When it comes to writing an essay, topical organization means describing the subject of your paper one topic at a time. Any time you have to describe something, like an animal, a gadget, an event, or a process, you can use the topical organization. Your first step is to divide your subjects into small parts (sub-topics) and then define each one.
Types of Essays that Use Topical Organization
- Exploring Essays - Topical essay structure is perfect for science essays that explore the characteristics of an organism.
- Compare and Contrast Essays - English class essays that compare two short stories can be written topic-by-topic.
- Explaining Essays - You could use a topical essay to explain why the American South developed an agrarian-based economy, explaining one characteristic at a time that led to this development.
- Descriptive essay - You could describe any object one part at a time; for example, when describing yourself, you could start with your facial features and move on to hands and feet.
Note: If you are writing a compare and contrast essay, you may need to define two subjects with topical organization. You can use two strategies for this:
- You can describe one subject completely and move on to the next.
- You can describe and compare small parts of each subject piece by piece.