Paragraphs

Deciding on the order of the text

A flow diagram featuring an introduction, paragraphs 1,2 and 3 and a conclusion to represent the best way of ordering paragraphs when structuring ideas and information.

Once you have planned out your ideas for a piece of writing, you need to work out the best order for your paragraphs so that your reader will follow and be interested in your writing. Refer back to the overall purpose of the writing and, with your audience always at the back of your mind, think about which order of paragraphs will help you to achieve that purpose.

Example

When writing an article to inspire young people to follow their dreams, the following could be a rough plan of the paragraphs you could include:

Introduction Paragraph 1 Paragraph 2 Paragraph 3 Conclusion
Introduce the topic of the article and why it is important to the audience Inspirational celebrities who have never given up Examples of how life can be difficult at times Ways of following our dreams in day-to-day life A motivational summary to follow our dreams

The reasons why following a dream is important should go first. Your writing must be styled in a way that brings your reader to feel that your view applies to them. Then, to create a balance, examples of how life can be difficult can follow. Again, your reader needs to be able to relate to the situations you write about; the problems you mention will then be ‘solved’ by what follows in the next paragraph: ways of following your dreams in day-to-day life.

You may have a different order which would work - but you should be able to justify why that order would be most effective for your reader. In writing, the reader’s response is very important.

Glossary
  1. connective A word or phrase used to join one part of a text to another, eg 'and', 'because' or ‘additionally’.