Patterns of organization in essays

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Organizational Patterns

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Purposes and Patterns for Writing

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Cancel Reply 0 characters used from the allowed. Separates the subject of the essay into major stages presented in natural time order. See also chronology within paragraphs. Arranges paragraphs so that the most important supporting evidence comes last, thus building support for the essay's thesis.

Writers sometimes choose to present the evidence in a decreasing order of importance, placing the most important supporting evidence first and finishing with the least important supporting evidence. This decreasing order of importance is most appropriate in journalism or business writing, where the writer knows that editors may likely cut paragraphs to fit the available space in the publication or that readers are likely to want just the central ideas and are unlikely to read all the way to the end of the document. Indicates causal relationships between things and events relevant to the essay's subject.

A note of caution: do not to mistake coincidence with causality when writing a cause-and-effect essay. See the logic in composition page for a discussion of the two post hoc fallacies.

Sequential Patterns

Involves lining up related ideas for a detailed account of similarities and differences. In this kind of essay it is important to decide whether you will be concentrating on similarities or differences. In general, the more similar things are, the more you concentrate on the differences, and vice versa.


  1. Patterns of Organization | Ereading Worksheets?
  2. church of england research paper.
  3. Major Patterns of Organization?
  4. If you are comparing two works by the same author, or two love poems, for example, what will most interest you will be the differences between them; if you are comparing an Anglo-Saxon riddle with a science fiction novel the differences will be obvious enough that you will want to focus on the similarities. A lthough one of the methods above will most likely serve as your major organizational method, you may choose a combination of these methods for your essay or report. With any given group of ideas and details, you might use any of a number of principles of organization, and any one of them would help you and your reader.

    Some will be better than others, of course I really can't see alphabetizing the tools and supplies in my garage, even though it would make them easier to find later. The main trick to imposing organization is to know some options and to choose one. I don't want to organize my garage, because I don't want to do any work around the house to begin with.

    Organizing an Essay

    Leaving the place a mess suits me fine. If I never wanted to write or talk or think, I wouldn't need to deal with organizing ideas or details. Give some thought to your own motivation as you think about this stuff. She identifies these as.

    Definition of Organization

    But these are not exclusively patterns of organization. As Hacker herself says, these patterns are "sometimes called methods of development. Some of these rhetorical modes do imply basic patterns for organizing information. Organization is also imposed by definition [narrowing groups of meanings, from the broad class to which the term belongs, to the narrower groups, to the individual distinguishing characteristics], and in most narration [this happened, then this happened, then this happened].

    I think you can develop a more flexible sense of organization if you also look at some patterns that are more exclusively patterns or principles of organization.

    You should understand, though, that these four broad principles have many variations, that they sometimes overlap with patterns of development or exposition, and that good writing sometimes combines different methods. In chronological order or time order , items, events, or even ideas are arranged in the order in which they occur. This pattern is marked by such transitions as next, then, the following morning, a few hours later, still later, that Wednesday, by noon, when she was seventeen, before the sun rose, that April , and so on.

    Chronological order can suit different rhetorical modes or patterns of exposition. It naturally fits in narration, because when we tell a story, we usually follow the order in which events occur. Chronological order applies to process in the same way, because when we describe or explain how something happens or works, we usually follow the order in which the events occur.

    But chronological order may also apply to example, description, or parts of any other pattern of exposition. Another principle of organization is spatial order. In this pattern, items are arranged according to their physical position or relationships. In describing a shelf or desk, I might describe items on the left first, then move gradually toward the right. Describing a room, I might start with what I see as I enter the door, then what I see as I step to the middle of the room, and finally the far side. In explaining some political or social problem, I might discuss first the concerns of the East Coast, then those of the Midwest, then those of the West Coast.

    Describing a person, I might start at the feet and move up to the head, or just the other way around. This pattern might use such transitions as just to the right, a little further on, to the south of Memphis, a few feet behind, in New Mexico, turning left on the pathway , and so on. Spatial order is pretty common in description, but can also apply to examples, to some comparisons, some classifications [the southern species of this bird.