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What Is Spatial Order And How To Use It In Essay?

Jared Houdi

Table of Contents

a descriptive essay may follow a spatial order

When it comes to effective writing, high school and college students typically think about aspects like good story content, convincing evidence, appropriate word choice, correct grammar, etc.

But the clear and logical organization is an essential part of effective writing, too.

There are several patterns of logical organization that can be used in writing academic essays and term papers :

  • Chronological order.
  • Compare-contrast pattern.
  • Order of importance.
  • spatial order.
  • Problem-solution method.
  • Cause-effect pattern.
  • Advantages-disadvantages pattern.
  • Topical pattern.

There are no strict rules which pattern should be used for an effective conveying of ideas. Think carefully of patterns that make sense, and would help your readers get a better understanding of the information.

Besides, paper organization principles have many variations, and very often, different methods are combined.

Let’s talk of the most commonly used patterns: the spatial order meaning and its function.

Spatial order as a principle of organization

Writing an impressive high school or college academic essay depends on the logical organization of the content. Pro essay writing websites recommend organizing your thoughts is as important as the choice of relevant facts to prove your point of view.

For example, in a description of a scene or setting, a specific logical order helps the audience visualize the scene.

… So, what is spatial order?

It is a type of logical organization pattern that is used in descriptive writing. Its main feature is that things are described as they appear when observed.

This approach makes it easier for writers to paint a vivid picture for readers.

Let’s discuss this concept in detail and begin with spatial order definition.

Spatial order definition

…How would we define spatial order?

It’s a principle of descriptive writing when items are arranged in the order of their physical location or correlation.

This structural order in descriptive paragraphs determines the readers’ perspective and how details are perceived. Focus is on location; time is ignored.

How may this organizational arrangement be used?

  • In fiction , it is used for descriptions of objects and places; in nonfiction – for describing physical or social phenomena.
  • Technical writers can use this method for explaining how a mechanism works or how parts of a machine fit together.
  • Food critics apply this pattern when they review a new restaurant for a description of the dining area.
  • Architects utilize this order to describe designs of buildings.

What is the spatial order?

…What does spatial order mean?

If talking about descriptions, this method means that the writer explains or describes objects as they are arranged in space. It creates a picture for readers, and the audience’s perspective is the viewpoint from which the writer describes what’s around.

First, the writer has to choose a specific starting point and then create an orderly logical progression by providing readers with directional signals they should follow from place to place.

If the description is complicated, you can use a simple chart or diagram to help your readers understand it quickly.

Spatial writing: the details

A spatial organization of information in paragraphs is also called descriptive writing. It is often used when a narrator wants to describe how something looks. For example, you can use this approach in descriptive essays about a person when you describe someone’s appearance, starting from the feet and moving up to the head.

Take a look at spatial order example which describes various layers of a volcano.

A volcano is a beautiful and dangerous natural phenomenon. The magma chamber, an extremely hot part which people rarely see, is under the Earth surface beneath the bed’s rock. The conduit is running from the volcano’s magma chamber to the crater which is at the top of the volcano.

Logical order of location in space can be used in some narrations, classifications, comparisons, and other forms of expository writings.

Have a look at this description paragraph.

According to annual weather patterns, there are 6 major climate regions. In the extreme northern latitudes, the climate is polar without any plant life. Next to it, there is cold tundra in the extremes of the north of Asia and North America where we can find shrubs and grasses. In the adjacent temperate regions, there are forests with a rich diversity of plants.

Don’t worry if you still have some trouble with a proper understanding of what the spatial order is. You can always count on us and order essay from experienced writers.

What are spatial order signal words?

Here is a short list of spatial order signal words which might indicate that a speaker or a writer is following a spatial organization pattern.

Many of these words are prepositions that are placed at the beginning of sentences to connect them with the ideas expressed in the preceding sentences.

  • On the left hand
  • On the right hand
  • Attached to
  • At the top of
  • To the side of
  • In front of

These words are used to build a vivid picture that the audience can grasp.

Spatial organization in writing: how to..?

a descriptive essay may follow a spatial order

The spatial pattern works well when writers want to create mental pictures of something that has various parts distinguished by physical location. You may start by describing a scene, object, or a location as a whole and then focus on specific details in the setting.

This type of organization is the best for describing a setting and scene, but writers can also utilize it for giving directions or instructions.

If you wish to apply this method of organization in your description, you need to make a series of decisions.

  • First of all, decide what scene you want to describe first. You should take the perspective of your readers and determine what details are the most important and relevant for them.
  • Then you should think about the aspects of the scene you want to include in your description and describe all the elements in a logical order, choosing a starting point. When utilizing this pattern in essays describing items, writers can start from the left and move gradually to the right or go from top to bottom, from inside to outside or from west to east.
  • It’s essential to use transition words and phrases to show logical relationships between the details.

Read this description of a room where all the details are described in the order of their location in space.

When you walk in the door of my bedroom, the first thing you notice is a large bed on the wall. In front of my bed, there is a grey carpet on the floor. Above the bed, there is a beautiful picture and an old clock. As you turn to the left, you will see a wardrobe and a big mirror.

This approach to the logical organization has some disadvantages as well. When a writer describes elements in such a way, all of them get equal weight.

But if you want to emphasize one specific aspect of a scene and draw particular attention to something, a spatial pattern makes it hard to achieve that goal so you’d better choose another organization method.

Without a clear organizational pattern, your readers could become confused.

A solid organizational pattern helps your audience see connections and allows them to stay focused. Spatial organization in writing a descriptive essay allows readers visualize something as the writer wants them to see it, by evoking a scene using five senses (sight, taste, smell, touch, and sound).

But you shouldn’t use spatial writing in long text because they may sound monotonous and your readers will be bored. Think about other methods of organizing your ideas.

Sometimes, it is better to use a chronological pattern or even just stream-of-consciousness method to communicate a specific idea in a clear, intelligible manner.

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Spatial Order

Spatial order is best used for the following purposes:

  • Helping readers visualize something as you want them to see it
  • Evoking a scene using the senses (sight, touch, taste, smell, and sound)
  • Writing a descriptive essay

Spatial order means that you explain or describe objects as they are arranged around you in your space, for example in a bedroom. As the writer, you create a picture for your readers, and their perspective is the viewpoint from which you describe what is around you. The view must move in an orderly, logical progression, giving the reader clear directional signals to follow from place to place. The key to this method is to choose a specific starting point and then guide the reader to follow your eye as it moves in an orderly fashion from your starting point. Pay attention to the following student’s description and how she guides the reader through the viewing process, foot by foot.

Sample Spatial Order Paragraph

Attached to my back-bedroom wall is a small wooden rack dangling with red and turquoise necklaces that shimmer as I enter. Just to the right of the rack, billowy white curtains frame a large window with a sill that ends just six inches from the floor. The peace of such an image is a stark contrast to my desk, sitting to the right of the window, layered in textbooks, crumpled papers, coffee cups, and an overflowing ashtray. Turning my head to the right, I see a set of two bare windows that frame the trees outside the glass like a three-dimensional painting. Below the windows is an oak chest from which blankets and scarves are protruding. Against the wall opposite the billowy curtains is an antique dresser, on top of which sits a jewelry box and a few picture frames. A tall mirror attached to the dresser takes up much of the lavender wall.

The paragraph incorporates two objectives covered in this chapter: using an implied topic sentence and applying spatial order. Often in a descriptive essay, the two objectives work together.

The following are possible transition words to include when using spatial order:

  • Just to the left or just to the right
  • On the left or on the right
  • Across from
  • A little further down
  • To the south, to the east, and so on
  • A few yards away
  • Turning left or turning right

On a separate sheet of paper, write a paragraph using spatial order that describes your commute to work, school, or another location you visit often. Collaboration: Please share with a classmate and compare your answers.

KEY  TAKEAWAYS

  • The way you organize your body paragraphs ensures you and your readers stay focused on and draw connections to your thesis statement.
  • A strong organizational pattern allows you to articulate, analyze, and clarify your thoughts.
  • Planning the organizational structure for your essay before you begin to search for supporting evidence helps you conduct more effective and directed research.
  • Chronological order is most commonly used in expository writing. It is useful for explaining the history of your subject, for telling a story, or for explaining a process.
  • Order of importance is most appropriate in a persuasion paper as well as for essays in which you rank things, people, or events by their significance.
  • Spatial order describes things as they are arranged in space and is best for helping readers visualize something as you want them to see it; it creates a dominant impression.

