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University Language Centre

Text organisation

In these activities, you will learn about the different ways in which writers structure their written academic work. You will also learn to recognise some of the most common organising principles.

The activities are divided into the following categories: Organisational features; Text patterns and Revising your work.

Organisational features

The importance of organisation

This learning object will introduce you to the concept of organisation in academic writing and present the different levels at which a piece of work may be organised.

The generic structure of an essay

You will review the three basic divisions that are found in academic writing and consider briefly what is involved in each.

Organising at micro level

You will identify some typical approaches to developing and organising ideas at a micro level in academic writing.

Organising at macro level

You will consider five commonly used organising principles found at whole text level in academic writing.

Identifying the organising principle

In this learning object you will read five texts and practise identifying the organising principle used in each one. You will need a longer time than usual to complete this learning object.

Organising principles for academic descriptions

You will consider the use of organising principles in academic descriptions and practise identifying the organising principles used in two short pieces of text.

Text patterns

Patterns in texts

This learning object provides an overview of six ways of describing patterns in text structure, which includes explanations and descriptions of these patterns.

Situation Problem Solution Evaluation pattern in a text

This learning object reviews the situation - problem - solution - evaluation pattern and the activities use a reading text to focus on the structure of this pattern.

Sequential pattern in a text

You will examine a reading text illustrating the sequential pattern and use some questions to help you focus on aspects of the structure.

Comparison of General Specific and Topic Elaboration text patterns

By comparing two texts that illustrate these patterns, you will be able to identify the main characteristics of the texts and see how they are different from each other.

Main Facts Supporting Details pattern in a text

The main facts - supporting details pattern is illustrated with an example and the activities focus on the distinction between these two elements.

Hypothesis Evidence Conclusion pattern in a text

The hypothesis - evidence - conclusion pattern is illustrated with an example and the activities focus on highlighting particular language that is typically used in this pattern.

Revising your work

How to revise a piece of written work

This learning object aims to raise your awareness of key issues involved in revising a piece of written work.

Considering content and organisation in written texts

This learning objects contains exercises relating to each of the key aspects of revision.

Reviewing and commenting on a text

You will practise revising a longer piece of text.

Introduction to proofreading

You will find out about the importance of proofreading your text before submitting it and read about ways of doing this systematically.

Identifying errors in a text

You will practise identifying errors in a short text using symbols to indicate categories of error.

View identifying errors in a text activity