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Organiaztional Patterns in Informational Texts

A description of the most common organizational patterns used in informational and other texts.
by

Rebecca Rowe

on 25 January 2013

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Transcript of Organiaztional Patterns in Informational Texts

Cause and effect in writing is when an author tells you that if something happens, such as leaving food in the car while camping... Cause
and
Effect something else will happen...your food may get eaten by bears! Informational texts are fond of doing telling the reader all the bad things that can happen, the effects of certain causes. Organizational Patterns Sometimes, authors start with a problem in mind. A problem can be something simple like a flat tire. The author then discloses the information that solves the problem... Problem and Solution ...how to change a tire. The information is arranged in a manner that answers the original question. Description Description is when something is described in a methodical way. An architect may describe the blue prints of a building by beginning at the foundation of the building, which will be built first... ...or by describing the top first, which he designed last... ...or he may begin with describing the outside of the building, which you see first... ...or he may begin with the inside, the part people see most. No matter where he begins, he will then follow a pattern of description. Outside working in, bottom working up, inside working out, top working down. This is called spacial description because it does with what part of the space you describe first. You can do this to people, too, by describing their inner and outer traits. Some authors like to look at how two or more things compare. They will look at what makes them different, like looking at the differences in the physical appearance of a Hummer and a Smart Car. And then they look at what makes them similar. For instance, no matter how different Hummers and Smart Cars seem, they still get people from point A to point B faster than walking. Compare and Contrast Chronological 1776 1917 1861 Other authors like to put things in the order things happened, like in history books. So in history books, the American Revolutionary War will come first... ...then the American Civil War... ...then America's entrance to WWI. Another example of chronological order would be a recipe. First you add milk, then flour, etc. In fact, most procedural texts follow this pattern. Chronological? Cause and Effect? Order of importance? Description? Now that you know the different organizational patterns, when you read something, you can sort through the patterns until you discover what type the author used. For instance, what pattern is used on p. 143? Compare and Contrast? Sometimes an author will list the most important details first... Order of importance ...and then less important things, or vice versa. For instance, the food pyramid begins with food you should eat the least and ends with the most important food for your body. Knowledge of the patterns allows you to narrow down the possiblities, getting rid of the most unlikely patterns first until you reach the answer, just like a funnel narrows down what can get through. Knowing the pattern allows you to hypothesize what the author is going to talk about next. ? Questions?
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