Pin by Mollie Connelly MacNeill on Instructional Design from project based learning template , image source: www.pinterest.com
project based learning template
It might look like a simple step. Simply open a new file and start typing, right? But it’s rare for this to work for me. I love to get a solid working name and a summary before I write a lot of. John’s written about this earlier, after he discovered he could speed up his composing procedure ~600% by producing an outline first.
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realised I was repeating the same procedure for every single new article I work . Like any good programmer, I realized repeating the same work over and above means that’s probably a good opportunity 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 structure. Since that structure’s particular to mepersonally, I created a template based on how John constructions his articles, and another according to 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 them, rename them if you like, and copy-and-paste the contents into a new file whenever you’re ready to compose. Click on the”view raw” link to the bottom of each gist to observe the plain text version, which you can copy into a new file in your favorite writing program.
With this template, I can start by answering each dot point using a few notes about what I should write in that section. From the time I’m done, I will have a rough sketch of what the final piece will look like. This should make it easier to enlarge my notes to fully-formed paragraphs and make them flow into each other nicely, since I understand the structure of the entire piece beforehand.
Using the template, I discovered that my summarizing procedure became more involved. I had actually planned to do a complete rough draft of the post in the early hours, but it took me a few hours just to get the outline done, so that I set off the draft for a different day.
On the other hand, I’d over 1600 words written in my outline, along with a solid idea of what each segment would comprise and how they’d work together to create a sense of flow from the post. Even though outlining took more than normal, drafting took less time because I’d set myself up for success. Composing the draft was only a matter of taking each chunk of notes out of the outline and filling it out into a readable paragraph or two.
It had been quite a different process to how I normally work, and I was tempted a few times to avoid the additional research or thinking required to complete the outline properly. I often put these things off until I am drafting, which is when I must be centered on writing rather. I stuck to it, however, and from the time I got around to writing the draft I was grateful I’d had.
I’ve actually coined my outline and study process by applying this template. It’s a more effective part of the process now, and makes drafting easier. Hopefully it’ll lead to better work, also.
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