Topical Organization Essay

Teenage girl sitting in a library working on a laptop
Dave & Les Jacobs / Getty Images

When it comes to writing an essay, topical organization means describing the subject of your paper one topic at a time. Anytime 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.
Format
mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Fleming, Grace. "Topical Organization Essay." ThoughtCo, Sep. 14, 2017, thoughtco.com/topical-organization-essay-1856985. Fleming, Grace. (2017, September 14). Topical Organization Essay. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/topical-organization-essay-1856985 Fleming, Grace. "Topical Organization Essay." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/topical-organization-essay-1856985 (accessed January 17, 2018).