FOR YOUR ESSAY
Your goal in organizing is to produce a sequence of paragraphs that leads the reader to a single strong conclusion. But there are many ways to reach this goal.
Some people need an outline; others write first and then reorganize when they see a pattern in their writing. Still others begin in the middle or write the parts of their papers out of order.
No method is the [right] one. Some approaches are better for certain topics; some are better for certain people. Do not feel that you have to fit into a set way of working.
Sometimes a teacher will give you a specific format to follow, but most of the time you will need to discover the organization that best enhances the content of your essay. A formula is especially useful for assignments you must do repeatedly or quickly. For instance, lab reports usually follow a set format: (1) Question to Be Investigated; (2) The Experiment; (3) Observations; (4) Conclusions. Some topics lend themselves to particular arrangements. Here are a few:
Common Patterns of Organization
chronological (the sequence in which events occurred)
narrative (how you learned what you know)
generalization, followed by examples or arguments
process (the steps for how something is done)
comparison (similarities and differences)
classification (types and categories)
problem and solution
cause and effect (or a result and its causes)
a brief case study or story, followed by interpretation of what
dramatic order (building to the strongest point)
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Publication information: Book title: Shortcuts for the Student Writer. Contributors: Jay Silverman - Author, Elaine Hughes - Author, Diana Roberts Wienbroer - Author. Publisher: McGraw-Hill. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 2005. Page number: 69.
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