Four types of essay organization


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Once you have defined the purpose of your essay, it's time to brainstorm. Don't choose just one topic right of the bat. Take some time to consider, contrast and weight your options. Get out a piece of paper and make a list of all the different topics that fit the purpose of your essay. Once they're all down on paper, start by eliminating those topics that are difficult or not as relevant as others topics.

Also, get rid of those topics that are too challenging or that you're just not that interested in. Pretty soon you will have whittled your list down to just a few topics and then you can make a final choice. Some students get scared to start writing. They want to make sure they have all their thoughts organized in their head before they put anything down on paper.

Creating a diagram or outline allows you to put pen to paper and start organizing your ideas. Don't worry or agonize over organization at this point, just create a moderately organized format for your information. Whether you use a diagram or outline doesn't really matter.

Chronological Patterns

Some people prefer and work better with the flowing structure of a diagram. Others like the rigid and logical structure of an outline. Don't fret, once you get started, you can always change formats if the format you chose isn't working out for you. The following are useful steps for developing a diagram to organize ideas for your essay.

Outline The following are useful steps for developing an outline to organize ideas for your essay. Once you have an idea for the basic structure of your essay, and what information you're going to present in your essay, it's time to develop your thesis statement. A thesis statement states or outlines what you intend to prove in your essay. A good thesis statement should be clear, concise, specific, and takes a position. The word "thesis" just sounds intimidating to most students, but a thesis is actually quite simple. A thesis statement 1 tells the reader what the essay is about and 2 what points you'll be making.

If you've already selected an essay topic, and developed an outline or diagram, you now can decide what points you want to communicate through your essay. A thesis statement has two key components. The first component is the topic, and the second is the point s of the essay. The following is an example of an expository explanatory thesis statement:. The life of a child raised in Pena Blanca is characterized by little playing, a lot of hard work and extreme poverty.

An example of an analytical thesis statement:. An analysis of the loan application process for citizens of third world countries reveals one major obstacle: applicants must already have money in order to qualify for a loan. Instead of sending tax money overseas to buoy struggling governments and economies, U. Once you're done developing a thesis statement that supports the type of essay your writing and the purpose of the essay, you're ready to get started on your introduction.

Patterns of Organization | Ereading Worksheets

The introduction is the first paragraph of the essay. It introduces the reader to the idea that the essay will address. It is also intended to capture the reader's attention and interest. The first sentence of the introduction paragraph should be as captivating and interesting as possible.

The sentences that follow should clarify your opening statement. Conclude the introduction paragraph with your thesis statement. The body of your essay is where you explain, describe or argue the topic you've chosen.

Each of the main ideas you included in your outline or diagram will become of the body paragraphs. If you wrote down four main ideas in your outline or diagram, then you'll have four body paragraphs. Each paragraph will address one main idea that supports the thesis statement. The first paragraph of the body should put forth your strongest argument to support your thesis. Start the paragraph out by stating the supporting idea.

Patterns of Organization

Then follow up with additional sentences that contain supporting information, facts, evidence or examples — as shown in your diagram or outline. The concluding sentence should sum up what you've discussed in the paragraph. The second body paragraph will follow the same format as the first body paragraph. This paragraph should put forth your second strongest argument supporting your thesis statement. Likewise, the third and fourth body paragraphs, like the first and second, will contain your third and fourth strongest arguments supporting your thesis statement.

Again, the last sentence of both the third and fourth paragraphs should sum up what you've discussed in each paragraph and indicate to the reader that the paragraph contains the final supporting argument. The final paragraph of the essay provides the conclusion. This paragraph should should restate your thesis statement using slightly different wording than employed in your introduction. The paragraph should summarize the arguments presented in the body of the essay.

The last sentence in the conclusion paragraph should communicate that your essay has come to and end. Your concluding paragraph should communicate to the reader that you're confident that you've proven the idea as set forth in your thesis statement. It is also one of the most difficult to write well. The argumentative essay requires a thesis that states a position and paragraphs that defend it.

The aim is to sway the reader's opinion towards that position.

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A good argumentative essay will aim to persuade logically and thoroughly. The opposing side of the argument will be anticipated and refuted in the body of the essay. Compare and contrast essays explore similarities and differences. For example, the similar and different features of two different cars, two characters in a novel or two hotels in a vacation resort might be explored.

Expository Essay

These essays may follow the point-by-point method or the block method. The block method means that all the features of the first item are described, followed by all the similar features of the second item. The differences would then be grouped together in the same way.

The point-by-point method involves alternating similar and different features throughout the essay. Cause and effect essays explore the root causes of situations. These essays attempt to answer the questions "why? These may include learning disabilities, behavior problems and low socioeconomic status.


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  4. In the example, this might mean exploring how the results of low socioeconomic status affect high school drop out rates. Her areas of expertise include staff management and professional development. She holds a master's degree in psychology from the University of Toronto and is currently pursuing her PhD at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, focusing on emotions and professional relationships.

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