Make Sense to Your Reader with Improved Organization

Categories: Academic Writing Month, Other, Tools and Resources, Writing and Editing

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November is Academic Writing Month #AcWriMo at Methodspace! This post was part of the 2017 #AcWriMo series. The theme for this series of posts is: Getting Organized.

When the paper, article, proposal, case study, or book manuscript I am reviewing needs revisions (or is rejected), organizational issues are typically at the heart of the problem. I get lost because central thesis or argument is vague or missing. Sentences run on; paragraphs are disconnected from a clearly stated focus. In an effort to sound like aLost, reading map scholar, the writer obscures important points behind wordy explanations. Motivated to demonstrate knowledge of the literature, writers insert strings of citations or veer off into tangents that don’t support the main points. Perhaps changes are made to one section, but not consistently carried out through the entire piece of writing.

If as a long-standing academic I cannot understand what the writer is trying to communicate, it is unrealistic to expect student readers to grasp the meaning. At this point in the review process, my finger hovers over the reject button. Don’t let this happen to you!

Don’t allow poor organization or lack of coherence prevent your work from being approved for publication.

In week 2 of Academic Writing Month we will explore a variety of strategies writers use to organize their work. The first set of resources emphasizes thoughtful pre-writing and outlining techniques. Other posts this week will highlight ways to use graphic organizers, writing models, and software to improve the organization of your writing process and projects.

Organize your Thoughts and Choose Your Approach

For new academic writers:


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