Organizing Documents

Types of Organization

Michel Muraski, Journalism and Technical Communication Department
Identifying different organizational patterns is important. For example, if I'm going to do an imperial research report, based on my original research, I would organize the paper based on inductive information where I take a specific observation and end up with a generalization about it. If I'm going to be comparing a choice among options, then I might want to organize my paper by way of comparing and contrasting. Organizational patterns depend on what information needs to be conveyed.

In writing, ideas are conveyed through various methods. Sometimes we discuss the causes of something without ever mentioning its effects. Other times, we present a general idea about a topic before we ever get to the specifics. And still other times, we relate details according to their importance.

Every time you sit down to write, you should rethink what type of organization you'll use. To choose a pattern, consider why you are writing and who will read your writing.What is the most effective way to present this information? The list below represents some common organizational patterns, although many more patterns exist. You should use only one pattern for the overall structure of your writing.

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Introduction