Organizing your paper

Organizing your paper

Author: Kathy Hanley
  1. Introduce common organizing structures/patterns of organization and outlining.

  2. Explain how to choose an appropriate organizing structure (pattern of organization) that is appropriate to the purpose and audience.

  3. Explain how to sustain an appropriate organizing structure throughout the body of the paper.

This packet should help a learner seeking to understand how to prepare to write a paper and who is confused about how to organize a paper. It will explain several common organizing structures.

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Organization and Structure

When writing an essay, a key element is choosing the structure that will present your information in the most appropriate way.  Formal essays call for a tight organization.  The audience expects to see logical development of ideas and research.  In order to fulfill the purpose of your paper, you will need to decide which structure will compliment your subject.  Outlining is a tool that can help a writer create a structure and to maintain it during the writing process.

Source: Kathleen Hanley

How to structure a paper

The various ways to structure a paper, organize the discussion, and organize effective body paragraphs.

Source: Kathleen Hanley


Creating an outline before you begin to write the essay is helpful. Following an outline keeps you on track and keeps your stucture true and consistent. This outline can be used with a paper of any length.

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Source: Kathleen Hanley