You make a list of ingredients to buy when you want to cook Tom yum. Stand Up comedians have a setlist. It is a list of punchline words that they look at and immediately remember the joke. An essay has an outline – the “skeleton” of your writing.
In a way, a setlist and an essay outline have a lot in common. You can use a numbered or a bulleted list to structure your ideas. It can be just a phrase or a quick summary sentence. It serves as a reminder for every point you will cover in each paragraph / for every joke you tell in each block.
Is there something different between a setlist and an essay outline? Sure. Nobody forces a comic to write a setlist (in college, you may have an essay outline as a separate assignment to submit). They do it to structure the performance in their head. But if you find yourself googling “write my research paper by Writepaper writers,” it means that you are not keen on the task. Trusting the job to professionals is a good option in this case.
But when you feel like writing an essay on your own, we recommend starting from an outline every time. It may seem like a waste of time to you (unless it is an obligatory task in college). However, you will be surprised to discover how wrong you are.
Benefits of an Essay Outline
What helps the ideas to flow in a logical order? How can one achieve clarity and coherence in their essay? How can one make the editing process smoother? An essay outline is an answer to all these questions. And here is why.
It is easy to lose concentration and drift into unrelated topics when writing. Instead, you should focus on every idea you develop. This road map will help you to get back on track in case you get lost in your thoughts.
As we said, comedians often do this. When you are doing a 10-minute performance, it is easy to forget what you want to talk about next. They look at the keywords on their phone, on a small piece of paper, or sometimes written on their hand. They remember the whole block and keep going.
We will continue talking about stand-up comedy here for a moment. In a good comedy speech, you do not feel the transition between topics. It seems like it is all one story.
Smooth transitions are equally important for a good comedy speech and college paperwork. In a way, it is easier to make them in your essay because there are traditional words and phrases. They can be additive (in other words), adversative (on the other hand), causal (due to the fact), and sequential (subsequently). But they are cherries on your cake. First of all, you need a structure.
You may feel discouraged after reading about adversative and sequential transition words. It seems much easier to use an essay writing service. Indeed, an experienced writer will not let you down. But we suggest practicing an outline skill anyway. It will be beneficial for your future job. You can use this skill in presentations or speeches in front of your colleagues.
Optimal order of content
The order of content is extremely important in stand-up performance. A popular joke technique is a refrain. It means that you repeat the same or nearly the same joke in a different context, and it becomes funnier. If you forget to mention the joke for the first time, you are going to lose two of them.
The same situation can happen with your paper. Make sure you mention the key points before you refer to them later. Most teachers believe that you should state your strongest argument first and then move on to less important remarks. In comedy, it is the other way round. You start with some light jokes to warm up the audience. Then you move on to your best ones.
More concise writing
“I have only made this letter longer because I have not had the time to make it shorter.” This quote belongs to Blaise Pascal, a renowned mathematician and physicist. These days we are lucky to have tons of useful apps to help us with various aspects of our writing. Yet, concision is the top goal of writing.
“Non multa sed multum” is a famous Latin saying for “not many, but much.” This principle is used everywhere these days:
- social media;
- business letters;
- college essays;
- motivational speeches;
- comedy performances.
If you need to explain the joke, it is a bad joke. The shorter the joke is, the funnier. Another concision principle is proper names. For some reason, “DoorDash” will sound funnier than simply “food delivery.” You can experiment with proper names in your essays too.
If you do not have a specific task, you can structure your thoughts either with keywords or sentences. You will see that the keyword structure may be more challenging than sentence one. “If I had more time, I would have made this outline shorter” – that would be a modern version of Blaise Pascal’s quote.
Whatever option you choose, remember: you have access to so many tools for students. There are some must-have tools every student needs to know about. So if you are not familiar with them, do not tell anybody, and make sure you master these tools asap.
Let us have a quick look back at the main advantages. Outlining helps you:
- to stay on point;
- to make the essay easier to follow;
- to avoid distracting paragraphs and repetitive arguments;
- to polish your writing style.
We have summarized the most important benefits at the level of writing. But let us go beyond the borders of an essay and try to see the bigger picture. There are two bigger advantages here.
Saving your time is the first one. “Nonsense! How am I supposed to save time if I am wasting it on an extra task?” Imagine you are assembling a puzzle. Would assembling the frame first be a waste of time? Or would it help you to cut the time you spend doing it by far more?
Beating procrastination is the second benefit. Outlining helps you split the time-consuming writing process into manageable tasks. You invest some time in creating a “skeleton” for your future paperwork. And then you have the “bones” for your everyday writing.
Give it a chance! You will fall in love with outlining when you see how beneficial it is not only for your college but also for your overall organization. Structure brings clarity, stableness, and peace of mind.
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