The information in this section comes from Successful College Composition p.24-29: Crowther, Kathryn; Curtright, Lauren; Gilbert, Nancy; Hall, Barbara; Ravita, Tracienne; and Swenson, Kirk, “Successful College Composition” (2016).  Galileo: English Open Textbooks . Successful College Composition is a transformation of Writing for Success, a text adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee. Kathryn Crowther, Lauren Curtright, Nancy Gilbert, Barbara Hall, Tracienne Ravita, and Kirk Swenson adapted this text under a grant from Affordable Learning Georgia to Georgia Perimeter College (GPC) in 2015.

Spatial Order by Cheryl McCormick; Sue Hank; and Ninna Roth is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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Chapter 5: Putting the Pieces Together with a Thesis Statement

5.4 Organizing Your Writing

Learning Objectives

  • Understand how and why organizational techniques help writers and readers stay focussed
  • Assess how and when to use chronological order to organize an essay
  • Recognize how and when to use order of importance to organize an essay
  • Determine how and when to use spatial order to organize an essay

The method of organization you choose for your essay is just as important as its content. Without a clear organizational pattern, your reader could become confused and lose interest. The way you structure your essay helps your readers draw connections between the body and the thesis, and the structure also keeps you focused as you plan and write the essay. Choosing your organizational pattern before you outline ensures that each body paragraph works to support and develop your thesis.

This section covers three ways to organize body paragraphs:

  • Chronological order
  • Order of importance
  • Spatial order

When you begin to draft your essay, your ideas may seem to flow from your mind in a seemingly random manner. Your readers, who bring to the table different backgrounds, viewpoints, and ideas, need you to clearly organize these ideas in order to help process and accept them.

A solid organizational pattern gives your ideas a path that you can follow as you develop your draft. Knowing how you will organize your paragraphs allows you to better express and analyze your thoughts. Planning the structure of your essay before you choose supporting evidence helps you conduct more effective and targeted research.

Chronological Order

In  Chapter 4: What Are You Writing, to Whom, and How? , you learned that chronological arrangement has the following purposes:

  • To explain the history of an event or a topic
  • To tell a story or relate an experience
  • To explain how to do or to make something
  • To explain the steps in a process.

Chronological order is mostly used in  expository writing , which is a form of writing that narrates, describes, informs, or explains a process. When using chronological order, arrange the events in the order that they actually happened, or will happen if you are giving instructions. This method requires you to use words such as first, second, then, after that, later, and finally. These transitional words guide you and your reader through the paper as you expand your thesis.

For example, if you are writing an essay about the history of the airline industry, you would begin with its conception and detail the essential timeline events up until present day. You would follow the chain of events using words such as first, then, next, and so on.

Writing at Work

At some point in your career you may have to file a complaint with your human resources department. Using chronological order is a useful tool in describing the events that led up to your filing the grievance. You would logically lay out the events in the order that they occurred using the key transitional words. The more logical your complaint, the more likely you will be well received and helped.

Keep in mind that chronological order is most appropriate for the following purposes:

  • Writing essays containing heavy research
  • Writing essays with the aim of listing, explaining, or narrating
  • Writing essays that analyze literary works such as poems, plays, or books

Self-Practice Exercise 5.11

H5P:  Chronological Order

Put the statements in the correct chronological order. Remember: when using chronological order, arrange the events in the order that they actually happened, or will happen if you are giving instructions. This method requires you to use words such as first, second, then, after that, later, and finally. These transitional words guide you and your reader through the paper as you expand your thesis.

  • Every morning I make my coffee in the same way for maximum flavour.
  • When I have the shot pulled, I use a milk steamer to steam one cup of milk.
  • Finally, I slowly pour the steamed milk into my espresso.
  • Next, I use an espresso machine to pull an espresso shot directly into my coffee cup.
  • First, I freshly grind my espresso beans.
  • And that’s how I start my day with my perfect latte!

A, E, D, B, C, F

Order of Importance

Recall from  Chapter 4: What Are You Writing, to Whom, and How? that order of importance is best used for the following purposes:

  • Persuading and convincing
  • Ranking items by their importance, benefit, or significance
  • Illustrating a situation, problem, or solution

Most essays move from the least to the most important point, and the paragraphs are arranged in an effort to build the essay’s strength. Sometimes, however, it is necessary to begin with your most important supporting point, such as in an essay that contains a thesis that is highly debatable. When writing a persuasive essay, it is best to begin with the most important point because it immediately captivates your readers and compels them to continue reading.

For example, if you were supporting your thesis that homework is detrimental to the education of high school students, you would want to present your most convincing argument first, and then move on to the less important points for your case.

Some key transitional words you should use with this method of organization are most importantly, almost as importantly, just as importantly, and finally.

During your career, you may be required to work on a team that devises a strategy for a specific goal of your company, such as increasing profits. When planning your strategy you should organize your steps in order of importance. This demonstrates the ability to prioritize and plan. Using the order of importance technique also shows that you can create a resolution with logical steps for accomplishing a common goal.

Self-Practice Exercise 5.12

H5P:  Order of Importance

Put the statements in the correct order of importance. Some key transitional words that offer clues to this method of organization are most importantly, almost as importantly, just as importantly, and finally.

  • Most importantly, it prevents unexpected harm from coming to the dog or to the people and animals he encounters.
  • And finally, dogs love the sense of achievement they feel when they master simple tasks.
  • Adequate training is critical to the success of a relationship between a person and their dog.
  • Almost as important, though, is the bond that it helps create between the dog and his caretaker.
  • For all of these reasons, proper dog training is important and should not be overlooked.

C, A, D, B, E

Spatial Order

As stated in  Chapter 4: What Are You Writing, to Whom, and How? , spatial order is best used for the following purposes:

  • Helping readers visualize something as you want them to see it
  • Evoking a scene using the senses (sight, touch, taste, smell, and sound)
  • Writing a descriptive essay

Spatial order means that you explain or describe objects as they are arranged around you in your space, for example in a bedroom. As the writer, you create a picture for your reader, whose perspective is the viewpoint from which you describe what is around you.

The view must move in an orderly, logical progression, giving the reader clear directional signals to follow from place to place. The key to using this method is to choose a specific starting point and then guide the reader to follow your eye as it moves in an orderly trajectory from your starting point.

Pay attention to the following student’s description of her bedroom and how she guides the reader through the viewing process, foot by foot.

The paragraph incorporates two objectives you have learned in this chapter: using an implied topic sentence and applying spatial order. Often in a descriptive essay, the two work together.

The following are possible transitional words and phrases to include when using spatial order:

  • Just to the left or just to the right
  • On the left or on the right
  • Across from
  • A little further down
  • To the south, to the east, and so on
  • A few yards away
  • Turning left or turning right

Self-Practice Exercise  5.13

H5P:  Spatial Order

Put the statements in the correct spatial order. The view must move in an orderly, logical progression, giving the reader clear directional signals to follow from place to place. The key to using this method is to choose a specific starting point and then guide the reader to follow your eye as it moves in an orderly trajectory from your starting point.

  • When you first enter the property through the farm gate, there is a red barn to the right.
  • To the immediate left of the red barn is a pig pen and a chicken coup.
  • The rest of the area within the gate is a meadow of clover and flowers.
  • Reflecting on this space reminds me that nice to have somewhere to go that is so calm and soothing.
  • The farmyard is a peaceful and familiar space.
  • Across the farmyard from the animals is the farm house, which has a duck pond in the backyard.

E, A, B, F, C, D

Self-Practice Exercise  5.14

Look back at your outline from Self-Practice Exercise 5.9. Please share your formal sentence outline with a classmate and together evaluate whether you have organized your points chronologically, by order of importance, or spatially. Discuss if you have organized your paragraphs in the most appropriate and logical way.

In the next chapter, you will build on this formal sentence outline to create a draft and develop your ideas further. Do not worry; you are not expected to have a completed paper at this point. You will be expanding on your sentences to form paragraphs and complete, well-developed ideas.

Key Takeaways

  • The way you organize your body paragraphs ensures you and your readers stay focused on and draw connections to your thesis statement.
  • A strong organizational pattern allows you to articulate, analyze, and clarify your thoughts.
  • Planning the organizational structure for your essay before you begin to search for supporting evidence helps you conduct more effective and directed research.
  • Chronological order is most commonly used in expository writing. It is useful for explaining the history of your subject, for telling a story, or for explaining a process.
  • Order of importance is most appropriate in a persuasion paper as well as for essays in which you rank things, people, or events by their significance.
  • Spatial order describes things as they are arranged in space and is best for helping readers visualize something as you want them to see it; it creates a dominant impression.

