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Patterns of Organization

Text structure is how information is organized in writing. Text structures, or patterns of organization, not only vary from writing to writing, but text structures may also change frequently from paragraph to paragraph within a single piece of writing. Though not all text can fit snugly into one of the patterns of organizations explained in this website, the purpose of this website is to prepare students to identify text structure on standardized tests. Though requirements vary from state to state, in many states, students are required to accurately identify the text structure in specific passages. We will cover seven common types of patterns of organizations or text structures:

  1. Chronological
  2. Compare and Contrast
  3. Order of Importance
  4. Sequence
  5. Spatial
  6. Cause and Effect
  7. Problem and Solution


Common Core State Standards Related to Text Structure

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.5 – Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.

Expand to View All Common Core State Standards Related to Text Structure
ELA Standards: Informational Texts

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.5 – Describe the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in a text or part of a text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.5 – Compare and contrast the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in two or more texts.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.5 – Analyze how a particular sentence, paragraph, chapter, or section fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the ideas.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.7.5 – Analyze the structure an author uses to organize a text, including how the major sections contribute to the whole and to the development of the ideas.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.8.5 – Analyze in detail the structure of a specific paragraph in a text, including the role of particular sentences in developing and refining a key concept.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.5 – Analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of the structure an author uses in his or her exposition or argument, including whether the structure makes points clear, convincing, and engaging.

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Common Core Lesson and Unit Plans
Understanding Common Core State Standards


Text Structure Worksheets
Text Structure Activities
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Leave a comment


  1. Msafiri Hamisi

     /  August 20, 2017

    Thank you

  2. Pavel

     /  November 27, 2016

    Super! Great! Thank you very much!

  3. Ampomah Ofori

     /  November 26, 2016

    very helpful. But how my lecturer categorized was quit different, like this,
    a.simple listing includes;
    i. order of importance
    ii. spatial
    iii. chronological
    iv. enumeration(ordinal and cardinal)
    b. cause and effect
    c. compare and contrast
    d. problem and solution

  4. Susan Ibale

     /  November 23, 2016

    Really helpful. Thanks!

  5. ho lee fook

     /  March 31, 2016

    I like this

  6. Grace A.

     /  December 15, 2015

    This really helped alot with study guides for English finals. I really wish I had found this site sooner. Amazing job on the site btw! Thnx again! :3

  7. Andrew MacMillan

     /  December 11, 2015

    Im doing an arguement, and i cant figure out which oranization order to put it as it is about limiting ticket prices for sporting events which one should it go in?

    • Well, it’s really up to you.

      You could do problem and solution, describing how some fans can’t afford seats and how price caps on tickets would solve that.

      Really, I don’t recommend that you visualize your argument in terms of patterns of organization.
      Just write your argument in a clear and logical way.

  8. Matthew liter

     /  December 10, 2015

    Thank you for the very lovely information.

  9. Patrice Cibangu

     /  December 6, 2015

    It’s an interesting site, for sure!

  10. miranda

     /  October 26, 2015

    i helps a little but still having trouble with it

  11. Ashley

     /  October 12, 2015


  12. tianal

     /  October 2, 2015

    this is so wonderful 🙂

  13. tiana:-)

     /  October 2, 2015

    this is a good strategy or whatever you wanna call it but its wonderful

  14. Leah Wright

     /  September 17, 2015

    thanks i love this website!

  15. aila

     /  August 18, 2015

    it helped me alot 🙂

  16. diana

     /  May 25, 2015

    Thanks for helping

  17. Erwin Comment

     /  March 23, 2015

    i coudnt find what i wanted but im writting an essay and dont know this question (what pattern will you use in your essay?)

    • Well, an essay will most likely use many different patterns. In one paragraph you may compare and contrast two things. In another you may propose a solution to a problem. In yet another, you may describe a cause and effect or multiple causes and / or effects. The structure of a text will vary from paragraph to paragraph. A single paragraph may even use multiple structures.

  18. abby

     /  October 9, 2014

    thanks this really helped me with my college work

  19. abby

     /  October 9, 2014

    thanks this is really helping me with my college work.

  20. alice

     /  September 28, 2014

    thanks for sharing,it is very helpful to me!


     /  April 25, 2014


  22. Mason Waring

     /  January 15, 2014

    Love this website! Wish I would have found about this sooner.

  23. Mary Ann Arboleda

     /  July 27, 2013

    thank you

  24. THANK YOU!!!!

  25. abberks

     /  October 17, 2012

    thanks for this post. it helped a lot for reference to my upcoming exam. =)

  26. Jacky

     /  January 15, 2012

    Thank you! the videos are very informative!

  27. Camila

     /  March 8, 2011

    Are you going to upload any worksheets and activities?

    • Mr. Morton

       /  March 8, 2011

      Sorry for the unclear layout and thank you for bringing that to my attention. I think they’ll be easier to find now.

  28. Lee Mina

     /  February 23, 2011

    Hello, I want to learn “patterns of organization” for my study.
    Please help me. ^^

  29. Jenny De Castro

     /  February 16, 2011

    Great tool for students


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