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apa style format template
It might seem like a simple step. Simply open a new file and begin typing, right? But it’s rare for that to work for me. I love to get a solid working title and a summary before I write a lot of. John’s written about this before, after he found he could accelerate his writing process ~600% by creating an outline first.
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realised I was repeating the exact same procedure for every new post I work . Like any fantastic programmer, I realised repeating the exact same work over and over means that’s probably a fantastic chance for automation.
So I decided to create a few templates for myself.
I started by creating a template for the most common Ghost blog post arrangement. Since that structure’s particular to me, I also created a template based on how John constructions his articles, and another based on a writer whose work I admire.
For every template I’ve created a gist to show you what they look like. They’re only Markdown documents, so go ahead and save , rename them if you prefer, and copy-and-paste the contents into a new file whenever you are ready to write. Click the”view raw” link on the bottom of every gist to observe the plain text version, which you can copy to a new file in your favourite writing app.
With this template, I can start with answering each dot line using a few notes about what I should write in that segment. By the time I am done, I’ll have a rough sketch of what the final piece will look like. This should make it simpler to expand my notes to fully-formed paragraphs and cause them to flow to each other well, since I understand the arrangement of the entire piece in advance.
Using the template, I discovered that my outlining process became much more involved. I’d really planned to do a complete rough draft of the post in the morning, but it took me a few hours just to have the outline done, so I set the draft off for a different day.
On the flip side, I had over 1600 words written in my outline, and a good idea about what each section would contain and how they’d work together to create a sense of flow in the post. Even though outlining took more than normal, drafting took time since I’d set myself up for success. Composing the draft was just a matter of taking each chunk of notes from the outline and filling out it into a readable paragraph or 2.
It was quite a different procedure to how I normally work, and I had been tempted a couple of times to avoid the extra research or thinking necessary to complete the outline properly. I often put these things off until I am drafting, which is when I should be centered on writing instead. I stuck to it, though, and by the time I got around to writing the draft I was grateful I had.
I’ve actually coined my outline and research process by applying this template. It’s a more effective part of my process now and makes printing easier. Hopefully it’ll lead to better work, too.
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