The Skill and Art of Business Writing: An Everyday Guide and Reference

By Harold E. Meyer | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER 8
Tie It All Together

Now that we have presented ways to make sentences understandable (Chapters 1–5) and how to combine them into sensible paragraphs (Chapters 6 and 7), we will tie these paragraphs together to make a complete composition.

The first step is to write a list of topics, ideas, suggestions, questions or conclusions that will satisfy the goals of your message. The second step is to arrange these ideas in a logical order. The specific order will depend primarily on what you wish to accomplish and how your audience will react to your method of presentation. These two factors are discussed in Chapter 9 in two sections, [Purpose] and [Your Audience.] All this suggests the need for an outline—a [road map] showing you how to get there.


Outlining

What outlining can do for the writer:

To be practical, all organized writing requires some type of written outline. Otherwise it is easy to ramble off into vaguely related thoughts or to forget essential ideas. Here is what an outline can do for the writer:

It presets the writer's train of thought, and thus starts the process of or-
ganized thinking.

It lets the writer visualize major and minor points.

It keeps the first draft in focus.

It eliminates major revisions.

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