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I would like some advice as to writing a book on child care.How do I go about putting my ideas down and progress.kindly help.

Dear Mann:

The first thing you should do is to go to and look at the essays and samples there. (You will have to cut and paste as this site does not support hyperlinks.) Non-fiction books are simply extended
essays. Do you see any essay type that would fit your material?

You have not given me enough information to advise you as to what type essay would fit your material best. What are you going to say about child care? That it's bad? Good? Whatever you want to say, you should be able to state it in one sentence, i.e., "Constant attention plus low prices makes for good child care." This is your "premise."

The function of the premise is to guide you through the structure/organization of the book. It serves the same function as a road. Once laid out, you (and your readers) can rely on it to carry you where you want to go. From a solid premise you can build a solid outline and from that, a solid book.

To build an outline, get some 3x5 cards and on each write a conviction that you hold regarding child care. Make sure it supports your premise. Some of these convictions will be more significant, or more challenging, than others; some will take more time to assimilate, some less; some will require that new attitudes toward the work or towards children themselves be formed, or old bad ones be discarded. Naturally, such suggestions will not automatically be adopted by the readers of the book; you must find a way to overcome their apathy and inertia. It will be like pushing a cedar tree to another location.

Once you get your cards made, study them to see if some can be grouped togther. Try to isolate 6-7 or 9-10 (based on how much material you have and how big you want your book to be) as the main points supporting your premise. From these, make your outline. If you're not sure how an outline should be made, come back here and we'll explore that.

You will of course want to fill your book with anecdotal (or scientific) evidence to support your premise. You will want to speak with people who have found success with these principles, and some who have not, so as to contrast the two, and explain the failure if you can. Try to get some humor into your book, the more the better - humor sells.

I hope this helps. If it does, a nice rating would be greatly appreciated. I am proud of my high score over 450 questions.

And good luck with your writing!

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Susan Rand


I can answer questions about the elements of fiction and non-fiction writing: how to get started, writing techniques, re-writing, etc. I will NOT write for you, do critiques except from my website at, or give you ideas. I will not answer home-or-schoolwork questions in any category. If English is your second language, please say so, and I will make an exception. Please submit no more than one or two questions at once, as I tend to go into detail in my answers.


I wrote my first book in 1957 and have been writing and studying writing since. I have a BA in Written Communications, and have taught writing both privately and through adult education for 15 years. Have also edited (fiction books) for an online publisher and edited/wrote more than 100 articles for a teen sex education site. Currently writing web content and mentoring beginning writers.

BA degree in Written Communication

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