Writing with style

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Organizing your Writing

Your subject and your purpose should determine the way you organize your ideas. If you are narrating a story, for example, you will want to put the details in chronological order. If you are describing an object or a person, you will probably use a spatial pattern.

The main patterns of organizing information are:

  1. Chronological (by time)

  2. Spatial description (by location)

  3. Classification (by category)

  4. Illustration (by example)

  5. Argumentation (assertion and support)

  6. Cause/Effect

  7. Problem/Solution

  8. Compare/Contrast (whole vs. whole or point by point)

You can use these patterns of organization to organize your whole essay, particular paragraphs, or details within a paragraph.

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