Teaching Organization in Writing

This article gives a description of organization in voice, as well as its importance. It also has suggestions for ways to organize, including the principle of the five paragraph essay.

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Organization is a key ingredient to a good story or essay. A well structured paper will be much more logical to the reader, as well as more effective in its goals. Information in a story, especially key information, should be delivered at just the right time, and with an inviting lead. An organized paper makes sure that ideas are linked together with smooth transitions.

Important Ways to Organize

  • Capture your audience's attention with an interesting opening paragraph
  • Insert supporting facts when needed. Do not overuse or underuse outside information
  • Order your paragraphs and sentences in a logical manner with good flow
  • Make use of smooth transitions that allow your essay to flow
  • Include a strong conclusion which ties up any loose ends and reiterates the main points of the essay
  • Never lose track of your goal, every paragraph, sentence, and word should build towards your conclusion

A five paragraph essay is a great beginning technique for organization. This approach is meant for essays only, and is not meant for personal narratives. Once a student advances in their organizational skills, this is not a suggested technique for upper level essay writing.

In a five paragraph essay, the first paragraph is the lead, the middle three paragraphs make up the body, and the fifth paragraph is the conclusion. The lead paragraph is the attention-getting introduction; at least three sentences long, it should have a thesis, and, relate to the points made in the body of the essay. The body paragraphs should all describe one point each, and should have transitions from one paragraph to the next. The conclusion ties everything together.

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