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apa template for pages
It may seem like an easy step. Simply open a new file and begin typing, right? Nonetheless, it’s rare for that to work for me. I love to get a strong working name and a summary before I write too much. John’s written about this earlier, after he discovered he could speed up his composing process ~600 percent by producing an outline first.
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realised I had been repeating the same process for every new post I work . Like any fantastic programmer, I realised repeating the exact same work over and over means that is probably a fantastic chance for automation.
So I decided to make some templates for myself.
I started by developing a template for the most common Ghost blog article structure. Since that structure’s particular to me, I created a template based on how John structures his posts, and another based on a writer whose work I admire.
For every template I’ve made a gist to show you what they look like. They are just Markdown documents, so go right ahead and save them, rename them if you like, and copy-and-paste the contents into a new file whenever you’re ready to write. Click on the”view raw” link to the bottom of every gist to observe the plain text version, which you can copy into a new file on your favorite writing app.
With this template, I can begin by answering each dot point using a few notes about what I need to write in that segment. From the time I’m done, I’ll have a rough sketch of what the final piece will look like. This should make it simpler to enlarge my notes into fully-formed paragraphs and make them flow into each other nicely, because I understand the structure of the whole piece in advance.
Using the template, I found that my outlining process became much more involved. I had really planned to perform a full rough draft of that post in the early hours, but it took me a couple of hours just to get the outline done, so that I put off the draft for another day.
On the other hand, I had over 1600 words composed in my outline, along with a solid idea about what each segment would contain and how they’d work together to create a sense of flow in the post. Though outlining took more than normal, drafting took less time because I’d set myself up for success. Composing the draft was just a matter of taking each chunk of notes out of the outline and filling it out into a readable paragraph or 2.
It had been quite a different process to the way I normally work, and that I was tempted a couple of times to avoid the extra research or thinking necessary to complete the outline properly. I often put off these things until I am drafting, and that’s 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’d 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 drafting easier. Hopefully it’ll lead to better function, too.
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