Organization

Understand the role of organization as a mode of reasoning (deductive and inductive). Enhance the logical development of your ideas by focusing on organizational structure—schemas—across whole texts as well as sections of texts, paragraphs, sentences, and words.

Organization, for writers, is

  • a mode of thinking, reasoning, creating
  • a tool of memory
  • essential for communication.

You can

  • enhance the unity, clarity, and persuasiveness of your writing by explicitly considering its logical structure.
  • Refine your thesis or research question so readers understand the focus and significance of your work

The human mind craves order. We look into the sky and we give names to the stars. Order permeates our perceptions, logical reasoning, and conversations with others.

  1. Organization is a mode of thinking, a tool of logic. To think, we name the world. We identify similarities and differences. We define, categorize and prioritize. We recall information by keeping like items together and keep contrasting items apart. We engage in logic to define the world and identify causes and effects, problems and solutions, recommendations and solutions.
  2. Organization is a mode of communication. Rhetors and audiences share common ways of ordering information for audiences (e.g., genres, motifs, or archetypes). To communicate, rhetors impose an order on the information they want to share. In order to figure out the best organization for a document, rhetors analyze their rhetorical situation. They question how the audience could best understand the information that is being conveyed. Rhetors often move from given-to-new information. They also list information in order of priority or chronology or logic.

Rhetors enter a dialogue with audiences. Rhetors are able to communicate with their audiences because they share organizational schemas for organizing information. Writers and readers share language practices (e.g., style, genres, motifs, and archetypes. (See What is Communication?)

In Writing Studies, Global Perspective and Local Perspective refer to two major ways of organize information:

  • The Global Level typically presumes organizational schemas that concern how an entire document is organized. Genre, Research Question, Thesis, Chronological Order–these are organizational schemas that characterize how information is ordered across an entire project/text.
  • the Local Level concerns organizational schemas that occur at paragraph, sentence, and word-level.

To aid communications, rhetors (writers and speakers) rely on organizational structure—schemas—across whole texts as well as sections of texts, paragraphs, sentences, and words.

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