Organization

Organization refers to commonplace, recurring patterns of discourse such as deductive or inductive order. Learn about the organizational schemas that people use to communicate so you can discern the most appropriate way to organize your communications.

"School of Fish at the Monetery Aquarium" by JoshBerglund19 is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Organization Definition

Organization refers to

  • an interpretative framework, a mode of thinking, a way of organizing and recalling our experiences in the world
    • Organization is also a way of interpreting the world. It’s a way of imposing some sort of logic on events or data. To think, we name the world. We engage in logic to identify similarities and differences. We define, categorize and prioritize. We recall information by keeping like items together and keep contrasting items apart. We tear things apart and then put them back together in order to understand the logic behind the design.

Key Concepts: Genre; Organizational Schema; Rhetorical Analysis; Rhetorical Stance;


Why Does Organization Matter?

The human mind craves order. We look into the sky and we give names to the stars.

When reading, people may grow impatient. People are busy and consumed by too many demands on their time. Thus, it’s important for writers, readers, knowledge workers . . . to give thought to how they can best organize information, data so the audience can best understand it.

You can

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

When it comes to organizing your thoughts for others, distinguish between two different levels of organization:

  • Organization @ the Global Level
    • The Global Level concerns organizational schemas that govern how an entire document is organized. For instance, the writer’s Thesis or Research Question and desired Rhetorical Stance influences how an entire document is organized.
  • Organization @ the Local Level
    • The Local Level concerns organizational schemas that occur at paragraph, sentence, and word-level. For instance, readers expect a logical flow across sentences and paragraphs

How to Organize Your Writing

As you weave new information into the fabric of your texts, you may need to try out a number of different organizational schemes before you find one that fits. To think through the options, try rhetorical analysis. Question what the audience(s) already knows so you can figure out what sort of rhetorical moves to try. And definitely figure out what your purpose is. Even if you don’t explicitly define your purpose in a document, you need to know what it is. You can’t really know how to organize a text until you know what you want your readers to do, think, and feel.

Writers question how can they organize information (e.g., theses, hypotheses, research questions) in ways that will help their audiences better understand the message.