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Organizing Your Ideas

When readers read an article, they expect to see a pattern of organization.  We can achieve this by arranging the ideas or information contained in our paragraphs in a particular pattern or a logical sequence of thoughts.  Listed below are some of these patterns:

  1. Chronological Order – ideas are arranged in time sequence. This is very useful in explaining or stating a step-by-step procedure or an event. When you use this order, you simply tell what happened first, next and so forth.  You can use transitional expressions such as the ordinals first, second, third….., in the past (future), now, once, since, then finally, etc.
  1. Spatial Order – ideas are arranged according to space relations. You may describe from top to bottom, bottom to top,  left to right, nearest to farthest, or any other arrangement that starts at one specific point and moves on in a specific direction.  You may use transition words such as from, here, inside, in front, next to,  under, over, etc, to show direction.  To add a number of ideas together you can use additionally, also, besides, another, etc.
  1. Order of Importance or climactic order – information are arranged from the least important to the most important or vice versa.   You can start with the less important details, then the more important ones and finally end with the most important.
  1. Comparison and contrast – information are arranged according to similarities and differences between items. You can use transitions words such as likewise, on the other hand, on the contrary, similarly, etc.
  1. General to specific or vice versa – this is the most common way of arranging ideas in logical sequence – from general to specific.  You can start with the topic sentence or the main idea, followed with supporting points.  Or instead of starting with the main point, you can start with specific information first and end your paragraph with the topic sentence.

Once I have mastered this technique,  I realize that I am able to write in a more coherent manner, no more jumbled ideas and every information is arranged in logical sequence.  My paragraphs have unity, that is, all sentences are about the topic. It also contains enough detail to develop the topic, therefore, it is complete.

TIPS:  READ.  If you really want to write, you have to continue reading.  Reading can provide you with lots of knowledge and information to help you write.   Take advantage of the ebooks and ezine that you can read for free on the internet.  WRITE. If you have a journal, write something, write anything, just write.  The more you write, the more you become proficient in your craft.

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