General Organizational Approaches
These patterns are arranged according to the passing of time. They are generally arranged from least to most recent. That isn't a hard and fast rule, of course. Reverse chronology is possible but less common. These patterns are listed first because they can be the easiest for both a speaker and a listener. Listen to someone tell a story or give an account of some incident. You'll notice words like "then" or "after that." These are transitional words that take you (as the sender or the receiver) smoothly from one point to the next. It's more or less built into the English language. As a result of these transitional words or phrases your listeners know not only when you move from one point to the next but where you're heading. Therefore, you, as the speaker, are much easier to follow.
1. Chronological order. As examples, histories or biographies would be most
easily expressed and understood by using simple chronological order. Monday,
Tuesday, Wednesday. 1998, 2001, 2005...
2, Processes. The patterns are used as the name implies. They express the process
by which something comes about. This is a useful approach when step by step
instructions are needed. How-to and demonstration speeches are examples.
3. Causal or Cause and Effect. This is very similar to a Process approach but it has
one major difference. In a Process each step, at some point in time, precedes
the next but does not cause it to happen. In a Causal speech that isn't the case.
Not only does step 1 precede step 2 it directly causes step 2 to happen. Step 2
causes step 3 and so on down the line. The difference between Causal and
Process can be very subtlebut at the same time very important in terms of your
being fully understood. Always look for cause andeffect relationships between
your points. It can clarify the content and intent for both you and your audience.
4. Narratives. A narrative is a presentation that tells one big, long story. This
happened, then that happened, and after that it all ended. "this" "that" and "after
that" all represent not just the elements of the story but points in time as well. If
selecting a Narrative be sure to co...