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Organizational patterns

Information can be presented in one of several forms - a straightforward explanation, a story or a drama. Within each form, a writer can organize information in one of several organizational patterns. Three of these patterns will be described and illustrated.

Step by Step

The simplest is a one-two-three ordering of each step as it occurs logically. Common examples are:

giving directions - how to find the Maternal Care Center

explaining how to do something— how to prepare a compost heap

describing a process - how to mount a picture.

The illustration shows the step-by-step pattern in a simple leaflet.


Many examples of the step-by-step occur in this manual. See Pages 63 and 64.


Information can be organized along a time line as each event occurs in time. Common examples are: seed planting time charts or calendars forms for recording inoculations demonstration schedules.

Reproduced are the pages of a flip chart in which the chronological pattern was used to present information.


The treatment and partial script for the slide-tape, More Yams for Hamra, illustrates the chronological pattern in a story form. See Appendix 1.


In this organizational pattern, the writer presents information by main topics and sub-topics. Information in the illustrated leaflet has been organized topically.


In stories, the topics may be episodes. More Yams for Hamra could have been topically patterned with one episode about Ema who used Fertilizer A; the second episode about Hamra who used Fertilizer B. In this case the main topics would have been "using fertilizers"; the two sub-topics, the use of Fertilizer A and of Fertilizer B.