Skip to Content
Graduate Writing Center

Nested Portlets Nested Portlets

Web Content Display Web Content Display

Organization


If discussing how a paper is constructed we might use the terms “organization,” “structure,” or even “flow.” When assessing a paper’s structure, we’re less concerned with the grammar or mechanics of individual sentences, but focus instead on sections, subsections, or paragraphs.

How is the information divided into parts? In what order is the information presented? Are all the expected elements present? Is critical information missing, or presented in an imbalanced or asymmetrical way?

Writing well-structured papers requires us to be familiar with the common elements of academic writing. It is important to be able to assess the strength of introduction and conclusion, thesis statement, and topic sentences.

It is also important to be familiar with the names and functions of standard sections of research documents, like the abstract, literature review, or executive summary.

Finally, every paper will require you to make structural choices, selecting the organization schema that works best for you. Being able to create a rough or detailed outline can help you design this schema early in the drafting process – which can save a lot of time and frustration later!

 

Organization links:

 

Web Content Display Web Content Display

All-Topics Index


The following index makes searching for a specific topic easier and links to the appropriate place in the sequenced material. We think we have most of them, but please email us at writingcenter@nps.edu if we are missing something!

Web Content Display Web Content Display

A

abbreviations

abstracts

academic writing

acronyms

active voice

apostrophes

argument

article usage

assignments, understanding them

audience

 

B

body paragraphs

brainstorming

building better sentences tips

 

C

citations

citation styles

clarity

clustering

coaching sessions, about

colons

commas, FANBOYS

commas, introductory

commas, list

commas, nonessential elements

commas, Oxford

commonly confused words 

compare-and-contrast papers 

concision

conclusions

conjunctive adverbs

coordinating conjunctions

copyright and fair use

critical thinking  

 

D

dangling modifiers

dashes

dependent marker words

double submission of coursework

drafting

 

E

edit your own work

editing – outside editors

exclamation points

executive summary

 

F

FANBOYS

FAQs

footnotes

free-writing

 

G

gerunds

grammar

group writing

 

H

hyphens

 

I

ibid.

introductions

 

J

Joining the Academic Conversation

 

L

LaTeX

library liaisons 

literature reviews 

logic and analysis 

 

M

memos

methodologies

 

N

note-taking

numbers

 

O

organization

outlining

Oxford comma

 

P

paragraph development 

parallelism

paraphrasing

parts of speech

passive voice

periods

persuasion

phrases and clauses

plagiarism, how to avoid through citations

plain language

polishing

prepositional phrases 

prepositions

pronouns

punctuation

purpose of research

 

Q

questions

quotation marks 

quoting

 

R

reading with intent

redundancies                                                                

reference software

reflection papers 

research

research questions

reverse outlining 

revising passive voice into active voice

revision

roadmaps                                            

run-on sentences 

 

S

self-citing

semi-colons

subjects, grammatical

significance

so-what?

spelling

standard essay structure

STEM/technical writing 

style

subject/verb agreement

 

T

technical writing

that vs. which

thesis writing

thesis advisors

thesis process overview

thesis process tips

thesis proposals – common elements                                                     

thesis statements

tone, professional

topic sentences 

transitions

types of papers

 

U

United States or U.S.?

 

V

verbs and verb tense

 

W

which vs. that

Why write?

writer’s block 

writing process