Supplemental Exercises

On a separate sheet of paper, choose one of the examples of a proper thesis statement from this chapter (one that interests you) and form three supporting points for that statement. After you have formed your three points, write a topic sentence for each body paragraph. Make sure that your topic sentences can be backed up with examples and details.

Group activity. Choose one of the topics from Self-Practice Exercise 5.4 and form a yes/no question about that topic. Then, take a survey of the people in your class to find out how they feel about the subject. Using the majority vote, ask those people to write on slips of paper the reasons for their opinion. Using the data you collect, form a thesis statement based on your classmates’ perspectives on the topic and their reasons.

On a separate sheet of a paper, write an introduction for an essay based on the thesis statement from the group activity using the techniques for introductory paragraphs that you learned in this chapter.

Start a journal in which you record “spoken” thesis statements. Start listening closely to the opinions expressed by your teachers, classmates, friends, and family members. Ask them to provide at least three reasons for their opinion and record them in the journal. Use this as material for future essays.

Open a magazine and read a lengthy article. See if you can pinpoint the thesis statement as well as the topic sentence for each paragraph and its supporting details.

Journal Entry 4

H5P: Question Prompts

Think back to times when you had to write a paper and perhaps struggled to get started. What did you learn this week that you will apply in future assignments to get the ideas flowing?

Reflect on all of the content you have learned so far. What did you find challenging but are now more confident with? What, if anything, still confuses you or you know you need to practice more? How have your study skills, time management, and overall writing improved over the past month?

Writing for Success - 1st Canadian H5P Edition by Tara Horkoff is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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a descriptive essay may follow a spatial order

GKT103: General Knowledge for Teachers – Essays

Organizing your writing.

We mentioned organization when we reviewed the MEAL Plan, and after you've organized individual paragraphs, it's also essential to organize the essay as a whole. This resource examines three common ways to organize your paragraphs based on the kind of prompt you need to answer: chronological, order of importance, or spatial. Review this resource for ways to organize your exam essay and make it easy for the reader to follow your ideas.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand how and why organizational techniques help writers and readers stay focused.
  • Assess how and when to use chronological order to organize an essay.
  • Recognize how and when to use order of importance to organize an essay.
  • Determine how and when to use spatial order to organize an essay.

The method of organization you choose for your essay is just as important as its content. Without a clear organizational pattern, your reader could become confused and lose interest. The way you structure your essay helps your readers draw connections between the body and the thesis, and the structure also keeps you focused as you plan and write the essay. Choosing your organizational pattern before you outline ensures that each body paragraph works to support and develop your thesis. This section covers three ways to organize body paragraphs:

  • Chronological order
  • Order of importance
  • Spatial order

When you begin to draft your essay, your ideas may seem to flow from your mind in a seemingly random manner. Your readers, who bring to the table different backgrounds, viewpoints, and ideas, need you to clearly organize these ideas in order to help process and accept them. A solid organizational pattern gives your ideas a path that you can follow as you develop your draft. Knowing how you will organize your paragraphs allows you to better express and analyze your thoughts. Planning the structure of your essay before you choose supporting evidence helps you conduct more effective and targeted research.

Chronological Order

You learned that chronological arrangement has the following purposes:

  • To explain the history of an event or a topic
  • To tell a story or relate an experience
  • To explain how to do or to make something
  • To explain the steps in a process

Chronological order is mostly used in expository writing , which is a form of writing that narrates, describes, informs, or explains a process. When using chronological order, arrange the events in the order that they actually happened, or will happen if you are giving instructions. This method requires you to use words such as first , second , then , after that , later , and finally . These transition words guide you and your reader through the paper as you expand your thesis. For example, if you are writing an essay about the history of the airline industry, you would begin with its conception and detail the essential timeline events up until present day. You would follow the chain of events using words such as first , then , next , and so on.

Writing at Work

At some point in your career you may have to file a complaint with your human resources department. Using chronological order is a useful tool in describing the events that led up to your filing the grievance. You would logically lay out the events in the order that they occurred using the key transition words. The more logical your complaint, the more likely you will be well received and helped.

Choose an accomplishment you have achieved in your life. The important moment could be in sports, schooling, or extracurricular activities. On your own sheet of paper, list the steps you took to reach your goal. Try to be as specific as possible with the steps you took. Pay attention to using transition words to focus your writing. Keep in mind that chronological order is most appropriate for the following purposes:

  • Writing essays containing heavy research
  • Writing essays with the aim of listing, explaining, or narrating
  • Writing essays that analyze literary works such as poems, plays, or books

When using chronological order, your introduction should indicate the information you will cover and in what order, and the introduction should also establish the relevance of the information. Your body paragraphs should then provide clear divisions or steps in chronology. You can divide your paragraphs by time (such as decades, wars, or other historical events) or by the same structure of the work you are examining (such as a line-by-line explication of a poem).

On a separate sheet of paper, write a paragraph that describes a process you are familiar with and can do well. Assume that your reader is unfamiliar with the procedure. Remember to use the chronological key words, such as first , second , then , and finally .

Order of Importance

Order of importance is best used for the following purposes:

  • Persuading and convincing
  • Ranking items by their importance, benefit, or significance
  • Illustrating a situation, problem, or solution

Most essays move from the least to the most important point, and the paragraphs are arranged in an effort to build the essay’s strength. Sometimes, however, it is necessary to begin with your most important supporting point, such as in an essay that contains a thesis that is highly debatable. When writing a persuasive essay, it is best to begin with the most important point because it immediately captivates your readers and compels them to continue reading. For example, if you were supporting your thesis that homework is detrimental to the education of high school students, you would want to present your most convincing argument first, and then move on to the less important points for your case. Some key transitional words you should use with this method of organization are most importantly , almost as importantly , just as importantly , and finally .

During your career, you may be required to work on a team that devises a strategy for a specific goal of your company, such as increasing profits. When planning your strategy you should organize your steps in order of importance. This demonstrates the ability to prioritize and plan. Using the order of importance technique also shows that you can create a resolution with logical steps for accomplishing a common goal.

On a separate sheet of paper, write a paragraph that discusses a passion of yours. Your passion could be music, a particular sport, filmmaking, and so on. Your paragraph should be built upon the reasons why you feel so strongly. Briefly discuss your reasons in the order of least to greatest importance.

Spatial Order

Spatial order is best used for the following purposes:

  • Helping readers visualize something as you want them to see it
  • Evoking a scene using the senses (sight, touch, taste, smell, and sound)
  • Writing a descriptive essay

Spatial order means that you explain or describe objects as they are arranged around you in your space, for example in a bedroom. As the writer, you create a picture for your reader, and their perspective is the viewpoint from which you describe what is around you. The view must move in an orderly, logical progression, giving the reader clear directional signals to follow from place to place. The key to using this method is to choose a specific starting point and then guide the reader to follow your eye as it moves in an orderly trajectory from your starting point. Pay attention to the following student’s description of her bedroom and how she guides the reader through the viewing process, foot by foot. Attached to my bedroom wall is a small wooden rack dangling with red and turquoise necklaces that shimmer as you enter. Just to the right of the rack is my window, framed by billowy white curtains. The peace of such an image is a stark contrast to my desk, which sits to the right of the window, layered in textbooks, crumpled papers, coffee cups, and an overflowing ashtray. Turning my head to the right, I see a set of two bare windows that frame the trees outside the glass like a 3D painting. Below the windows is an oak chest from which blankets and scarves are protruding. Against the wall opposite the billowy curtains is an antique dresser, on top of which sits a jewelry box and a few picture frames. A tall mirror attached to the dresser takes up most of the wall, which is the color of lavender. The paragraph incorporates two objectives you have learned in this chapter: using an implied topic sentence and applying spatial order. Often in a descriptive essay, the two work together. The following are possible transition words to include when using spatial order:

  • Just to the left or just to the right
  • On the left or on the right
  • Across from
  • A little further down
  • To the south, to the east, and so on
  • A few yards away
  • Turning left or turning right

On a separate sheet of paper, write a paragraph using spatial order that describes your commute to work, school, or another location you visit often. Collaboration Please share with a classmate and compare your answers.

