There are many approaches to organizing one’s essay, and the only thing they have in common is that an essay needs organization – otherwise it becomes a pain to both write and read.
One of the most widespread and commonly used methods utilizes an essay order of importance – in other words, all facts are introduced in decreasing (or, in rare cases, increasing) order of importance. For obvious reasons, this approach is most popular in professional journalism, as it allows the reader to get the gist of an article from the first few phrases (or, preferably, from the headline). Nevertheless, it is widely used in other types of writing as well. Here are a few reasons why.
It Grasps the Reader’s Attention from the Very Beginning
An essay that begins its argument in support of a certain idea with an insignificant and easily dismissed point is going to be, in the very least, confusing. There may be something in trying to keep your most striking proof for the end, but it goes against one of the most important principles of writing – to try and influence the reader near the beginning, before he has a chance to stop reading or let his attention slip.
It Is Realistic
Let’s face it – in most cases readers don’t read texts in their entirety, especially in our age of omnipresent TLDR attitude. If you submit your paper to a professor or an application committee, be prepared to receive a mark judging the first couple of paragraphs at most, especially if they have to deal with lots and lots of essays in a short period of time. Don’t expect the reader to plod along, patiently waiting to get to the “clever part”.
It Allows for a Better Structure
The nature of the most important fact concerning the issue is usually that it is in this or that way connected with all the other supporting evidence, and you can’t avoid mentioning it when covering other, smaller subjects. When you get it out of the way in the very beginning, you give a very solid foundation for your argument and can use the rest of your word count providing additional proof in support of your idea.
It Shows That You Understand What You Are Writing about
The fact that you’ve placed the most significant paragraph first clearly shows that you are able to navigate in the situation and are capable of separating wheat from the chaff. In a sense, it shows your expertise even before the reader starts studying your essay in earnest. On the contrary, when you start covering smaller points first, it shows that you are bad at prioritizing and putting first things first.
The order of importance cannot be called the most effective and useful way of arranging your essay, but only because each assignment requires an individual approach, and sometimes it simply doesn’t fit. However, it is certainly prevalent in academic writing – and you should first consider using it before you resort to other means.
About the Author
Lily Wilson is a 34 year-old homestay freelance academic writer. Lily runs her personal blog AnAwfulLotofWriting and works as a contributing academic writer at ThePensters.com.