Outcome: Organizing

Learning Objectives

  • Evaluate and apply college-level essay structure and organization
  • Evaluate and apply appropriate rhetorical pattern for the topic and the task
  • Evaluate and apply components of an effective essay body
  • Evaluate and apply varying drafting methods

Evaluate essay organizational techniques

Destination set, supplies gathered . . . now, how do we get to where we’re going?

Subway map showing very convoluted red, yellow, green, blue, and black lines with hundreds of stops marked.

The organizing stage of the writing process will help us determine this. Some students may have had bad experiences with writing outlines for assignments in the past, or failed to see the need to map out every detail ahead of time. However, the organizing stage encompasses much more than outlining, and is more flexible than it might have seemed while in high school.

The organizing stage is also very profitable in time management, as well. A bit of time invested in organizing, will have huge payoffs later during drafting. If you’re pressed for time you might feel tempted to skip this step, but please don’t! Skipping the organizing stage will mean you end up spending much more time during drafting and revising than you would have otherwise.

Graphic titled Organize. Bullet list: Thesis, development, body, introduction, conclusion. All is in a green circle bordered by gray arrows.

Analyze essay organizational techniques

The article “The Advantages of Organizational Skills” by Alexis Writing lists several virtues of being organized:

  • Efficiency
  • Tracking Progress
  • Better Management Skills
  • Instilling Trust
  • Reduced Stress[1]

The article is actually referring to small business ownership, but the same advantages absolutely apply when considering organization as a principle of the writing process.

Let’s consider each of these virtues in closer detail:


Mapping out a plan for essay development requires some up-front time, but pays huge dividends in saving time later. As with many of the early stages of the writing process, deliberation now will be a huge advantage later.

Tracking Progress

Sub-dividing a writing project into smaller components is a great time management strategy. It’s easy to see the progress you’re making in the overall task, and helps you keep track of how much time will be needed to see the project through to completion.

Better Management Skills

Just like following a roadmap of your essay plan will save and track time, it will also save and track other resources–namely, the energy you need to invest in further research, getting input from peers, tutors, or instructors, and how to balance other commitments you have for other classes and other aspects of life.

Instilling Trust

Mapping out an outline or development plan for your essay DOES instill trust–primarily, trust in yourself that this is a manageable task ahead of you. Breaking a large project into smaller components shows a clear path towards checking items off the list. Accomplishing each stage will give you that much more confidence to approach the next one.

Reduced Stress

All the factors above will leave you with a stronger sense of well-being and confidence about the writing task overall.  Who can turn down a chance to minimize stress?