Key Takeaways

  • The way you organize your body paragraphs ensures you and your readers stay focused on and draw connections to, your thesis statement.
  • A strong organizational pattern allows you to articulate, analyze, and clarify your thoughts.
  • Planning the organizational structure for your essay before you begin to search for supporting evidence helps you conduct more effective and directed research.
  • Chronological order is most commonly used in expository writing. It is useful for explaining the history of your subject, for telling a story, or for explaining a process.
  • Order of importance is most appropriate in a persuasion paper as well as for essays in which you rank things, people, or events by their significance.
  • Spatial order describes things as they are arranged in space and is best for helping readers visualize something as you want them to see it; it creates a dominant impression.

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a descriptive essay may follow a spatial order

10.3 Description

Learning objectives.

  • Determine the purpose and structure of the description essay.
  • Understand how to write a description essay.

The Purpose of Description in Writing

Writers use description in writing to make sure that their audience is fully immersed in the words on the page. This requires a concerted effort by the writer to describe his or her world through the use of sensory details.

As mentioned earlier in this chapter, sensory details Descriptions that appeal to our sense of sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. are descriptions that appeal to our sense of sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. Your descriptions should try to focus on the five senses because we all rely on these senses to experience the world. The use of sensory details, then, provides you the greatest possibility of relating to your audience and thus engaging them in your writing, making descriptive writing important not only during your education but also during everyday situations.

Avoid empty descriptors if possible. Empty descriptors are adjectives that can mean different things to different people. Good , beautiful , terrific , and nice are examples. The use of such words in descriptions can lead to misreads and confusion. A good day , for instance, can mean far different things depending on one’s age, personality, or tastes.

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Whether you are presenting a new product or service to a client, training new employees, or brainstorming ideas with colleagues, the use of clear, evocative detail is crucial. Make an effort to use details that express your thoughts in a way that will register with others. Sharp, concise details are always impressive.

On a separate sheet of paper, describe the following five items in a short paragraph. Use at least three of the five senses for each description.

The Structure of a Description Essay

Description essays Essays that typically describe a person, a place, or an object using sensory details. typically describe a person, a place, or an object using sensory details. The structure of a descriptive essay is more flexible than in some of the other rhetorical modes. The introduction of a description essay should set up the tone and point of the essay. The thesis should convey the writer’s overall impression of the person, place, or object described in the body paragraphs.

The organization of the essay may best follow spatial order A method of organization that arranges ideas according to physical characteristics or appearance. , an arrangement of ideas according to physical characteristics or appearance. Depending on what the writer describes, the organization could move from top to bottom, left to right, near to far, warm to cold, frightening to inviting, and so on.

For example, if the subject were a client’s kitchen in the midst of renovation, you might start at one side of the room and move slowly across to the other end, describing appliances, cabinetry, and so on. Or you might choose to start with older remnants of the kitchen and progress to the new installations. Maybe start with the floor and move up toward the ceiling.

On a separate sheet of paper, choose an organizing strategy and then execute it in a short paragraph for three of the following six items:

  • Train station
  • Your office
  • A coffee shop
  • Lobby of a movie theater

Mystery Option*

*Choose an object to describe but do not indicate it. Describe it, but preserve the mystery.

Writing a Description Essay

Choosing a subject is the first step in writing a description essay. Once you have chosen the person, place, or object you want to describe, your challenge is to write an effective thesis statement to guide your essay.

The remainder of your essay describes your subject in a way that best expresses your thesis. Remember, you should have a strong sense of how you will organize your essay. Choose a strategy and stick to it.

Every part of your essay should use vivid sensory details. The more you can appeal to your readers’ senses, the more they will be engaged in your essay. See Chapter 15 "Readings: Examples of Essays" to read a sample description essay.

On a separate sheet of paper, choose one of the topics that you started in Note 10.37 "Exercise 2" , and expand it into a five-paragraph essay. Expanding on ideas in greater detail can be difficult. Sometimes it is helpful to look closely at each of the sentences in a summary paragraph. Those sentences can often serve as topic sentences to larger paragraphs.

Mystery Option: Here is an opportunity to collaborate. Please share with a classmate and compare your thoughts on the mystery descriptions. Did your classmate correctly guess your mystery topic? If not, how could you provide more detail to describe it and lead them to the correct conclusion?

Key Takeaways

  • Description essays should describe something vividly to the reader using strong sensory details.
  • Sensory details appeal to the five human senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch.
  • A description essay should start with the writer’s main impression of a person, a place, or an object.
  • Use spatial order to organize your descriptive writing.

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  • How to write a descriptive essay | Example & tips

How to Write a Descriptive Essay | Example & Tips

Published on July 30, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on August 14, 2023.

A descriptive essay gives a vivid, detailed description of something—generally a place or object, but possibly something more abstract like an emotion. This type of essay , like the narrative essay , is more creative than most academic writing .

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Descriptive essay topics, tips for writing descriptively, descriptive essay example, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about descriptive essays.

When you are assigned a descriptive essay, you’ll normally be given a specific prompt or choice of prompts. They will often ask you to describe something from your own experience.

  • Describe a place you love to spend time in.
  • Describe an object that has sentimental value for you.

You might also be asked to describe something outside your own experience, in which case you’ll have to use your imagination.

  • Describe the experience of a soldier in the trenches of World War I.
  • Describe what it might be like to live on another planet.

Sometimes you’ll be asked to describe something more abstract, like an emotion.

If you’re not given a specific prompt, try to think of something you feel confident describing in detail. Think of objects and places you know well, that provoke specific feelings or sensations, and that you can describe in an interesting way.

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The key to writing an effective descriptive essay is to find ways of bringing your subject to life for the reader. You’re not limited to providing a literal description as you would be in more formal essay types.

Make use of figurative language, sensory details, and strong word choices to create a memorable description.

Use figurative language

Figurative language consists of devices like metaphor and simile that use words in non-literal ways to create a memorable effect. This is essential in a descriptive essay; it’s what gives your writing its creative edge and makes your description unique.

Take the following description of a park.

This tells us something about the place, but it’s a bit too literal and not likely to be memorable.

If we want to make the description more likely to stick in the reader’s mind, we can use some figurative language.

Here we have used a simile to compare the park to a face and the trees to facial hair. This is memorable because it’s not what the reader expects; it makes them look at the park from a different angle.

You don’t have to fill every sentence with figurative language, but using these devices in an original way at various points throughout your essay will keep the reader engaged and convey your unique perspective on your subject.

Use your senses

Another key aspect of descriptive writing is the use of sensory details. This means referring not only to what something looks like, but also to smell, sound, touch, and taste.

Obviously not all senses will apply to every subject, but it’s always a good idea to explore what’s interesting about your subject beyond just what it looks like.

Even when your subject is more abstract, you might find a way to incorporate the senses more metaphorically, as in this descriptive essay about fear.

Choose the right words

Writing descriptively involves choosing your words carefully. The use of effective adjectives is important, but so is your choice of adverbs , verbs , and even nouns.

It’s easy to end up using clichéd phrases—“cold as ice,” “free as a bird”—but try to reflect further and make more precise, original word choices. Clichés provide conventional ways of describing things, but they don’t tell the reader anything about your unique perspective on what you’re describing.

Try looking over your sentences to find places where a different word would convey your impression more precisely or vividly. Using a thesaurus can help you find alternative word choices.

  • My cat runs across the garden quickly and jumps onto the fence to watch it from above.
  • My cat crosses the garden nimbly and leaps onto the fence to survey it from above.

However, exercise care in your choices; don’t just look for the most impressive-looking synonym you can find for every word. Overuse of a thesaurus can result in ridiculous sentences like this one:

  • My feline perambulates the allotment proficiently and capers atop the palisade to regard it from aloft.

An example of a short descriptive essay, written in response to the prompt “Describe a place you love to spend time in,” is shown below.

Hover over different parts of the text to see how a descriptive essay works.

On Sunday afternoons I like to spend my time in the garden behind my house. The garden is narrow but long, a corridor of green extending from the back of the house, and I sit on a lawn chair at the far end to read and relax. I am in my small peaceful paradise: the shade of the tree, the feel of the grass on my feet, the gentle activity of the fish in the pond beside me.

My cat crosses the garden nimbly and leaps onto the fence to survey it from above. From his perch he can watch over his little kingdom and keep an eye on the neighbours. He does this until the barking of next door’s dog scares him from his post and he bolts for the cat flap to govern from the safety of the kitchen.

