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Time order (also known as chronological order) and emphatic order (which means that ideas are presented and argued in the order of emphasis, often from the weakest to the strongest, but not necessarily) are two common methods of essay organization.
- spatial order: the order in which objects and people appear in a scene, in physical order, perhaps from left to right or top to bottom; this one is handy for description.
- order of importance: such as general to specific or vice versa, from most familiar to least familiar, simple to complex, and order of frequency (most frequent to least frequent)
- topical order: in which ideas are presented based on the needs of the topic under discussion. For example, if you were writing a paper about recommendations for buying a new bicycle, you might organize your essay by topics (i.e., determine what you will use the bicycle for; extrapolate from that what abilities the bicycle must have, such as type of tires/brakes and number of speeds; determine your own budget; shop around for reputation and prices of dealers; and look for sales).
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