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Reasoning patterns for writing academic texts

At the thesis statement level, choose the one organizational pattern that best suits your overall argument. At the section and paragraph levels, it’s common to consider a combination of organizational patterns.

  • Order of Importance (thesis statement, section level, and paragraph level)
    • When organizing your thesis statement into sections that express reasons or ways, organize them in order of importance: least important to most important or vice versa.
  • Topical (thesis statement, section level, and paragraph level)
    • Organizing your main sections of your literature review by topic is also a logical option based on the topic and claim of the thesis statement.
  • Sequence (thesis statement, section level, and paragraph level)
    • Sequencing your sections of your literature review is an option if certain ways or reasons follow a logical thought process.
  • Cause & Effect (section or paragraph level)
  • Spatial (section or paragraph level)
  • Compare & Contrast (paragraph level)
  • Problem & Solution (paragraph level)
  • Chronological (paragraph level)

Typically avoid certain organizational patterns

  • Sections with only definitions
  • General to the special or theoretical to the practical at the thesis statement level.