With that, I am left alone with the fish, whose whole world is the pond by my feet. The fish explore the pond every day as if for the first time, prodding and inspecting every stone. I sometimes feel the same about sitting here in the garden; I know the place better than anyone, but whenever I return I still feel compelled to pay attention to all its details and novelties—a new bird perched in the tree, the growth of the grass, and the movement of the insects it shelters…

Sitting out in the garden, I feel serene. I feel at home. And yet I always feel there is more to discover. The bounds of my garden may be small, but there is a whole world contained within it, and it is one I will never get tired of inhabiting.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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The key difference is that a narrative essay is designed to tell a complete story, while a descriptive essay is meant to convey an intense description of a particular place, object, or concept.

Narrative and descriptive essays both allow you to write more personally and creatively than other kinds of essays , and similar writing skills can apply to both.

If you’re not given a specific prompt for your descriptive essay , think about places and objects you know well, that you can think of interesting ways to describe, or that have strong personal significance for you.

The best kind of object for a descriptive essay is one specific enough that you can describe its particular features in detail—don’t choose something too vague or general.

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Caulfield, J. (2023, August 14). How to Write a Descriptive Essay | Example & Tips. Scribbr. Retrieved February 22, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/academic-essay/descriptive-essay/

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Spatial Order Organization: What Is It and How to Use it in Essay Writing

Adela B.

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According to Merriam-Webster , spatial order organization is the process of relating to space and the objects in it. In writing, it refers to a method in which ideas and elements are laid down logically according to the sequence of their location or their relationship.

Spatial order organization is like putting a disarray of elements into one specific order. It's like fitting pieces of a puzzle together to create a compelling story.

Yes, something like that.

In this article, you will learn more about what spatial order organization is and how you can use it while writing essays for high school and college.

What is Spatial Order Organization

For any kind of essay assignment, grammar, choice of words, information, and also research findings are the main characteristics that students focus on. Similarly, laying down the information in a logical order is also equally indispensable and shouldn’t be sidelined.

Unlike chronological order and other methods of writing, spatial order does not rely on time but is instead solely dependent on the location of the objects. To implement spatial order in your essays and other writing assignments, your information needs to be in an organized format and should showcase the ideas of the writer in a logical flow. It should convey the exact situation as it was observed the first time. This writing format is mostly used for descriptive essays.

Let’s take a look at a few advantages and disadvantages of spatial order organization.

Advantages of Spatial Order Organization in Writing

  • There might be times when you would have to describe and involve a lot of objects in your scene setting. In the absence of spatial order, this could lead to confusion for you and your professors, who would not be able to follow the sequence of your description. Spatial order results in clear writing.
  • A scene can be completely described using logical order. Through this logic, your professors will understand the content of your essay, no matter how complex the event or scene is.
  • The use of transition and signal words in spatial order essays is highly necessary as they connect all the ideas and details of the essay and enhance the readability of your paper.

Disadvantages of Spatial Order Organization in Writing

  • Due to the usage of sequence and order in the writing pattern of your essays, reading it can become monotonous. Hence, using it for long texts and essays should be avoided.
  • When the writer showcases all the elements of the spatial order essay in a particular arrangement, equal weight is distributed to all these elements. So, if the writer wants to emphasize on a specific aspect of the scene, or draw attention to a particular subject in the essay, they would not be able to frame that essay easily.

How to Effectively Use Spatial Order Organization in Writing?

‘Spatial order organization’ sounds fancy, but how do you use it appropriately while writing your essays? Here are six essential tips to help you use them correctly to enhance your writing.

1. Select an interesting topic

To write an attention-grabbing paragraph, you need to write on a subject that converges with the spatial organization. Brainstorming is an excellent method to come up with various topic ideas and figure out a basic content structure.

When you write your ideas down, you visually explore the concepts before making a final decision. Ask yourself a few questions:

  • What do you want to write about?
  • How will this be relevant to whoever reads it?
  • Will this topic be of interest to your readers?

2. Structure an outline

Creating an outline should be your next step, as this will make your content flow, give it direction and make it look more organized.

Don't digress from your chosen topic. Digressing will make you lose focus on your spatial structure and content, which will end up creating a negative impression of your effort.

3. Share references and examples

If you’re finding it difficult to write the content for your chosen topic, use references from the internet that will assist in forming your spatial essay.

In these types of essays, visual cues are extremely important. Since these are descriptive in nature, you would majorly be describing an event, a place, a thing, or a situation. Giving examples and references within the body will guide your readers in understanding and literally visualizing what you want to say.

Ensure that you pick a starting point and an ending point so that you can arrange all the details properly for your body paragraph.

Here’s a useful video by IELTS Liz on how to use examples in your essay

4. Construct the body paragraphs

Structuring your body paragraphs is vital. In spatial-order essays, writers have the freedom to choose any sequence, side, or process.

They can choose not to write the essay from the main character’s point of view as well as start the essay from the ending. But remember that the body paragraphs should provide clear divisions or chronological steps.

To make it easier for your readers to understand the sequence of the essay, transitional words in the body paragraphs are used to create a relationship between the full-blown information present and the concepts that are to be expanded. That gives you a high-scoring essay .

5. Use transition and signal words

The usage of transition words and signal words in spatial-order essays is very crucial. They are necessary to link the ideas of the writer and make the paragraph more coherent.

Transition words and spatial order essays go hand in hand, as they make it easier to interpret the entire scenario that the writers are trying to describe to their readers. They also help in assisting the readers in reading the essay in a spatial, logical order.

Here are some examples of transition words:

  • In spite of
  • In contrast to
  • At the same time

Signal words, on the other hand, are prepositions that denote the location, place, and position of the subject in view. Here are a few examples of spatial order signal words:

  • Across from
  • On the left
  • On the right
  • Attached to
  • At the top of
  • At that point

6. Personalize and make it self-explanatory

As you craft your spatial order essay, add a note of personalization to your paragraphs. Since these kinds of essays are laid down in a particular order and can get predictable, including personal tones and phrases can help your essay become relatable and more enjoyable.

For example, if you are writing about your college dorm room, you need to add a bit of your personality in your writing. Through this, the readers will latch on to your emotions and that personal touch, making it possible for them to visualize every detail from the writer’s point of view.

Thus, they could conjure up a visual description of your dorm room.

Now that you know the methods to keep in mind while creating a spatial order organization essay, here is an example of the same to get a clearer idea:

“ When you walk into my room, the first thing you’ll see is a queen-sized bed with its back against the wall. As you go further, you will notice an indigo carpet on the floor, right at the foot of the bed.

On the right-hand side of the bed, on the wall, you will see eight photographs of my family and friends and a large wall hanging beside it. When you look over to the left side of the bed, you will see a beautiful antique clock and my guitar placed right underneath it.

Facing the exit, there are two brown cupboards on your right and a full-body mirror leaning next to it. ”

In this passage, the reader can clearly visualize where all the items in the room are placed as they have been enlisted in the order of their location. Spatial order essays thus give structure to the description and paint a picture for the readers, making it easier to comprehend.

Spatial order organization is a primal factor for writing descriptive, logically sequenced essays.

There are many who don't focus on the sequence of their essay, and there are many who have never heard of spatial order.

These essential tips will help you use spatial order organization in your essay writing, giving you an edge over other students in class. The logical sequencing will enhance the quality of your essay and is sure to leave your teachers impressed.

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What is a spatial order in speech and in writing?

Speech spatial order is a type of logical organization pattern that describes things according to their actual location in space. Definition: this order is also called the order of place and spatial structure. And in speech, it means that the narrator describes objects using an ordered logical sequence, describing things as they look when actually observed. An example is the following model: the narrator sets himself the task of describing the room, and in the description, he uses the spatial order, so his story will begin with the entrance to the room and with a description of those objects that first catches his eye. This will be followed by a description of the middle part of the room and only at the end – its distant elements. In this way, the narrator can observe the principle of spatial order and helps the listeners create a clear and vivid idea in their minds about the object of the story.

For what type of writing is spatial order usually best?

