You might already be familiar with some of these patterns because teachers will sometimes assign them as the purpose for writing an essay.
As Hacker herself says, these patterns are "sometimes called methods of development.
Some of these rhetorical modes do imply basic patterns for organizing information. Organization is also imposed by definition [narrowing groups of meanings, from the broad class to which the term belongs, to the narrower groups, to the individual distinguishing characteristics], and in most narration [this happened, then this happened, then this happened].
Principles of Organization I think you can develop a more flexible sense of organization if you also look at some patterns that are more exclusively patterns or principles of organization.
You should understand, though, that these four broad principles have many variations, that they sometimes overlap with patterns of development or exposition, and that good writing sometimes combines different methods.
Chronological Order order of Time In chronological order or time order, items, events, or even ideas are arranged in the order in which they occur.
This pattern is marked by such transitions as next, then, the following morning, a few hours later, still later, that Wednesday, by noon, when she was seventeen, before the sun rose, that April, and so on. Chronological order can suit different rhetorical modes or patterns of exposition.
It naturally fits in narration, because when we tell a story, we usually follow the order in which events occur. Chronological order applies to process in the same way, because when we describe or explain how something happens or works, we usually follow the order in which the events occur.
But chronological order may also apply to example, description, or parts of any other pattern of exposition.
Spatial Order Another principle of organization is spatial order. In this pattern, items are arranged according to their physical position or relationships. In describing a shelf or desk, I might describe items on the left first, then move gradually toward the right.
Describing a room, I might start with what I see as I enter the door, then what I see as I step to the middle of the room, and finally the far side.
In explaining some political or social problem, I might discuss first the concerns of the East Coast, then those of the Midwest, then those of the West Coast. Describing a person, I might start at the feet and move up to the head, or just the other way around.
This pattern might use such transitions as just to the right, a little further on, to the south of Memphis, a few feet behind, in New Mexico, turning left on the pathway, and so on.
Spatial order is pretty common in description, but can also apply to examples, to some comparisons, some classifications [the southern species of this bird. Climactic Order Order of Importance A third common principle of organization is climactic order or order of importance.
In this pattern, items are arranged from least important to most important. Typical transitions would include more important, most difficult, still harder, by far the most expensive, even more damaging, worse yet, and so on. A variation of climactic order is called psychological order.
This pattern or organization grows from our learning that readers or listeners usually give most attention to what comes at the beginning and the end, and least attention to what is in the middle.
In this pattern, then, you decide what is most important and put it at the beginning or the end; next you choose what is second most important and put it at the end or the beginning whichever remains ; the less important or powerful items are then arranged in the middle.
If the order of importance followed 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, with 5 being most important, psychological order might follow the order 4, 3, 1, 2, 5. Still other principles of organization based on emphasis include general-to-specific order.I received an email from a teacher working in a situation similar to mine: students who are deficient in basic skills, a lack of useful resources in the classroom, misdirection or no direction from the top.
Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays (Princeton University Press, ) is a book by Canadian literary critic and theorist, Northrop Frye, which attempts to formulate an overall view of the scope, theory, principles, and techniques of literary criticism derived exclusively from literature.
Frye consciously omits all specific and practical criticism, instead offering classically inspired theories. Common patterns of essay organization include | Forum How are Organizational Patterns used in Academic Writing. Expand to View All Common Core State Standards Related to Text Structure.
How to Write a Comparative Essay.
In this Article: Article Summary Developing the Essay Content Organizing the Content Writing the Essay Community Q&A Perhaps you have been assigned a comparative essay in class, or need to write a comprehensive comparative report for work.
On most policy questions, public opinion changes slowly, if at all. But when new issues arise, important shifts can occur before opinion sorts itself into settled patterns. Creating an Argument Outline. Although there is no set model of organization for argumentative essays, there are some common patterns that writers might use or that writers might want to combine/customize in an effective way.