Use A Graphic Organizer For Writing A Paper

Students of all ages can benefit from using graphic organizers.

A graphic organizer is a tool aimed at helping a writer or student organize and develop his thoughts before he begins writing his paper. The organizer usually has boxes or steps that prompt the student to write down words or phrases pertaining to a particular topic or part of a topic. Graphic organizers come in a variety of types tailored to different writing projects. A student using a graphic organizer to write a paper about a book he has read will see prompts to write down information pertaining to the main characters as well as the plot.


1. Fill in your graphic organizer, starting at the top and working your way down, one section at a time. Refer to the book you read and any research you did to help you write words and phrases pertaining to main characters, the problem or issue in the book, where and when the story takes place and how or if the problem is resolved.

2. Save your work often when writing on the computer.

Write your rough draft on paper or a word processing program on the computer. Begin by writing down the words or phrases you wrote in the first section of your graphic organizer. Add to the phrases to make them more like sentences. At this stage, it’s OK if the sentences are incomplete as long as you are beginning to develop your ideas.

3. Work through each section or box on your graphic organizer as you write your rough draft. Refrain from going back and adding to or editing previous sections until you’ve completed the rough draft.

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4. Use references to learn more and list them to improve your paper.

Return to the beginning and add more information or explanation to each paragraph in your paper. Use complete sentences. Refer to your graphic organizer to stay focused on your original thoughts. Use references and any research you did to add pertinent information. Each paragraph should have a minimum of three sentences.

5. Edit your paper for spelling and grammar errors. Check to see that you have met the writing requirements your teacher set forth.

6. Include a copy of your graphic organizer with your final paper. This allows the teacher to see your thought process in the event she has any questions regarding your paper.