Organizing thoughts for an essay

You may have your topic assigned, or you may be given free reign to write on the subject of your choice. If you are given the topic, you should think about the type of paper that you want to produce. Should it be a general overview of the subject or a specific analysis? Narrow your focus if necessary.

If you have not been assigned a topic, you have a little more work to do. However, this opportunity also gives you the advantage to choose a subject that is interesting or relevant to you. First, define your purpose. Is your essay to inform or persuade?

Essay Tips: 7 Tips on Writing an Effective Essay

Once you have determined the purpose, you will need to do some research on topics that you find intriguing. Think about your life. What is it that interests you? Jot these subjects down. Finally, evaluate your options.

Categorize

If your goal is to educate, choose a subject that you have already studied. If your goal is to persuade, choose a subject that you are passionate about. Whatever the mission of the essay, make sure that you are interested in your topic. Prepare an outline or diagram of your ideas.

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In order to write a successful essay, you must organize your thoughts. This structure serves as a foundation for your paper. Use either an outline or a diagram to jot down your ideas and organize them. To create a diagram, write your topic in the middle of your page. Draw three to five lines branching off from this topic and write down your main ideas at the ends of these lines.

English Composition 1: Organization

Draw more lines off these main ideas and include any thoughts you may have on these ideas. If you prefer to create an outline, write your topic at the top of the page.

How to Write and Verbalize your thoughts - Jordan Peterson

From there, begin to list your main ideas, leaving space under each one. In this space, make sure to list other smaller ideas that relate to each main idea. Doing this will allow you to see connections and will help you to write a more organized essay.

Write your thesis statement. Now that you have chosen a topic and sorted your ideas into relevant categories, you must create a thesis statement. Your thesis statement tells the reader the point of your essay. Look at your outline or diagram. What are the main ideas? Your thesis statement will have two parts. The first part states the topic, and the second part states the point of the essay. Write the body. The body of your essay argues, explains or describes your topic.

Each main idea that you wrote in your diagram or outline will become a separate section within the body of your essay. Each body paragraph will have the same basic structure. Begin by writing one of your main ideas as the introductory sentence. Next, write each of your supporting ideas in sentence format, but leave three or four lines in between each point to come back and give detailed examples to back up your position.


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There should be no errors in grammar, spelling, punctuation, or capitalization. Organization is one of the most important elements of an essay that is often overlooked. An organized essay is clear, focused, logical and effective. Organization makes it easier to understand the thesis. To illustrate, imagine putting together a bike. Having all of the necessary tools, parts, and directions will make the job easier to complete than if the parts are spread across the room and the tools are located all over the house. The same logic applies to writing an essay.

When all the parts of an essay are in some sort of order, it is both easier for the writer to put the essay together and for the reader to understand the main ideas presented in the essay. This paper may benefit from reverse outlining. The reverse outline will help you evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of both your organization and your argument. Read the draft and take notes Read your draft over, and as you do so, make very brief notes in the margin about what each paragraph is trying to accomplish. The outline might look like this:. Examine the Outline Look for repetition and other organizational problems.


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  8. Re-examine the Thesis, the Outline, and the Draft Together Look closely at the outline and see how well it supports the argument in your thesis statement. You should be able to see which paragraphs need rewriting, reordering or rejecting. You may find some paragraphs are tangential or irrelevant or that some paragraphs have more than one idea and need to be separated. Find a Friend, your T.

    Avoiding a common pitfall

    People are more accustomed to talking than writing, so it might be beneficial to explain your thinking out loud to someone before organizing the essay. Talking to someone about your ideas may also relieve pressure and anxiety about your topic. It is likely that the order in which you present your ideas and evidence to your listener is a logical way to arrange them in your paper. This fact should tell you that you probably need to discuss private enterprise near the beginning.

    Methods Of Organizing Your Essay

    Take Notes You and your listener should keep track of the way you explain your paper. Get Your Listener to Ask Questions As the writer, it is in your interest to receive constructive criticism so that your draft will become stronger. Do you consider it a good or bad thing? Questions you need to think about will probably make you realize that you need to explain more your paper. Readers need paragraph breaks in order to organize their reading. Writers need paragraph breaks to organize their writing. A paragraph break indicates a change in focus, topic, specificity, point of view, or rhetorical strategy.

    The paragraph should have one main idea; the topic sentence expresses this idea.

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