BLOCKING:
THE KEY TO ORGANIZING YOUR THOUGHTS


The more organized your thoughts, the better your writing.

THE WORKING OUTLINE (also known as blocking) is a plan for your writing.

A good working outline should show all your main points in the order you want to write about them.

To block out your writing, do the following:

1. Make a list of the main points of your topic in random order, including the Beginning and End.

2. Arrange your topics in order between the Beginning and End of your piece.

3. Number each in the margin to the left.

4. List any subheadings and label them 1A, 1B, etc.

5. Go back through your notes and label each note with a corresponding number or number and letter according to where it fits in your outline.

6. To begin writing, combine all the 1's, 2's, 3's, 4's, etc.

7. Go back and rewrite, smoothing out transitions between topics.

EXAMPLE:

HOW TO SEARCH FOR WOMEN ANCESTORS (Working Title)

1 Opening
2 Why are women hard to find?
3 Types of records to search

3a Marriage and divorce
3b Land records 
3c Cemeteries

4 Developing a profile of a woman ancestor
5 Closing


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