OF ORGANIZATION for Writers
are several ways to organize your writing. Not every pattern will work
for every writer or for every piece of writing. It is important to organize
the writing in an order that is interesting, but more importantly it must
be logical. In other words, it has to make sense to the reader. Everything
must fit together, much like the pieces of a puzzle.
The examples that follow are only a paragraph in length and only serve
as short models of each pattern. However, the concept for each pattern
is the same regardless of the length.
order is the order in which the events occurred, from first to last. This
is the easiest pattern to write and to follow.
It seemed like an ordinary day when she got up that morning, but
Lynda was about to embark on the worst day of her life. First, she
fell in the bathtub because her mother forgot to rinse out the bath
oil. Then she spilled orange juice on the outfit she had spent hours
putting together for school pictures. When she changed, she messed
up the French braid her mother had put in her hair. As she walked
out the door, she dropped all of her school books and her math homework
flew away. Once she made it to the car she thought everything would
be all right. She was wrong; her father didn't look before he backed
out of the driveway and ran into the neighbor’s truck. Lynda’s side
of the car was damaged the most, and she ended up with a broken
arm. That night, she cried herself to sleep.
and Effect Order
In this type of order, the cause (or reason) is usually discussed first.
This then leads to a discussion of the effect (or result.)
Because toys have become electronic devices, some children today
are unable to entertain themselves. Gone are the days when children
invented their own adventures and used sticks as swords. cookie
sheets as armor, and refrigerator box as a fortress to defend. The
electronic age has delivered children all sorts of gadgets and gizmos
that are supposed to be realistic. Some toys even have buttons to
push so prerecorded messages can be played to begin scripted adventures
that require no imagination. No imagination? No wonder some children
today have short attention spans.
to Solution Order
In this type of order, the problem is presented first. Details about the
problem, including its cause, follows. Next, a suggested solution will
be discussed, including details that support the solution.
Several students receive poor grades on writing assignments, not
because they lack the ability to communicate, but because they can
not seem to manage their time when it comes to a large project.
They do not know where to begin, and therefore put things off until
the last minute. To solve this problem, students need to develop
a timeline for completing the project. If they divide the assignment
into manageable “chunks” or parts and then set a schedule for completing
each part, they will be able to finish the entire project before
the deadline. Without the pressure of not knowing where to begin,
the students will be able to focus on the assignment and communicate
their ideas effectively.
This type of organization takes the reader from one spot the next, as
if the reader were looking at something. It is very descriptive.
I couldn’t believe my eyes when we finally emerged from the storm
shelter. Where the barn once stood there was now only a few tufts
of hay. The path that led to the house was scattered with branches
and debris. The house! The entire roof was gone. The north wall
was caved in and we could see right into the house. Well, what was
left of it. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I noticed that most of
our belongings had been sucked up into the great vacuum and scattered
across the countryside. We heard a loud cracking and moaning as
the west wall gave way and collapsed, sending up a wave of dust.
And yet, there in the middle of the front yard was mother’s prized
rose bush. It swayed in the breeze as if nothing had happened. Seeing
it made me realize how lucky we were to be alive. We stood there
in dismay, our arms locked around one another.
This type of organization takes the reader from the least important idea
to the most important idea. The ideas build in importance, holding the
reader's attention. The best is saved for the last.
My encounter with nature became a learning experience for me. I
learned to come prepared for anything. Our canoe overturning was
proof that anything could happen. All of our supplies were gone.
I also learned that although nature is beautiful, she can also be
deadly. If it hadn’t been for the cave we discovered in the moonlight,
the hail storm surely would have killed us. Most of all, I learned
to trust my mother. I never thought I would say this, but she does
know a thing or two. She kept her wits about her and kept me calm
as well. Even in the middle of nowhere without any supplies, she
still managed to take care of me. Her grandfather had taught her
how to survive in the wild, and she hadn’t forgotten a thing.
In this type of organization, the most important idea is stated first
and the least important idea is stated last. This method is used most
often in newspaper articles. This way if the reader does not finish the
article he/she will still know the most important details. This method
grabs the reader's attention in the beginning, but it does not work very
will in holding the reader's attention clear to the end.
A plan to improve the city’s park was approved Monday night by the
city council. The plan involves adding landscaping to the north
end, rebuilding the bridge over the lake, and updating the playground
equipment. Funds for the project have been donated by local businesses
who hope that improving the park will bring more people to the downtown
area which will in turn bring more customers. The next order of
business is for the city council to open the bidding process for
the various improvements.
In this type of order, a sequence of actions is described. It instructs
the reader on how to do something. It is basically a set of directions.
Owner's manuals and cookbooks are organized in this pattern.
The first step in redesigning your closet is take everything out
and sort through it. Anything you haven’t worn in over a year should
be given to charity. Check garments for wear and tear. Take care
of anything that needs mending. If it is beyond repair, get rid
of it. The second step is to install a closet organizer. Choose
one that will hold the different types of garments in your wardrobe.
The third step is to put items in the closet so that those you wear
most often are easy to access. The final step is to stay organized.
Put garments back in their appropriate places so that you will be
able to find them.
In this type of order, the main idea is broken down into smaller areas
or classifications. Each classification is then discussed.
There are four basic modes of writing. Each mode may take different
forms, but has a primary purpose. The first is expository writing,
which has a purpose of explaining something or giving directions.
Providing directions to your house is an example. The second mode
is persuasive writing, which has a purpose of influencing the reader’s
way of thinking. An advertisement is a an example of persuasive
writing. The third mode is descriptive writing, which has a purpose
of providing vivid details so that the reader can picture what is
being presented. An essay that depicts the glorious Grand Canyon
is an example. The fourth mode is narrative writing, which has a
purpose of presenting an experience in the form of a story. A personal
account of a vacation is an example of narrative writing.
Order (block form)
In this pattern of organization one item is discussed in detail before
the next item is mentioned. In other words, each item gets its own "block"
of space within the writing.
As a child, I thought my parents were ignorant and out of touch
with reality. They couldn’t possible understand anything I thought
or felt. When they weren’t annoying me with their ridiculous lectures,
or grounding me for minor infractions of the rules, they were embarrassing
me in public. As a parent, I find it frustrating that my children
think I have no clue about their lives, even though I understand
perfectly well what they are thinking or feeling. I find myself
giving my children the same lectures I once thought were ridiculous.
My children can not seem to follow the rules their father and I
have set, and they are continuously embarrassing me in public. My,
how things have changed.
Order (point by point)
This type of order is again based on comparison (the similarities) and
contrast (the differences.) Instead of being divided into parts, however,
both sides of each point are discussed together.
Last Updated: November
Although they are sisters, Jennifer and Jessica are complete opposites.
Jennifer enjoys playing sports, while Jessica would rather watch.
Jennifer has no interest in playing a musical instrument, while
Jessica is the first chair violinist. Jennifer listens to new age
music, while Jessica prefers country. Jennifer’s favorite subject
is English, and Jessica’s favorite is math. Jennifer likes to curl
up in a chair on a rainy day and read a good book , but Jessica
would rather sleep all day. No one would ever guess that they are