Poll: Writing: Using Outlines

I'm writing a research paper on writing for my writing class and it requires the use of a survey/poll, and this was the best place I could think of to ask this.

What do you guys think of using outlines as part of the process of writing essays?

I personally only sometimes use outlines if I really need them, but I do think they're helpful. When in highschool they were basically thrust upon us and my teachers demanded the class to use them. They were a graded part of the whole essay grade, but I feel like if that hadn't have happened I would be more open to using them. Any thoughts/opinions/personal experiences?

Edit: Sorry about the poll typos. I can't seem to fix them...
2 = I use them even if I don't like them.
3 = I don't use them but think they're useful.
4 = I don't use them, and I don't like them.

Edit: There we go.

I can't write effectively without them. Even if they're just a few bullet points referring to each paragraph in an essay, they increase my effectiveness by a huge amount. I also use them for writing short stories (even for 3-4 page ones) because I don't seem to be able to hold more than a page of ideas in my head at a time.

Maybe you should have used an outline when writing your poll.


But seriously, even when I try to write something without an outline, I end up making one anyway. They're so very conducive to quality writing.

I hate writing outlines, but once they're done they make writing so much more fluid.

I sometimes wish I had an outline for my outline.

Honestly I never really needed outlines, but I can see the use for them. I think it's because I "make" the outline in my head. I haven't done too many essays this semester (though I do have one. Might just get it out of the way now rather than later), I did do quite a few in my english classes. It really depends on how you think. Most people, it seems, have trouble thinking of an essay without outlines, as they make thinking of what an entire paragraph of info will have, as well as the flow of the paper, much easier to anticipate. I never really had this problem, but I understand I'm in the minority.

I don't really use outlines, but sometimes if there's some time between me writing something and knowing I'm going to write it, I'll write down ideas as they occur. That's close, I guess.

They're really helpful for keeping you on topic and making the writing process more efficient. hell, I'm using one for the essay I'm supposed to be writing right now.

I had hoped for a little more feedback, but thank you for everyone who voted and commented! I am hereby requesting that I am able to use your responses in my paper. Everything will be anonymous, but I would still like your permission.

So far writing without them has gotten me A's. Then again, so has writing all 10 pages 4 hours before class. So I'm not the best person to ask.

I don't use them. Generally my paper writing process goes like:

1) find a source
2) write a paragraph or two from source
3) Is the paper long enough/has it covered to subject well enough? If yes go to 4 if no go to 1
4) Rearrange and connect some paragraphs together
5) Read over and rearrange the now connected paragraphs and try to get them to flow in a logical order.


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