Union Institute and University

Writing Center

writing-center@myunion.edu | 800-861-6400 ext. 1156

Writing Steps


The organizing step includes the process of sorting and sequencing your ideas so that you can present them to your reader in the most logical way. Organizing also includes prioritizing your ideas and deciding which work best in your paper and which might be best saved for another project.

Sometimes too many ideas can be as difficult to deal with as too few. If you have too many ideas, the organizing step is the time to be ruthless and toss out ideas that might distract a reader from your main point.

If you are having trouble deciding what should go, try writing a “mission statement” for your paper that states very clearly what you are trying to do. Use this statement to check to make sure all of your ideas really advance your mission.

There are lots of ways to organize. The following suggestions will help you to expand your organizing step so that you can develop a map for your paper before you begin to draft. Each step has more links for deeper investigation.