Before you ever start to write an essay, you MUST spend some time organizing your thoughts and information. You don’t have to write a formal outline, but even creating a list helps to keep you on track.
Let’s think about a paper topic and possibilities for organizing information:
Topic: Characteristics/classifications of poor students First, let’s generate some ideas about what constitutes poor students:
3, 7, 10, 12 Mr. Clueless (can’t get organized or focused, would care if someone would just spell out how)
I’m not sure how to fit in number 6, so I’m just going to leave that out. (You may have come up with a totally different grouping—that’s the beauty of writing!)
For my grouping, let’s see how we’d organize the paragraphs in an essay: After an intriguing introduction, I might start with the Procrastinator since that’s the point with the least development; then, I might go to Clueless and then on to Couldn’t Care Less. That last one seems to stand apart from the rest in the amount of detail and the kind of person we’re dealing with there. What do you think? If your groupings were different, how would you organize your points?