Patterns of organization
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Patterns of Organization. Why know pattern of organization?. They help you: understand the information anticipate the information follow ideas better… so you answer test questions better. 6 organization patterns. Listing Sequence Comparison/contrast Cause/effect Problem/solution

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Why know pattern of organization
Why know pattern of organization?

  • They help you:

  • understand the information

  • anticipate the information

  • follow ideas better…

  • so you answer test questions better

6 organization patterns
6 organization patterns






Extended definition

1 listing
1. Listing

The main idea is in the form of a generalization and then supporting details give a list of details or examples.

Key Words/phrases:many, several, a number of, a variety of, a few, kinds of

Signal words/phrases: for example, for instance, , first, second, another, also, besides, in addition, final, last, most important

Listing sample
Listing - sample

One theory

A second theory

Yet another theory

The final theory

2 sequence
2. Sequence

In sequence pattern, the author explains the main idea in a series of events or steps in a process that follow one after the other in time order.

Key Words/phrases: began, account, story, process, history, sequence

Signal words/phrases: first, second, then, next, after, while, since, soon, finally, at last…

Sequence of events sample
Sequence of events- Sample

In 1965

Four years later

Then in 1971

In the following 11 months

Next major step, in 1976

Steps in a process sample
Steps in a process - Sample


over time



After that

At that point


3 comparison contrast
3. Comparison/Contrast

In comparison/contrast pattern, the writer’s main idea is a general statement about two things and how they are similar and/or different. Comparisons can include BOTH similarities and differences or only similarities. A contrast states only differences.

More comparison contrast
More Comparison/Contrast

Key Words/phrases:similarities, differences, both, in common, same, different, compare, comparison

Signal words/phrases for similarities: similarly, also, in the same way, as, like, both, in common

Signal words/phrases for differences: however, but, on the other hand, although, while, in contrast, than, conversely, yet, unlike

Similarities and differences sample
Similarities and Differences - Sample



on the other hand

Differences only sample
Differences Only - Sample


other major component

In contrast,

4 cause effect
4. Cause/Effect

The writer’s main idea is that one event or action caused another event or action

Key Words/phrases and Signal words are the same:causes, leads to, is the cause of, results in, creates, brings about, makes…

Cause effect sample
Cause/Effect - Sample

result of/ because of

led to

as a result

due to

5 problem solution
5. Problem/Solution

In this pattern, the main idea names a problem and states there are one or more solutions possible. The paragraph contains two parts: 1) a statement and 2) a description and explanation of how it was solved.

There are no signal words for the details.

Key Words/phrases:situation, trouble, crisis, dilemma, or issue.

Signal words/phrases: solve, solution, resolved

6 extended definition
6. Extended Definition

The writer names a concept or complicated process that the paragraph will define and explain. Usually main idea is in the first sentences and states a dictionary definition and/or explanation

Key Words/phrases:consists of, is, seems to be, are

Moon landings 1 p 142
Moon Landings (1) p. 142

The landing of men on the Moon

The first moon landing was very different from the last one.

Very different from


1. But while  The first landing was an enormous achievement.

2. Far more  the last landing contributed far more scientific knowledge.

3. Only  the first mission lasted only a few hours.

4. However  on the last mission, the three men spent more time on the Moon.

5. Much further  they could travel much further from the landing site.

6. Wider  they could collect a wider ranger of samples.

Moon landings 2 p 142
Moon Landings (2) p. 142

The impact of the Apollo moon landings

The Apollo moon landings had a significant impact on scientific and technological development in the 20th century

A significant impact


1. affected by  Computer research was affected by the moon landings

2. pushing  The space program pushed engineers to develop personal computers

3. attribute to  The invention of the internet could be attributed to the Apollo program

4. motivation for  Scientists and engineers were motivated to look for ways to communicate from computer to computer.

Moon landings 3 p 143
Moon Landings (3) p. 143

The lack of water on the moon

The lack of water on the Moon limits exploration of the Moon.

lack of water, limits


PROBLEM: The lack of water is a serious problem for future Moon exploration; for this reason, scientists are looking for evidence of water on the Moon.

SOLUTION: Rockets are sent to crash into the Moon so that scientists can analyze the vapor and dust created by the crash to see if there is water.

Modern astronomy p 148
Modern Astronomy p. 148

  • Paragraph 1 =

  • S

  • Sentence B

  • Paragraph 2 =

  • P/S

  • Sentence A

  • Paragraph 3 =

  • S

  • Sentence E

  • Paragraph 4 =

  • C/C

  • Sentence C