Writing an outline will also help you focus on the task at hand and avoid unnecessary tangents, logical fallacies, and underdeveloped paragraphs. If you discover that it's difficult to create an outline from what you have written, then you likely need to revise your paper.
You may realize that you don't have a supporting detail for a main idea or that the support you have proposed is not strong enough.
An outline may also help you identify points that are out of place, such as a supporting detail in the third paragraph that should really be in the first paragraph.
By the time you start the actual writing process, you should have been able to work out any issues with the argument and the organization, so you shouldn't have to waste time revising a paper that is weak and unfocused.
Maria Magher has been working as a professional writer since 2001.
Writing an outline helps you ensure that your writing stays focused, and it can help you to organize your ideas so that they make the most impact.
For example, it may be necessary to include a strong supporting detail right at the start to grab readers' attention, or you may find that a strong detail is best left to the end so the essay can go out on a bang.
An outline can help you to clarify your thoughts, as well.
What may start as a simple topic or general idea can become a specific argument with supporting details as you plan out your ideas and structure before you start writing the actual text.
University of North Carolina; Reverse Outlines: A Writer's Technique for Examining Organization. A good way to check your progress is to use what you have written to recreate the outline.
Indiana University; Writing: Considering Structure and Organization. How do you know whether to change the paper to fit the outline, or, that you need to reconsider the outline so that it fits the paper?