A large number of people still believe that essay writing is an innate ability, that a few people are born with the writing skill. For this reason, people give up on writing before trying or investing some time and energy in it. However, this concept is untrue. Essay writing is a skill that develops and refines over time with consistent practice, like any other skill like painting, dancing, coding, and the list goes on. It is also true that you need to be aware of the strategies and tips of essay writing for better practice. The organization of thoughts is the preliminary step of essay writing that many writers put the most effort in. A well-thought-out essay is better than an essay written without a strategic road map in mind- or better on the paper. Today, we will thoroughly discuss the importance of organizing your thoughts and the best possible ways to do so.
Do you feel you have many things to say but do not know where to start and end? Let's face it, we all have the same dilemma in our minds when writing an essay. If you are still left with so many ideas to discuss by the last minute and unable to put it, you have failed to organize your thoughts, which is directly related to organizing your essay. A well planned and well-thought-out essay reflects the quality pre and post writing techniques of a writer. It guides the reader to engage in the flow of ideas in a hierarchy.
When you have ideas put in order, it is easy for the reader to comprehend, remain captivated, and therefore get impacted. Moreover, It also affects the overall layout of the essay. The organization of thoughts offers you a strategy to follow to make your essay easy to read and comprehend.
In contrast, by writing an essay without organizing your thoughts at the preliminary level, you cannot decide if an idea should be followed by the other and vice versa. It creates confusion in your mind that reflects in your essay, that the reader can easily catch. If your essay is overwhelmed with ideas in an improper order, it isn't very clear and thus neither readable nor comprehensible.
In essence, it is of prime importance to organize your thoughts for writing a quality essay. The well-put ideas create a hierarchy and cohesion that strengthen the overall essay.
If you aim to write a clear and interesting essay, you must pay much importance to its organization. The process of the organization begins with planning.
Planning the organization of your essay:
Before you start penning down your thoughts onto the paper, give yourself some time to plan on how to structure the essay. While planning may look like a very complicated task, it is not. It is simply creating a rough sketch in mind, or better on paper to follow for writing the final essay. Some of the ways of planning are:
You may have created mindmaps in one of its many shapes. It is a graphical chart with a pivotal idea in the centre and sub-ideas around it that demonstrate the related thoughts. Write the topic of the essay or the focal phrase in the centre and let loose. Write down the relevant ideas that come to your mind; do not inhibit your mind from writing any related idea or thought because it is not the final draft and is open to editing. Continue adding thoughts to the map until there is no related thought left in your mind. Let your brain think whatever it wants, and write it down. Once you write down the ideas, read all of them one by one. Flesh out the ideas you may not want to include and mingle the repeating ideas. Now link each of the ideas to the main idea and decide if you should write a separate paragraph for each idea, assemble multiple ideas into groups and write paragraphs for each group, or so on.
Freewriting is another way of letting the thoughts around a topic flow and filtering the best out of it. Freewriting is a technique of writing on a subject matter without thinking of the grammatical and other language considerations. The writer writes on the main idea continuously and thus can express every thought that revolved around his head. The advantage of freewriting is that it help writer produce creative and raw thoughts. Once you are done freewriting, review the draft and point out the main ideas that you would like to include in your essay. It will help you find out the valuable arguments, examples you should use in the essay and omit the unnecessary details.
Choose between a mind map and freewriting and move ahead to the next step.
Once you have created the mind map, now is the time to make an outline. Based on the selected ideas from the mind map that you will formulate your essay, you will create an outline for structuring your essay. The outline can be created as:
The outline will provide you with a clear vision for drafting your essay. It contains the subtitles of the main idea and its further list of examples, arguments, or details. Having an outline in hand makes it easier to create a well-organized and structured essay than without an outline.
An outline is basically a strategy that you have to follow to write your essay. Let's say, from the example, you will begin with an introduction for the essay, write the second paragraph revolving around the first idea, then write the third paragraph with the second idea, and it will go on till the fourth idea and end with a concluding paragraph.
While it is essential to create an outline of your thoughts for writing an essay, you will not necessarily use a similar outline for all kinds of essays. We all know that there are many types of essays: narrative, descriptive, cause and effect, persuasive, argumentative, and so on. All of these types are different from one another and are structured differently. For that reason, it is essential to know about the best possible ways of organizing each and every type of essay.
There are four main ways of organizing your essay:
It is a pattern of sequencing in the order of occurrence in time. Therefore it is also called the time order; It orders events from the first to last. This order is used to explain events, history, or a topic. It is also a suitable order to describe the steps of something and explain how to do or make something. So, chronological order is used to organize your thoughts if:
Therefore, this order is used for narrative essays, descriptive essays, process essays, and explanatory essays. For example, when writing an essay about an event, you will use this order to make your outline.
You can use this order to describe a thing by describing the first feature, the second feature, the third, and so on until the last. The introduction in this order should indicate the order or gist of the information that you will provide in the essay.
The second type of order that you can use to organize your thoughts for writing the essay is the order of importance. Remember the rule Put First Thing First? That is what this order solicits you to do. You can use this order for writing an argumentative essay, persuasive essay, and descriptive essay. In all of the above-mentioned essays, you will create an outline of the ideas starting from the most important detail to the least important detail of the main idea.
However, it is not important for this order to range from most important to the least, and it can go the other way around as:
The problem-solution order is the order of sequencing your ideas in a way that each problem is addressed with its solution. This is an ideal order of organizing your thoughts for a cause and effect essay. While using this order, you will mention each cause with its effect/s in each paragraph. For example:
The introduction will indicate all the information that you will discuss in your essay. The next paragraph will discuss the problem and its possible solution. It will follow the same pattern for each paragraph until the last problem and end with the conclusion paragraph.
Organizing your thoughts before starting to write an essay is a crucial element that many miss out on. As a result, they are unable to put their thoughts adequately, and they are left with no choice but to assume that essay writing is a highly complex task. Organizing your thoughts through a mind map or free writing, creating an outline, and ascribing the right order for your thoughts is an essential pre-writing task that every writer must do. Organized thoughts lead to an organized essay that makes it more clear and comprehensible.