Monday, March 20, 2023

How to Give Your Writing Structure and Cohesion


Provide your writing with structure and cohesion to enable your audience to understand your message.

Why Using a Structure is Essential

The structure you use will gently lead your reader through all of the relevant points you've written, while educating them on the current information they need to know.

With a well thought out structure the groundwork is already laid out making the information more consumable, and all of this is done before they start reading.

Information can be demonstrated by using:

  1. An Inverted Pyramid
  2. A Step-By-Step Guide
  3. A Question and Answer Format

When you start writing you may find that you have to accommodate your point around your structure in order to get your message across.  Structures should be seen as more of a writing tool than a model that needs to be adhered to rigidly.

1. Inverted Pyramid

This form is more commonly used in journalism where the most important information is showcased first. Which is to say the who, what, when, where and why of the story swiftly accompanied by supporting details and background information.  

Here's an example of how the inverted pyramid can look:


The Lead

The most important information.  (Who? What? When? Where? How).

The Body

The crucial information. (Evidence, background, details, logic).

The Tail

 Extra information. (Interesting or related items). 


The inverted pyramid structure is a popular style of writing that is well-suited to all types of readers.  Even those impatient readers that only want to read one paragraph. 

2. Step-By-Step

As the title suggests a step-by-step layout breaks down your writing into bite sized parts.  This kind of arrangement is more commonly used in an educational setting when you're trying to teach your audience something new.  

The benefits of a step-by-step structure are clarity, and can be separated or combined, and are flexible allowing the reader to go back later if they need to. 

3. Questions and Answers

This structure allows you to establish a set of  questions that are credible, and can be answered with straight forward facts.  Questions and answers are great for SEO because search engines are created to answer any queries people might have. 

Your readers' needs can be responded to more quickly, and the conversational style will make you look more approachable, allowing you to respond to your readers' needs.

Draw In Your Audience

The Perfect First Sentence to Hook Your Audience

Ideally, your first sentence should be written in such a way that it grabs your audience's attention from the outset.  

This method of writing can be used in all the writing categories from writing a book, to an academic paper, either way the first sentence you write will always matter.

Composing Your First Sentence

Grammar rules don't cover this part of writing, it's all about your goal and being able to understand your own thoughts and analysis on the subject at hand.  And being able to summarise your ideas succinctly.

Understanding What Your First Sentence is Doing

You can grab your audience's attention using various tactics, here are some examples:

Alarm, amuse, empathise, sympathise, provoke, shock, tease, invite, summarise, inform, reveal, question, surprise, intrigue.

Once you've found the role of the sentence, using one of the nouns above, you can start crafting your opening line.

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Read more:

How Much is Enough When You Write?

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