Organizational Methods in Writing

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This set of words deals with organizing writing--specifically the trait of organization in the 6 Traits of Writing.

Organization

The structure of a piece of writing. Gives ideas direction, purpose, and momentum. Good organization holds writing together, making it easy for readers to see the big picture.

Introduction

The beginning part of an essay--often the first paragraph. Needs to be written in a way that catches the readers attention.

Transitions

These are words or phrases that link the writer's ideas together. Example: first, next, finally, to start, because of, etc.

Conclusion

The ending part of an essay--often the last paragraph. This paragraph should wrap things up and leave your reader satisfied. No new information should be placed in your conclusion.

Paragraph

A section of a piece of writing, usually dealing with a single theme or topic and indicated by a new line and indentation (a tab).

Main Point

A sub-topic for your essay. Typically essays are divided into three main points. Example: An essay about football could have three main points: famous teams, positions, and rules.

Main Idea

The overall focus of your essay; what a piece of writing is mainly about

Chronological Order

Arranging details in the order they happened. Uses transitions like first, second, then, next, later. Biographies use this method.

Order of Importance

Arranging details from the most important to the least important. News stories are often arranged this way.

Point and Counterpoint

Writing that is arranged by presenting both sides of the argument. Often used in persuasive writing.

Step by Step

This method explains steps in order. We can use this method for directions, lab procedures, recipes, etc.

Order of Location/Spatial

Arranging details in the order they are located (above, below, beneath, etc). We use this method when we give directions for how to get somewhere or descriptions of things that are organized spatially.

Main Events

Including the most important events or information rather than trying to tell everything. This pattern works well for summaries.

Comparison

Arranging an essay to show how subjects are alike and different.

Cause and Effect

Beginning with a general statement giving the cause of a problem and then adding specific effects. Essays that use this analyze problems often based on current events.

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