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I need an English speaker opinion regarding following phrase:

The outline of a document creation is next:

And after this phrase there are steps describing the actions to be undertaken. Is it appropriate to say "is next" in the end of the sentence like this? Does is sound natural?

Any help would be appreciated!

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    No, that entire sentence sounds unnatural. I have really no clear idea what it means. The only clear part is is next. But "follows" or "follows below" is the usual phrase.
    – TimR
    Oct 12, 2018 at 11:05
  • It means that there are instructions to be followed in order to create a document. And they are below this sentence.
    – Gamilato
    Oct 12, 2018 at 11:18
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    Instructions for creating a document follow below. or "are given below". The odd phrase is "a document creation".
    – TimR
    Oct 12, 2018 at 11:25
  • You need to bear in mind the pragmatic aspects of this. Is it being printed on a page in text? It is for a video? In other words, is it for speaking or for writing? And "outline of document creation" is odd. Do you mean: Outlining a document ?
    – Lambie
    Oct 12, 2018 at 13:45

1 Answer 1

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First, document creation, on its own, isn't a countable noun, so you shouldn't use a in front of it.

Second, next isn't normally used in this way. When referencing something, you typically give a specific reference, you use a sentence with a demonstrative or imperative, or you use following or (sometimes) below.


There are several variations of an introductory sentence that would sound better:

Figure 1 shows an outline of document creation.
The document creation process is outlined in Figure 1.
Document creation can be outlined in this way:
Consider this outline of the document creation process:
Look at this outline of document creation:
An outline of this document creation process follows:
An outline of document creation is below:

There are many more variations that could be provided.

I would advise against using next in this specific context, although there are ways it could be used:

Next, consider this outline of the documentation creation process:
Next, we will look at an outline of documentation creation:

When used in this manner, it becomes acceptable because it is introducing the sentence itself rather than directly referring to the upcoming outline.

Having said all of that, the use of next is not outright "wrong." But it is uncommon enough that, stylistically, most people would take issue with it, and want to rephrase the sentence.

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