Outcome: Organizing

Identify Essay Organizational Techniques

This section will break the concept of “Organize” down into components, in order to show you how to take full advantage of this stage of the writing process.

You may hear the terms structure and organization used interchangeably when it comes to essay writing.  Both are important aspects, but they do have an important distinction.

Structure refers to the function a particular piece of your essay serves in the essay.  Elements like introductions, body paragraphs, and conclusions are structural components of an essay. It’s similar to the structure of a house: certain spaces are designated as a bedroom, a bathroom, a kitchen, and so forth.

As we know, houses appear in many different shapes and sizes, even though they contain all of these similar features.  You might say that the structure of a house can be organized in many different ways.  In writing, organization is where your unique approach as an author comes into play.  In what particular order are body paragraphs placed? Why?

modern house exterior, with white walls and floor-to-ceiling windowsTwo story house with brown siding and green landscapingSmall house with green siding and a brick stoopStucco two story house with palm trees around it

In short, structure is the what, and organization is the why.

As a writer, you’ll identify what pieces are necessary for your essay to include.  Then you’ll determine what order those pieces will appear in, and how they connect together.

Graphic titled Organize. Bullet list: Thesis, development, body, introduction, conclusion. All is in a green circle bordered by gray arrows.What You Will Learn to Do

  • identify appropriate rhetorical pattern for the topic and the task
  • identify components of an effective thesis statement
  • identify components of an effective logical argument
  • identify components of an effective paragraph
  • identify components of an effective essay body
  • identify components of an effective introduction
  • identify components of an effective conclusion

The Learning Activities for this Outcome Include

  • Text: How to Write a Thesis Statement
  • Text: Text Structures
  • Text: Components of an Effective Paragraph
  • Video: The Toulmin Model
  • Self Check: Organizing
  • Try It: Organizing