As a rule, the principle of spatial order is best suited for descriptive writing . For example:

  • In fiction or non-fiction, when a description is required to evoke certain feelings in the reader or to tell in great detail about the location of certain objects and places. And also, in order to describe physical or social phenomena.
  • In technical and scientific literature, when a specific explanation of the operation of various mechanisms, systems and devices is required. Or if you need to make it clear to readers what the structure consists of and how its various elements interact with each other.
  • In the case of interior descriptions by designers or critics. Here, they are faced with the task of conjuring up in the imagination of readers an idea of the arrangement of furniture, decor, and everything that fills the room. Spatial order will help a lot to achieve the best result.
  • Architects and designers also often resort to using this principle.
  • Of course, spatial order is also used when writing an essay.

types of writing in spatial order

How to write a spatial order essay?

To write an essay corresponding to the spatial order, it is necessary to describe objects in accordance with their actual position relative to you. Or, if you want to describe what this or that person looks like, then your description should begin with the legs and further up, ending with the head. In addition, before you start writing such an essay, you need to have an accurate idea of what is the main purpose of this description? You must decide what result you need to achieve so as not to deviate too much from the given topic in the process of writing an essay. And in order not to miss anything while writing, you can create a structured plan that will help you stay on course, because organization is the most important element of spatial order essay.

Of course, if you are a first-time writer, then it will be quite useful for you to have the help of a specialist or professional writer who will teach you and tell you what to look for when working with spatial order. You can find such an assistant on our site Writingstatement.com , and the Internet also is a great source of inspiration and filling ideas for writing an essay. On educational portals, you can read examples of written essays in spatial order to get an idea of how to do it right. And, finally, be sure to check the finished text for semantic and logical mistakes.

Define spatial order signal words

signal words in spatial order essay

Many of these words and phrases are prepositions and are at the beginning of a sentence, and they often act as connecting conjunctions, combining the previous sentence with the new one. The main role of signal words is to create a brighter and more understandable picture for the reader, which the author is trying to convey through words and sentences, in addition, they serve to clarify and create greater order in the entire text as a whole. When writing an essay in spatial order, the use of signal words should never be neglected.

What is a chronology? Why is it used in literature?

By itself, the concept of chronology means a list of events in their time sequence. In writing, authors usually tell a story, describing successive events from beginning to the end, so that a certain structured picture is formed in the imagination of readers, which helps them better understand the essence of what they are reading about. This order in literature is called chronological order, and is the most popular among writers. However, one can often find a work in which the chronological order is not observed at all, on the contrary, it is completely turned upside down, that is, the author begins his story from the end and gradually moves towards the beginning. In this order, understanding the big picture can be a little difficult, but often this style makes the work unique and unusual.

3 types of chronology in writing

Distinguishing the chronological type of writing from the rest is quite simple, since it basically includes very specific time periods in a logical sequence. The most popular types of chronology are the following three types:

  • Linear chronology . If the author uses this type of chronology, then all the events he describes occur according to an increasing time scale. For example: “Mr. Gray woke up at 9 o’clock in the morning, at 10 am he left for work, at 3 pm he had lunch in a restaurant, and by 6 pm he returned home.” This is a typical chronological linear sequence model.
  • Reverse chronology . This is a way of storytelling in which the plot of the story is revealed in reverse order, that is, the first scene described is actually the end of the plot, and the last scene is the first in chronological order. An example is the following plot: the main character of the novel goes to bed and falls asleep, the next event described will be what preceded her falling asleep and then right up to the moment when she woke up in the morning of the day described.
  • Nonlinear chronology . This type of chronology is not similar to either the first or the second; there is no clear  sequence and order in it. There are many digressions and disparate events in this way of writing, which sometimes helps the author to create a lively, interesting and extraordinary work. However, when choosing a non-linear chronology as a writing style, it is necessary to understand that it is quite easy to lose the thread of the narrative here or go astray, therefore this style is quite difficult.

Thus, we see that each type of chronology has its own nuances and its own individual structure, which must be followed from the beginning to the very end of the work. It makes no sense to mix and intertwine types of chronology with each other, since the narrative will lose its basis and become too vague and difficult to understand.

3 rules for writing a spatial order essay

So, having dealt with the three types of chronology, signal words and the concept of spatial order, we can derive three basic rules that must be followed when writing an essay in spatial order.

Choosing the right topic

The first thing you need to do before you start working on an essay is to choose a topic and create a structured plan that answers in detail all the questions related to your topic. These questions may sound like this: What is the main goal I pursue when writing this essay? What chronological structure do I want to use? How would it be better to formulate the topic of my essay so that it clearly reflects the intention of my work? There can be a huge number of such questions, however, the clearer your idea of ​​​​the topic is, the better and richer your essay will turn out.

Arrangement of information

A very important role is played by how correctly and logically you arrange the information blocks in your essay. The narration should be consistent and coherent, and thoughts should be clearly and understandably formulated in such a way that it is convenient for the reader to receive and remember the information that you present. Map out for yourself a visual diagram of what is your starting point (the beginning of the description), and which is the end point (the end of the description).

Transitional words

The third point, which is also one of the most important. The use of transitional words is an essential attribute when writing almost any descriptive essay of a spatial order, here are some of them:

  • nevertheless
  • in the same way
  • in spite of
  • in contrast
  • at the same time
  • while this might be true
  • on the other hand
  • for example
  • for instance
  • specifically
  • to illustrate, etc.

But it is important to note one more thing, transitional words should be appropriate, they should not be too much in sentences, they should not interfere with the general understanding of the text, otherwise your work will have too much water, which will make it difficult to read.

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Spatial Order

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Students have to scratch their heads for making their writing better than their fellows. Several attempts can go in vain if writing is not done systematically. A logical line-up of sentences and good vocabulary, along with sound research, is required to do top-notch writings. A writer must have a good storyline and a vast ocean of knowledge to express their thoughts beautifully.

As it is said that one shoe doesn't fit them all, there is no strict rule to follow for writing order or patterns. however, choosing a particular way can be helpful for impressive results.

In academic essay writing, various patterns are used to represent the event logically. Some are listed below:

  • Cause and effect pattern
  • Problem solution method
  • Spatial order
  • The pattern of advantage and disadvantage
  • Order of importance
  • A pattern of chronological order

The writer or student should first analyze all the patterns carefully and choose the best one to deliver their thoughts to connect with the audience.

Holding the hands of the best assignment helper can make you stand out from the crowd.

What Is Spatial Order?

Like any other writing pattern, the spatial order pattern is written to deliver a story's plot to showcase the crucial elements of a scene by describing the events in a systematic order. The content in the pattern can be arranged in any order, either from left to right or from top to bottom.

This form of pattern can be considered descriptive writing. Through this order, the visual description of the actual scenario can be done effectively and efficiently.

Persuasive Speech Topics

How do you structure an essay using spatial order.

To kick start your writings, the first thing you need to do is brainstorm. You should have a clear picture of significant points at the backend of your mind before writing. Once your thoughts are organized and crisp, you can pen down them beautifully.

  • Know the purpose of your writing first. Keep note of the thoughts that you gathered before writing.
  • Writing is not a cakewalk for many, so it is advisable to first look at the references and have a clear understanding and idea through magazines, other published articles or sources, and write-ups.
  • To make your writing sounds interesting, the first outline your ideas. For a proper direction outlining plays a crucial role. With the help of the outline of your essay, you can come to know the order of your write-up. The writer can create some suspense or narrate the story in an orderly manner.
  • Put all the inputs in one place for an outstanding output. After doing the above steps, your writing will automatically improve to the next level.

How To Use Spatial Orders Effectively?

This pattern is widely used for writing descriptive essays. That is to describe a situation in the best possible way so that readers can visualize the actual scenario. The case is made real by using different senses like smell, touch, sound, and taste to understand better and visualize.

The technique of spatial order can be used in different ways. By following the same techniques, spatial order speech can also be delivered. While in speech, the speaker has to put the details of the place. For instance, if the speaker talks about The Taj mahal, they need to describe the story behind, architect, feel, and many other related things.

Best College Essay Topics

Meaning of chronology in writing.

Chronology is necessary to apply almost everywhere while studying or writing something to organize things in a sequence. With the help of the chronology writing style, the users understand the scene in a systematic way with minimum effort. In this form of writing, the series of events is mentioned according to the time of their occurrence.

Different Types Of Chronology

There are no such types of chronology. However, they can be delivered in the following styles:

  • Simple or linear chronology - The writer puts the incidences as they occur in this style.
  • Non-linear chronology - A series of sequential events of a story without particular order.
  • Chronology done in reverse order- This is similar to the normal one but puts scenarios in reverse order as they occur.

