Skip to main content
Logo image

Sound Writing

Section 3.5 Organizing an Argument

At this point in the development of your argument, you should have a working thesis and multiple supporting claims. Now you must think about your argument from the point of view of your audience. Arguments must be organized in a way that audiences can logically follow. Your main goal as a writer is to organize your argument logically and convincingly enough that a reader will be persuaded by what you’ve written. Because argument organization varies between papers and subjects, you need to figure out what your audience will need and want while reading through your argument.

Helpful Questions 3.5.1. Organizing your Argument.

  • In what order do I need to introduce the pieces of my argument to my audience for it to make sense?
  • Do the pieces of my argument need to build on each other in a certain way?
  • Should I organize my supporting claims chronologically? By order of importance?
Now, to answer these questions, you have a few options:
List 3.5.2. Strategies for Organizing an Argument
  • Make a few different outlines (see Subsection 4.1.2).
  • Write your supporting claims on notecards and organize them a few different ways.
  • Map out your ideas by drawing connections between your claim, supporting claims, and evidence.
  • Talk through your argument with someone, perhaps a Writing Tutor at the tutoring center!
    It might also be helpful to take notes during/record the conversation so you have content from the conversation to use as you return to writing and organizing.
  • Ask yourself, “Which one seems the most logical?”
  • Ask a friend or peer to look at your organizational schemes to see what he or she thinks is most logical.