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Graphic organizers or model maps, entity relationship diagrams, and intelligence maps are a pictorial presentation of seemingly disjointed ideas which help to organize the data into an easy-to-read and comprehensible chart. A graphic organizer for writing helps the student to visualise the idea and form a simple-to-understand map which helps him in obtaining an increased insight into the topic at hand. To convert a mass of information/ideas/data into a graphic organizer, one needs to keep a few simple tips in mind:

  • The main topic must be placed at the centre or the top of the map or chart depending up on the type of organizer which is being employed.
  • The corollary topics or sub-topics must be prioritized according to the need of the subject and placed accordingly.
  • A connection needs to be formed between the main idea and the sub-parts before the pictorial portrayal.
  • A graphic organizer is more meaningful if it is multi-coloured since it helps in better understanding and visualization.
  • Each topic or sub-topic should be precisely written so as not to clutter the map/chart. Paragraphs are strictly advised against.

Depending on the topic at hand, a number of graphic organizers can be used such as spider charts, fish charts, Venn diagrams, star diagrams, tree chart, cycle chart, chain diagram, bubble diagram, semantic feature analysis, compare charts and many more. It is solely dependent on the author as to which shall suit him best for his purpose. A graphic organizer can be manually drawn or created via electronic mediums such as software.


Expository writing is a kind of written or oral discourse which is mainly used to explain or give information to an audience or reader about a particular issue or subject. The author must assume that the readers do not have any prior information about the subject and must deal with it from the very source. Since clarity is essential to expository writing, it requires much planning where graphic organizers come into the picture. Since there are different types of expository writing, different types of graphic organizers can be used for each, lending lucidity to the piece or topic at hand. An expository graphic organizer must be carefully chosen to depict the topic or the subject. Wrong or unmatched expository writing graphic organizer can lead to much confusion for the writer as well as the readers.

  • Circumlocution, where a pattern is followed by the author in which he speaks of one topic and then diverts to a different, but, related topic. Here, chain diagram is an ideal graphic organizer for expository writings of this type.
  • Narrative Interspersion, where many patterns are embedded within one and the writer intersperses among them for clarity or elaboration. A bubble chart can be used for this type.
  • Recursion occurs when the speaker discusses a topic and uses different symbolism to drive home the point. Metaphors and figures of speech are quite helpful here. Chain charts are pretty useful for visualising this type of expository writing.
  • Description of a topic by listing its features and characteristics. Here, a spider chart is ideal for graphic representation.
  • Sequence expository writing includes providing a list of events which occurred in a chronological order and a flow chart suffices for this.
  • Comparison expository writing explains the similarities and differences between two ideas or things. A Venn diagram or a comparison chart can be used here.
  • Cause and effect, where the author speaks about a cause and then explains its effect. A chain diagram is useful for this.
  • Problem and solution is where the writer or speaker describes a problem and thereafter goes on to speak about the possible solutions. If there are a number of related or sub-problems, a connecting chart can be employed; if not, a simple chain diagram suffices.

Apart from expository writing, there is another type called descriptive writing which, as the name suggests, is mainly used to describe a thing or an event. Descriptive writing graphic organizers are more popular since description is a lengthy process and the writer can often get lost in the vast data or lose out some important points. To avoid such literary mishaps, it is recommended to display the entire description pictorially, using the keywords, so that none of the data is lost while writing the fair draft. For example, if someone is describing a house, the main questions which need to be addressed is that how old is the house, who build it, the previous owners, its structure, its location, the colour, the number of storeys, other facilities or attractions such as garden, backyard, swimming pool and so on. A spider chart or a bubble diagram is ideal for descriptive writing graphic organizing.

Graphic organizers for expository writing as well as descriptive writing are very useful and come in handy at all levels. Students are taught them at a very elementary age because it helps them in visualizing a particular subject and aids in a simpler and easy method of memorising. Graphic organizers are also used in colleges or at work while planning for a speech, preparing a presentation or working on a thesis.

Ethnography is a tool frequently used in sociology and anthropology writing, which gives a cumulative analysis of a community of people, collected over a certain of time by an researcher. There are five basic steps to write an ethnographic paper:

  • Exploring the areas and the people of the study
  • Gathering the data and narrowing them
  • Grouping the data and the statistics in coherent forms.
  • Revisiting the areas if any information is to be validated or changed
  • Writing the research ethnographic paper

One can create a graphic organizer to narrow the mass data and group them. This saves a lot of time and the writer is also always aware of the priority of the information. No data is lost this way and all relevant points are safely organized to present a perfect outcome.