  Tips And Tricks Of Impromptu Speeches

What is spatial order composition and the role of chronology.

To make someone understand your thoughts is not an easy exercise. You have to take care of each aspect carefully. That's why the writers are advised to use the best combination of writing styles to engage the readers. Both the spatial order and chronology writing style have their advantages. Chronological order helps put the storyline in an appropriate order, and on the other hand, spatial order is to do for adequate visualization of the incidences. The audience can understand well when the writing is done by following both techniques.

Things to Remember While Writing Spatial Descriptive Writings

It's always better to do things appropriately. Here are some things to remember while writing:

  • Select the scene you want to showcase to your audience. Don't forget they must relate to your story, then only they will read the whole content.
  • Put them in a proper order in which you want to deliver either from top to bottom or from right to left.
  • To connect all the dots, use spatial order transition words in sentences like further, however, at the same time, etc.

Types Of Reference Letters

What are spatial order signal words.

The words used at the starting of the sentences to clearly explain the details of the place are known as spatial order signal words. By using such words in the essay writings, the readers can easily create images of the scenes in their minds, giving excellent results. Some words like beneath, behind, above, next to, between, and others like this are suitable examples of spatial order signal words.

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9.3: Description

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Learning Objectives

  • Determine the purpose and structure of the description essay.
  • Understand how to write a description essay.

The Purpose of Description in Writing

Writers use description in writing to make sure that their audience is fully immersed in the words on the page. This requires a concerted effort by the writer to describe his or her world through the use of sensory details.

As mentioned earlier in this chapter, sensory details are descriptions that appeal to our sense of sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. Your descriptions should try to focus on the five senses because we all rely on these senses to experience the world. The use of sensory details, then, provides you the greatest possibility of relating to your audience and thus engaging them in your writing, making descriptive writing important not only during your education but also during everyday situations.

Avoid empty descriptors if possible. Empty descriptors are adjectives that can mean different things to different people. Good , beautiful , terrific , and nice are examples. The use of such words in descriptions can lead to misreads and confusion. A good day , for instance, can mean far different things depending on one’s age, personality, or tastes.

writing at work

Whether you are presenting a new product or service to a client, training new employees, or brainstorming ideas with colleagues, the use of clear, evocative detail is crucial. Make an effort to use details that express your thoughts in a way that will register with others. Sharp, concise details are always impressive.

Exercise \(\PageIndex{1}\)

On a separate sheet of paper, describe the following five items in a short paragraph. Use at least three of the five senses for each description.

The Structure of a Description Essay

Description essays typically describe a person, a place, or an object using sensory details. The structure of a descriptive essay is more flexible than in some of the other rhetorical modes. The introduction of a description essay should set up the tone and point of the essay. The thesis should convey the writer’s overall impression of the person, place, or object described in the body paragraphs.

The organization of the essay may best follow spatial order, an arrangement of ideas according to physical characteristics or appearance. Depending on what the writer describes, the organization could move from top to bottom, left to right, near to far, warm to cold, frightening to inviting, and so on.

For example, if the subject were a client’s kitchen in the midst of renovation, you might start at one side of the room and move slowly across to the other end, describing appliances, cabinetry, and so on. Or you might choose to start with older remnants of the kitchen and progress to the new installations. Maybe start with the floor and move up toward the ceiling.

Exercise \(\PageIndex{2}\)

On a separate sheet of paper, choose an organizing strategy and then execute it in a short paragraph for three of the following six items:

  • Train station
  • Your office
  • A coffee shop
  • Lobby of a movie theater

*Choose an object to describe but do not indicate it. Describe it, but preserve the mystery.

Writing a Description Essay

Choosing a subject is the first step in writing a description essay. Once you have chosen the person, place, or object you want to describe, your challenge is to write an effective thesis statement to guide your essay.

The remainder of your essay describes your subject in a way that best expresses your thesis. Remember, you should have a strong sense of how you will organize your essay. Choose a strategy and stick to it.

Every part of your essay should use vivid sensory details. The more you can appeal to your readers’ senses, the more they will be engaged in your essay. See Chapter 15 to read a sample description essay.

Exercise \(\PageIndex{3}\)

On a separate sheet of paper, choose one of the topics that you started in Exercise 2, and expand it into a five-paragraph essay. Expanding on ideas in greater detail can be difficult. Sometimes it is helpful to look closely at each of the sentences in a summary paragraph. Those sentences can often serve as topic sentences to larger paragraphs.

Mystery Option: Here is an opportunity to collaborate. Please share with a classmate and compare your thoughts on the mystery descriptions. Did your classmate correctly guess your mystery topic? If not, how could you provide more detail to describe it and lead them to the correct conclusion?

Key Takeaways

  • Description essays should describe something vividly to the reader using strong sensory details.
  • Sensory details appeal to the five human senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch.
  • A description essay should start with the writer’s main impression of a person, a place, or an object.
  • Use spatial order to organize your descriptive writing.

Chapter 10 Rhetorical Modes

10.3 description, learning objectives.

  • Determine the purpose and structure of the description essay.
  • Understand how to write a description essay.

The Purpose of Description in Writing

Writers use description in writing to make sure that their audience is fully immersed in the words on the page. This requires a concerted effort by the writer to describe his or her world through the use of sensory details. As mentioned earlier in this chapter, sensory details are descriptions that appeal to our sense of sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. Your descriptions should try to focus on the five senses because we all rely on these senses to experience the world. The use of sensory details, then, provides you the greatest possibility of relating to your audience and thus engaging them in your writing, making descriptive writing important not only during your education but also during everyday situations.

Avoid empty descriptors if possible. Empty descriptors are adjectives that can mean different things to different people. Good , beautiful , terrific , and nice are examples. The use of such words in descriptions can lead to misreads and confusion. A good day , for instance, can mean far different things depending on one’s age, personality, or tastes.

Writing at Work

The structure of a description essay.

Description essays typically describe a person, a place, or an object using sensory details. The structure of a descriptive essay is more flexible than in some of the other rhetorical modes. The introduction of a description essay should set up the tone and point of the essay. The thesis should convey the writer’s overall impression of the person, place, or object described in the body paragraphs. The organization of the essay may best follow spatial order , an arrangement of ideas according to physical characteristics or appearance. Depending on what the writer describes, the organization could move from top to bottom, left to right, near to far, warm to cold, frightening to inviting, and so on. For example, if the subject were a client’s kitchen in the midst of renovation, you might start at one side of the room and move slowly across to the other end, describing appliances, cabinetry, and so on. Or you might choose to start with older remnants of the kitchen and progress to the new installations. Maybe start with the floor and move up toward the ceiling.

  • Train station
  • Your office
  • A coffee shop
  • Lobby of a movie theater
  • Mystery Option* *Choose an object to describe but do not indicate it. Describe it, but preserve the mystery.

Writing a Description Essay

Choosing a subject is the first step in writing a description essay. Once you have chosen the person, place, or object you want to describe, your challenge is to write an effective thesis statement to guide your essay. The remainder of your essay describes your subject in a way that best expresses your thesis. Remember, you should have a strong sense of how you will organize your essay. Choose a strategy and stick to it. Every part of your essay should use vivid sensory details. The more you can appeal to your readers’ senses, the more they will be engaged in your essay. See Chapter 15 “Readings: Examples of Essays” to read a sample description essay.

On a separate sheet of paper, choose one of the topics that you started in Note 10.37 “Exercise 2”, and expand it into a five-paragraph essay. Expanding on ideas in greater detail can be difficult. Sometimes it is helpful to look closely at each of the sentences in a summary paragraph. Those sentences can often serve as topic sentences to larger paragraphs. Mystery Option: Here is an opportunity to collaborate. Please share with a classmate and compare your thoughts on the mystery descriptions. Did your classmate correctly guess your mystery topic? If not, how could you provide more detail to describe it and lead them to the correct conclusion?

Key Takeaways

  • Description essays should describe something vividly to the reader using strong sensory details.
  • Sensory details appeal to the five human senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch.
  • A description essay should start with the writer’s main impression of a person, a place, or an object.
  • Use spatial order to organize your descriptive writing.
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What is Spatial Order? Description and Examples

a descriptive essay may follow a spatial order

Our topic for today is about spatial order!  For this guide, I will tackle the definition of spatial order. Moreover, I will teach you how to write one and provide you examples to illustrate what I mean. Fasten your seatbelt, for the class is in session!

