Skip to content

Re-ordering paragraphs

Writing tipsIt’s often difficult to look at your essay with an objective, critical eye. I use the following strategy when I need to examine the order of my paragraphs — here is what to do:

Print out a hard copy of the draft of your essay and number each paragraph. On a separate sheet of paper write a list: 1, 2, 3 etc., leaving a space between each one. Then write down next to each number what that paragraph is about, in one word or phrase if possible. Let your eye drift down the list. Did you intend, in paragraph 19, to return to the topic of paragraph 11? Did you aim to spend paragraphs 20–25 on one aspect of your argument, but only one paragraph on another aspect? If so, fine. If not, you can rearrange your paragraphs to improve the structure and flow of your essay.

Sarah LeFanu
22 February 2017

Related articles

How is a paragraph like a brick?

Each paragraph is a building block in your argument.

Paragraphs: the stepping stones in your argument

‘Swiftly reading your own or other people’s work for the flow of ideas across paragraphs is a great way to improve your argumentation.’

Smoothing out the rough: paragraphs that won’t flow

If a paragraph refuses to flow, underline the essential parts that must be included, work out the best order and add only enough words for the paragraph to make sense.

Back To Top