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3 Great Reasons to Use Article Templates

by C.S. Clarke, Ph.D.

The Case For Article Templates

There are three major reasons I like to use article templates: they get you started, keep you "in the flow" and make the whole process faster, faster, faster. There are a number of different kinds of article templates available online. I'm going to talk about the kind that offer a complete format for your article with either a fill-in-the-blank or a "dummy text" replacement approach.

Article Templates Get You Started -- Beat The "Blank Page" Syndrome

One of the hardest parts of writing an article can be just getting started. Even when you've selected a great topic that you know well, where to begin can be a stumper. Many a fine writer has gathered together great research for an exciting idea, only to sit down in front of the computer and say "what now?"

With a template, you only have to sit down and start "filling in the blanks" or replacing dummy text (usually "lorem ipsum") until the "flow" starts. And, the "flow" will start -- ask the thousands of students and writers who have begun using templates. It may be intimidating to look at a blank screen, but looking at blanks to fill in or "lorem" text to replace, is much easier. After all, it's pretty unusual to go blank while filling in forms or editing material.

Article Templates Are Organized/Pre-formatted

A good article template is formatted to allow you to simply enter your thoughts in a systematic way, but without interfering with the creative flow. You don't have to think about what order to put your thoughts in. Since you just fill-in-the- blank, you can jump in at any point and write an idea. Then, as with a puzzle, you can re-arrange the pieces to make a better picture by cutting and pasting.

It also works somewhat like an outline, except you don't have to figure out how to outline first -- the outline is the template. Also, if the template is already laid-out the way you want your article to look, you have your design done for you.

Article Templates Are Faster

It should be obvious from what I've said so far that the best feature of using an article template is that it's faster than merely sitting down and trying to write from your notes and research.

No matter how well organized your research and notes, your brain responds well immediately to the format and organization you see on the screen. To use the puzzle comparison again, it's rather like having the box top of the puzzle showing the completed picture.

Because you have the format of the template, especially when you have "lorem" placeholders for text, you see the whole picture and know what the article will look like when finished. What that does for you is give you a feeling of being almost finished even at the beginning. Since you have your organization, formatting and some text right in front of you, you have the sense of only having to do editing. So, you naturally respond with more enthusiasm and speed.

An article template can be a terrific stimulus to productivity. It can make your writing faster, easier and more organized. You can take your research and fill in the blanks or replace dummy text. In fact, you can also speed up the process by opening a template in your word processor side-by-side with your web browser and do the research and template-filing live. Go grab a template and get cracking.

In fact, you can get a copy of the template I used for this article at This is a template document that will work in most word processors. It will work in Word, of course. I've tested it for the P.C. and for the Mac in OpenOffice. For OpenOffice, you'll need has some great article templates. They're not already set up as word processor docs, but you can copy their formats into your word processor and save them as templates. They cover a wide variety of article types.


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