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Thinking and writing: how to get these actions in order!

Having taught thousands of people how to write for academic and business pursuits (college classes,  applications for graduate school, university seminars, resumes for the job search, and homework for gymnasiums, prep schools, and high school), I have one piece of wisdom to share:

Think before You Write!
For some, writing is easy in that words flow quickly and (so it seems) fluently on just about any topic. In fact, many of my students had been led to believe that they were good writers because they could produce words, sentences, and even paragraphs quickly, on demand.

It takes some effort for me to convince these students that ease, fluency, and speed are not the hallmarks of good, solid, effective, well-reasoned writing.

Outline first, please!
To help them see that they need to think before they write, I ask my students to create outlines.before they attempt writing tasks. I hope to get across that it's crucial to decide on just a few (or just one) major points before beginning …

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