ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Four Ways to Organize an Essay

Updated on June 24, 2015
MissCommunicate profile image

Sarah has been a content copywriter for six years and taught Composition for two. She lives in Pennsylvania with her fiance and three cats.

Source

Types of Opposites in an Essay

Angle A
Angle B
Bad
Good
Old
New
Pros
Cons
Negative
Positive
Right
Wrong

Creating a Lens for Your Essay: Using Opposites

This article describes four ways to organize an essay. Each different method is based on the belief that there are opposites involved with every topic. What that means is that every good essay should show the complexities of a topic by addressing both or all sides of it, whether it be an issue, a description, a persuasive essay, or an informative piece. Using opposites gives your piece a lens through which you present the material. The "lens" can also be interpreted as an "angle of vision" or, simply, an "angle".

Obviously, the subject matter is going to vary. However, the idea that there are opposites within each topic usually holds true. Essays generally explore the relationship between these opposites, whether overtly or implicitly. (See the chart below for examples of types of opposites.)

Also obviously, these are not the ONLY four ways to structure an essay. However, these four methods can help guide you.

Half and Half

The Half and Half essay presents the information in two parts. The first part is the bad (or old or negative, etc.) and the second part presents the good (or new or positive, etc.). This type of essay is useful for essays that present a change from one thing to another, such as an informative essay about the change from using horses for transportation to using cars. In that example, horses are "old" and cars are "new." It might also be useful for an essay in which the author tries to refute a long-held philosophy. For example, the author might say, "For many years, studies showed that caffeine is a bad drug, but recently, studies have proven that caffeine is actually good." The first half of the essay could be dedicated to studies that showed caffeine as a bad thing.

Ping Pong

Some topics might require a discussion of individual opposing factors, not just an overall discussion of opposing issues. Each point might have a counterpoint, and presenting it using a Ping Pong structure would be effective. With this structure, the author presents Factor A and its opposite, then presents Factor B and its opposite, and so on. This back-and-forth structure gives it its name.

The Swirl

The Swirl structure is similar to the Ping Pong structure, but it may contain two or three opposing factors in each paragraph. This method would be the most effective with short essays.

The Bookends

The name "The Bookends" refers to the Introduction and Conclusion portions of the essay. This method is also useful for refuting popular notions. Using a Bookends structure is good if most of the information in the essay revolves around one idea, but that idea gains power because of its opposition to another, often more popular, idea. For example, in an essay with a thesis that states, "Many people believe plastic surgery is purely cosmetic, but in many cases, plastic surgery has a medical purpose," the writer would include information about cosmetic plastic surgery in only the introduction and conclusion (and maybe allude to it in the body paragraphs). The author would start by presenting the two opposite ideas and then bring closure to the essay by presenting those two opposite ideas again.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)