Outlining Your Memoir

6 Oct

Start Outlining Your Memoir

Outlining– Process of gathering and organizing your ideas before beginning a piece of writing.  Writing without outlining is like getting in a car and driving without knowing what your destination will be.

Steps:

  1. Brainstorm ideas – write down anything you think you might use. No idea is bad; the more the merrier. 
  2. Start Categorizing Ideas – review your brainstorming and group any ideas that are related in some way. (These groups will like become your paragraphs). *You probably won’t use everything you brainstormed*
  3. Organize Your Categories in a Logical Order for Your Paper

Benefits of outlining:

  • Helps you determine if you have enough information to write about a topic
  • Helps you remember your ideas
  • Helps you decide a logical and effective order to present your ideas
  • Helps you break your ideas into subtopics
  • Helps you decide what ideas are worth using and which are not.

Although it may seem like an extra step, an outline will save you time in the long run.  You will be less likely to get stuck, you won’t start writing about something only to realize you don’t have enough to say about it, and it will save you time on the editing process.

It doesn’t have to be fancy, just a collection of ideas.

Some helpful links here and here

Add Specific Details and Sensory Imagery

Once you have created your outline, spend some time thinking about the specific details and sensory imagery. Add these details to your outline.

Examples of Great Memoirs

Here are some great memoirs from students of the past. They may help give you ideas.

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