The Traits of Writing: Organization

Contributor: Delaine Thomas. Lesson ID: 12161

If you throw a bunch of words in the air, they probably won't land in a coherent sentence. The same with your ideas; they must be written in some order to make sense. Learn to organize your thoughts!

categories

Writing

subject
English / Language Arts
learning style
Visual
personality style
Beaver
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

Audio:

What is the purpose of a skeleton? What does that have to do with writing?

The Six Traits of Writing are:

  • ideas
  • organization
  • voice
  • word choice
  • sentence fluency
  • conventions

In this lesson, you will be learning about the second trait – organization. If you missed or need to review the first Related Lessons of our The Traits of Writing series, find them in the right-hand sidebar.

Take out your Writer’s notebook or a piece of paper and pencil to take notes. As you watch 6+1 Writing Traits: Organization from CockrumVideos, write down:

  • two ways to write a strong introduction.
  • two ways to organize the middle.
  • two things you want to do during your conclusion.

 

Organization is the internal structure of your story. A piece with good organization begins with a clear purpose that creates anticipation in the reader. The events of the story then proceed logically.

When you are ready to write, you will gather any brainstorming activities or graphic organizers that you may have used when you were gathering ideas during prewriting.


The first thing you will need to do is write an interesting introduction. What are the two ways you wrote down in your notes to craft a strong introduction? Did you write down one of these examples?

  1. a thought-provoking question
  2. a funny story or personal anecdote that can set a humorous or inviting tone
  3. Introduce the main points so the reader knows where the story is going.
  4. a dramatic, eye-opening statement or fact to shock the reader
  5. an expert quote that can establish credibility
  6. a creative angle that can get the reader’s attention

When you consider the story “Little Red Riding Hood,” you might think of the opening as, “Once upon a time there lived a little girl that had a cloak with a red hood.” What if instead it started with a question, like: “Who would have thought that a simple trip to Grandma’s house would end in tragedy?” Or what about: “Who has big eyes, big teeth, and is dressed in Grandma’s clothes? Yes, you guessed it, the Big Bad Wolf!” Doesn’t that sound so much more interesting than “Once upon a time"?

Practice using the different ways listed above when you write, and use the method you think will grab the reader’s attention and focus.


The next thing you will need is a well-organized middle, or body section. In the body paragraphs of the writing, you will:

  • share information about your topic.
  • tell what important terms mean.
  • give sensory details.
  • show how two things are alike.
  • organize your information by order that the events happened, order of importance, or, in the case of describing a room, you might describe items in the room from largest to smallest.

Your goal is to organize your information in a way that will make the most sense to your readers.


Finally, the conclusion ties everything together. Don’t leave your writer with questions or feeling that something is unresolved. Take time writing your conclusion so you are sure it is well-written. Your ending leaves a lasting impression on your reader. Will they want to read the next piece you write?

Now, go to the Got It? section and you will practice identifying a good introduction.

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