Value of a Plan. Just as a builder would hesitate to erect a house without a carefully worked-out plan, so a writer should be loath to begin an article before he has outlined it fully. In planning a building, an architect considers how large a house his client desires, how many rooms he must provide, how the space available may best be apportioned among the rooms, and what relation the rooms are to bear to one another. In outlining an article, likewise, a writer needs to determine how long it must be, what material it should include, how much space should be devoted to each part, and how the parts should be arranged. Time spent in thus planning an article is time well spent.
Outlining the subject fully involves thinking out the article from beginning to end. The value of each item of the material gathered must be carefully weighed; its relation to the whole subject and to every part must be considered. The arrangement of the parts is of even greater importance, because much of the effectiveness of the presentation will depend upon a logical development of the thought. In the last analysis, good writing means clear thinking, and at no stage in the preparation of an article is clear thinking more necessary than in the planning of it.
Amateurs sometimes insist that it is easier to write without an outline than with one. It undoubtedly does take less time to dash off a special feature story than it does to think out all of the details and then write it. In nine cases out of ten, however, when a writer attempts to work out an article as he goes along, trusting that his ideas will arrange themselves, the result is far from a clear, logical, well-organized presentation of his subject. The common disinclination to make an outline is usually based on the difficulty that most persons experience in deliberately thinking about a subject in all its various aspects, and in getting down ir logical order the results of such thought. Unwillingness to outline a subject generally means unwillingness to think.

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