Organizing Content for Different Types of Essays

Writers select a specific organizational pattern or a combination of patterns based on the essay?s purpose. Examples of more common essay types and organization patterns follow: Narration Purpose To tell a story that sheds light on an issue or event To tell a story in order to reflect on its significance Organization I. Introduction, with a thesis statement that introduces the purpose in telling the story Body, usually in chronological order, with possible reflections on events A. Event 1 B. Event 2 C. Event 3 II. III. Conclusion, often with a reflection on the significance of what happened Describe Purpose To explain how a person or object looks Organization Introduction, with a thesis statement that introduces the purpose for describing the person or object I. Body, with supporting points organized from top to bottom, left to right, back to front, and so on A. Detail or sensory impression 1 B. Detail or sensory impression 2 C. Detail or sensory impression 3 II. III. Conclusion Process Analysis Purpose To explain how to do something by breaking it into steps or stages Organizing Content for Different Types of Essays https://mycampus.phoenix.edu/secure/aapd/workshops/st… 2 of 4 3/11/10 7:32 PM Organization Introduction, with a thesis statement and often previews of the major steps or stages in the process I. Body, with steps in logical order A. Step or Stage I B. Step or Stage II C. Step or Stage III II. III. Conclusion summarizing the process Classification-Division Purpose To break a subject into parts and analyze the parts to better understand the whole To make sense of a group of individual items by grouping related items Organization Introduction, with items to be divided or classified as well as the purpose for dividing or classifying I. Body A. Category I B. Category II C. Category III II. III. Conclusion Comparison-Contrast Purpose To explore similarities or differences between subjects To analyze choices objectively, argue a preference for one choice, or present an analogy Organization I. Introduction identifying two subjects and the purpose in comparing or contrasting Body comparing or contrasting specific points or characteristics Subject A 1. Point of comparison 1 2. Point of comparison 2 3. Point of comparison 3 A. B. Subject B II. Organizing Content for Different Types of Essays https://mycampus.phoenix.edu/secure/aapd/workshops/st… 3 of 4 3/11/10 7:32 PM 1. Point of comparison 1 2. Point of comparison 2 3. Point of comparison 3 OR I. Introduction identifying two subjects and the purpose in comparing or contrasting Body comparing or contrasting specific points or characteristics Point of comparison 1 1. Subject A 2. Subject B A. Point of comparison 2 1. Subject A 2. Subject B B. Point of comparison 2 1. Subject A 2. Subject B C. II. III. Conclusion Cause-Effect Purpose To analyze causes or effects of an event or situation To explain, to speculate, or to argue Organization Introduction, with a thesis statement focuses on the relationship between the cause and effect as well as background on the subject III. Body A. Cause B. Effect 1 C. Effect 2 D. Effect 3 IV. V. Conclusion, often with a reflection on the significance of what happened Argumentation Purpose To advance a specific point of view through the use of logic and evidence Organization Organizing Content for Different Types of Essays https://mycampus.phoenix.edu/secure/aapd/workshops/st… 4 of 4 3/11/10 7:32 PM Introduction, with a thesis statement clearly identifying the issue and point of view to be advanced I. Body A. Point 1 B. Point 2 C. Point 3 D. Opposing points and counterarguments E. Additional points II. III. Conclusion OR Introduction, with a thesis statement clearly identifying the issue and point of view to be advanced I. Body A. Opposing points and counterpoints B. Point 1 C. Point 2 D. Point 3 II. III. Conclusion OR Introduction, with a thesis statement clearly identifying the issue and point of view to be advanced I. Body A. Opposing point 1 and counterargument B. Opposing point 2 and counterargument C. Opposing point 3 and counterargument II. III. Conclusion

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