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Chapter 7: Recognizing the Basic Patterns of Organization

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1 Chapter 7: Recognizing the Basic Patterns of Organization
Active Reading Skills, 2/e Kathleen McWhorter Brette McWhorter Sember PowerPoint by Gretchen Starks-Martin

2 What Are Patterns of Organization?
Writers use a variety of patterns of organization to present their ideas so that readers can easily find the main points.

3 Common Patterns of Organization
Example Definition Chronological Order and Process Listing

4 Example Pattern The main idea in the topic sentence is supported by an example or several examples. In a longer writing, a separate paragraph may be used for each example.

5 Map of the Example Pattern
MAIN IDEA Example Example Example

6 Example Pattern Example
Many animals undergo a metamorphosis as they move from one developmental state to the next in their growth cycle. A maggot transforms into a fly. A tadpole hatches from an egg and develops into an adult frog. A caterpillar changes from its larval form into a moth or butterfly.

7 Map of the Example Pattern
Animals undergo metamorphosis. Maggot Tadpole Caterpillar

8 Transitions Used with the Example Pattern
Many pets, such as cats and parakeets, provide companionship for their owners. for example for instance such as

9 Definition Pattern Ask these questions: What is being defined? What makes it different from other items or ideas?

10 Map of the Definition Pattern
Term Distinguishing Feature Distinguishing Feature Distinguishing Feature

11 Definition Pattern Example
Lacrosse was first played by Native Americans, making it the oldest sport in North America. Modern lacrosse is a fast-paced game played on a field by two teams of ten players each.

12 Map of the Definition Pattern
Lacrosse Oldest sport in North America Played on a field Two teams with ten players each

13 Combining Definition and Example Patterns
Term Distinguishing Feature Examples

14 Definition and Example Pattern
Generally, positive stress, or stress that presents the opportunity for personal growth and satisfaction, is called eustress. Getting married, starting, school and beginning a career all give rise to stress.

15 Combining Definition and Example Patterns Map
eustress Positive stress Getting married Starting school Beginning a career

16 Chronological Order Pattern
The writer tells a story with events in chronological order. Time Sequence—order in which something occurs. Starts with first event, continues with the second event, and so on. Uses dates and time transition words such as: first, next, and finally.

17 Process Order Pattern Process refers to the order in which something is done or made. The writer explains how something is done or made. how to put together a bookcase how to knit a sweater how bees make honey

18 Transitions: Chronological & Process Patterns
first before following second after last later then during next in addition when another also until as soon as finally meanwhile

19 Map of Process Pattern versus Chronological Pattern
Chronological Order: Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 Earliest Event Most Recent Event

20 Listing Pattern Specific steps or time sequences are not important.
Order is determined by how the author wants to present it. Example: Telling a friend about three movies.

21 Map of the Listing Pattern
MAIN IDEA Item Item Item

22 Listing Pattern Example
The city of San Antonio, Texas, offers many attractions for visitors. One famous site is the Alamo, the eighteenth-century Spanish mission that had a historic role in Texas/ revolution against Mexico. Another San Antonio highlight is much more modern: the River Walk, a shopping dining, and entertainment promenade situated along the San Antonio River. The San Antonio Zoo houses more than 3,500 animals.

23 Map of the Listing Pattern
San Antonio has many attractions. Alamo River Walk Zoo

24 Combining Patterns of Organization
Often patterns are combined in the writing of textbooks, novels, magazine articles, and newspapers. Definition & Example Chronological Order and Listing

25 Evaluating Your Progress
Use the “Patterns of Organization-New York” module in the Reading Skills section on the MyReadingLab Web site at

26 For more practice visit the Companion Web site.

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