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Writers need to organize their ideas in a way that makes sense. Chapter 9, Section 2, of Writing for Success discusses ways to organize ideas. What are three ways to organize ideas in writing? How
will you organize your ideas in your essay? Why?
Supporting Examples A very common approach to essay writing is one in which you present a main idea or argument in the beginning of the essay -- often the opening paragraph -- and then support or prove this statement with each successive paragraph. [ In this essay model, you would discuss a different example that backs up your main idea in each of the body paragraphs -- there are usually at
least three -- and conclude using a final, closing passage. If you are a novice essay writer or struggle to develop your arguments thoroughly and lucidly, this model can be quite helpful. Contrasting Perspectives Another approach to paragraph organization, if you are trying to disprove a theory or prove one using contrary examples, is to quote or paraphrase the theory or idea at the beginning of the essay, in your opening paragraph if possible, and then to disprove it or support its opponents by providing historical or social scenarios in each subsequent paragraph. For example, if you were trying to oppose the saying "All is fair in love and war," you might provide three or four scenarios in which that saying did not hold true, and discuss one in each paragraph. Supporting Declarations Another possible way to organize the paragraphs of an essay is to provide evidence in the form of actual testimonies or statements in each of your supporting paragraphs. To do this, you would present your position on a topic in your opening paragraph, and then attempt to strengthen your platform by quoting specialists in the field or those whose knowledge on your topic is well respected. For example, if you were presenting a viewpoint on global warming, you would want to support your idea by quoting environmentalists or scientists whose research and perspectives could make your argument more credible. Flexibility While each of these is a good option or starting point for potential paragraph ordering, there is no fixed formula on how you choose to organize your essay. The most important thing to remember is that you need to support your claims with particulars, whether they are quotations or hypothetical scenarios. ]
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