. We’re simply preparing ourselves to write the best post of our life. I break my outline down using capital letters, A;B;C; etc. After each letter I include an important point that I don’t want to forget while writing my article. The outline ensures that everything I wanted to get into my article, does. It also keeps the order and flow of my post logical. Another benefit of using an outline is it encourages†very tight writing. Jesse Hines has written, “Once I’ve developed a solid outline, writing the article is, in a sense, simply filling in the blanks.” When you know from the beginning exactly what your article is going to encompass, you fill those blanks in with ultra focus. You say only what you need to say to get the specific points across. Of course, as you’re writing your post and referring back to your outline — you’re not beholden to it. You can change the order as you see fit. Also, you’ll most likely include more information in your post than your outline lays out. This will happen organically from the main points you wanted to ensure got included in your post. Using a thesis statement and outline in your writing is like laying down a strong foundation before building a house. Your architecture will end up stronger, and more beautiful. P.S. — This is my outline for this guest post: A. Wouldn’t it be great… B. What’s a thesis statement? C. It helps you stay focused and not drift all over the place D. An outline works like a grocery list E. What’s an outline? F. Conducive to being concise, because now you’re essentially filling in the blanks. G. Conclusion: The preparation stages are like laying down a strong foundation to a house.