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RYERSON UNIVERSITY LEARNING SUPPORT SERVICES

Methods of Organizing Essays How you organize an essay depends to some extent on the method you use to develop the essay. Some methods of development allow you more flexibility than others. Whatever method you use, you want to present your material to its best effect. Following are common methods of essay development with examples of how to organize each. EXPOSITORY ESSAYS  definition (explain the meaning of a complex term or concept) Example: the meaning of freedom Organization: define through examples arranged in order of ascending interest (e.g., from most simple to most complex)  classification/division (explain the characteristics of a general category by describing the specific types or kinds of subcategories that fit under it) Example: General Category: Core Method of Inquiry workshops offered by Ryerson’s Learning Support Services Specific Types: Motivation & Procrastination, Task/Time Management, Reading for Comprehension & Memory, Test Preparation & Memory Systems Organization: All the subcategories are equivalent, so you can arrange them as you like.  causal analysis (explain causes and/or effects) Examples: o the causes of a particular traffic accident o a related series of events that led to your getting a particular job Organization: a “chain reaction” of causes and effects in chronological order (A caused effect B, B caused effect C, and C caused effect D) Examples: o separate/independent causes of workplace stress o different ways in which people react to stress (i.e., separate effects of stress) Organization: put the cause or effect you want to emphasize last

functions. or most practical to most theoretical or abstract). Compare each aspect of both subjects before moving on to other aspects (better for long essays).e.g. . process analysis (explain how to do something) Examples: o how to troubleshoot a problem in a circuit board o how to install a software program Organization: chronological order. least to most complex. in order of responsibility from the top down so that the reader understands the role or function of each administrator   comparison: show how two things are similar and different contrast: show how two things are different (if there are no similarities) Examples: o similarities and differences between two characters in a play.. describe the steps in the order they occur in time  systems analysis (explain how something works.. from least to most important. or is formed) Examples: o how a tornado is formed o how a combustion engine works Organization: chronological order Example: the administrative structure of Ryerson Organization: from most to least important.e. such as Hamlet and Laertes in Hamlet o similarities and differences between two styles of management o differences between two health care models Organization: Block Method: Choose equal points of comparison and discuss one subject entirely before discussing another subject (better for short essays or if you are comparing more than two things).. PERSUASIVE ESSAYS  Use reasons and examples to support your opinion. Arrange the information in order of ascending interest (e. i. i. Alternating Method: Choose equal points of comparison. You want to end with your strongest evidence.