This is the flow of my guide:

Contents (Clickable)

   What Is a Descriptive Essay?

Let’s have a short review of descriptive essays, as spatial order essays are useful in the latter. Descriptive essays, according to the Purdue OWL, are defined as a genre in which students are tasked to describe an object, experience, a person, and many more.

In a descriptive essay, you have to paint a picture of what you are trying to convey to the reader. Your reader has to have a mental image of what you are trying to describe.

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   what is spatial order.

In spatial order essays, objects are arranged according to their respective positions from your perspective. You can start from the left or to the right, it’s up to you.

Let’s say that Object #1 is located to the left while Object #2 is in front of the former. See what I mean?

Your objective is to provide your reader a mental image of where the objects are located. Simply put, you have to be the visual tour guide.

   List of Signal Words for Spatial Order Essays

There are various signal words that are useful in writing your spatial order essays. Here are some signal words for you:

  • To the left
  • To the right
  • Parallel to
  • Adjacent to
  • To the side

Although this is not a comprehensive list of signal words, these words are commonly seen in spatial order essays. Nevertheless, please take note of these signal words that signifies the location of an object.

Browse and download essay examples from the most full and up to date Free Online Essay Database at Homework Lab . All the examples of college essays have been donated by the students to boost your writing creativity.

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   spatial order essay outline.

I will be creating an outline to help you in writing your spatial order essay. As always, this is only a basic outline. It is subject to change depending on your preferences.

Let us pretend that we are observing the objects you see in a dining room.

  • Object #1 (Ex: wall)
  • Object #2 (Ex: picture frames)
  • Object #1 (Ex: cabinet filled with porcelain)
  • Object #2 (Ex: large vase)

Across/Front

  • Object #1 (Ex: table)
  • Object #2 (Ex: Chairs)
  • Object #3 (Ex: Plates of food)

Do you see what I did there?

An outline helps if you want your thoughts to be organized, or if you want your essay to have a consistent flow.

   How to Write a Spatial Order Essay?

I will be teaching you the basics of writing a spatial order essay. Yes, this tutorial is caters to beginners of spatial order writing.

1 Ask yourself!

Simply put, brainstorm! What do you want to write about? Do you like to describe your room? Or a big city in your imagination? It’s your call.

2 References

References can be your own photos or from the internet, even your own drawings!

If it’s your drawing, make sure it is related. A drawing of your own anime character is not counted, unless that character is part of a scene (Ex: City or inside a shop)

If it’s the latter, then you can write about it from that character’s perspective. Write about what he/she is seeing.

References are there to inspire you and to guide you.

Note: If you are describing your room, and you are IN your room… no need to take a picture.

Again, this is to organize your thoughts and the flow of your essay.

Stick to one location at a time. If you choose “right”, then focus on the said location first.

Have your list of signal words beside you. You will need it.

Don’t try to use sophisticated vocabulary, unless you know how to use them properly!

Don’t forget to edit if you see mistakes in your essay.

a descriptive essay may follow a spatial order

It’s time to write examples of spatial order essays. I will keep things simple just for you. Let’s start with a topic… I’ll write about the objects I see in front of my study table!

“On the far right corner of my study table, there is a five-layer drawer with a faded Mickey Mouse as its design. On its right sat my sibling’s dusty pink dollhouse. A two-foot black electric fan is placed just beside the dollhouse. My functioning black laptop is located just next to it, in a vain effort to cool off the device. My phone enclosed in a blue protective case and a black fine-toothed comb are nearby. My unzipped gray laptop is leaning on a row of books like a rag doll. Behind the aforementioned items are a row of books- textbooks, manga, fiction, and non-fiction. Their colorful spines decorated my study table with life. My bubble wrapped wooden sword is on top of the row of books. My pocket power supply decorated in white and green lays next to my wooden sword. A purple hairbrush is right next to it, followed by a stack of papers. A book about political theories and my furry frog pencil case lay on top of the papers.”

Okay, that was longer than I thought. The length does not matter unless your professor specified a word count. This is going to be our second example. I’m going to describe the objects I see in my room!

“In front of me is my wide wooden study table spanning from my window until about two feet away from the door. A faded Mickey Mouse drawer and a pink dollhouse sat on my study table. My study table is decorated with books I’ve acquired throughout the years. Above the study table is a wooden platform. The platform is adorned with a row of books. A foot above the row of books is my clock, hooked properly on the white wall. In front of the books are two plastic figures of ponies. The first figure is shorter. The color of its mane is a vibrant shade of pink, violet, and yellow. The second is taller by an inch or two. The blue and pink locks of mane are neatly tied in a braid. A row of seven picture frames are beside the tall action figure. Under the table is a huge purple container packed with old clothes. Above the cover of the container are pillows wrapped in a protective transparent cover. To my left is a three-foot dark brown cabinet containing my sibling’s activity books. An assortment of toys adorned the top of the cabinet. A glass bedroom table is right next to it. A large blue container filled with my costumes and props for cosplay sat beside it. My red-eared sliders are in an aquarium next to the container. The latter is supported with a steel platform. Below the platform is a blue electric fan, a trash can is stationed right beside it. To my right is a wooden cabinet constructed between a plastic five-layer drawer and a dressing table. A miniature plastic drawer containing keys and accessories is displayed at the left corner of the dressing table. On the other hand, an apple green chest containing a pouch and trinkets is located at the right corner. A long rectangular mirror is suspended on the wall just above the dressing table. It is situated between two Styrofoam stars.” There goes my second example!

For beginners, you can try to describe your room or your study table. If you have a picture of your favorite place, you can start with that too.

I would like to say: c ongratulations! You have reached the end of my guide.

Now you know that spatial order essays are spatial in their own way. You can describe your favorite place or your room using spatial organization. You can paint a picture using words.

I believe it takes time and practice to master this type of essay. Remember to keep learning! Learning doesn’t stop. Good luck on your assignments!

See you next time, dear readers!

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COMMENTS

  1. What Is Spatial Order And How To Use It In Essay?

    … So, what is spatial order? It is a type of logical organization pattern that is used in descriptive writing. Its main feature is that things are described as they appear when observed. This approach makes it easier for writers to paint a vivid picture for readers. Let's discuss this concept in detail and begin with spatial order definition.

  2. 9.3 Organizing Your Writing

    Learning Objectives Understand how and why organizational techniques help writers and readers stay focused. Assess how and when to use chronological order to organize an essay. Recognize how and when to use order of importance to organize an essay. Determine how and when to use spatial order to organize an essay.

  3. Spatial Order

    Spatial order means that you explain or describe objects as they are arranged around you in your space, for example in a bedroom. As the writer, you create a picture for your readers, and their perspective is the viewpoint from which you describe what is around you.

  4. 10.3 Description

    The organization of the essay may best follow spatial order, an arrangement of ideas according to physical characteristics or appearance. Depending on what the writer describes, the organization could move from top to bottom, left to right, near to far, warm to cold, frightening to inviting, and so on.

  5. 9.3 Organizing Your Writing

    LEARNING OBJECTIVES Understand how and why organizational techniques help writers and readers stay focused. Assess how and when to use chronological order to organize an essay. Recognize how and when to use order of importance to organize an essay. Determine how and when to use spatial order to organize an essay.

  6. 1.5: Methods of Organizing Your Writing

    The paragraph incorporates two objectives covered in this chapter: using an implied topic sentence and applying spatial order. Often in a descriptive essay, the two objectives work together. The following are possible transition words to include when using spatial order: Just to the left or just to the right; Behind; Between; On the left or on ...

  7. Organizing Your Writing

    Writing for Success Learning Objectives Understand how and why organizational techniques help writers and readers stay focused. Assess how and when to use chronological order to organize an essay. Recognize how and when to use order of importance to organize an essay. Determine how and when to use spatial order to organize an essay.

  8. 7.3: The Structure of a Description Essay

    The introduction of a description essay should set up the tone and point of the essay. The thesis should convey the writer's overall impression of the person, place, or object described in the body paragraphs. The organization of the essay may best follow spatial order, an arrangement of ideas according to physical characteristics or appearance.

  9. 5.4 Organizing Your Writing

    The paragraph incorporates two objectives you have learned in this chapter: using an implied topic sentence and applying spatial order. Often in a descriptive essay, the two work together. The following are possible transitional words and phrases to include when using spatial order: Just to the left or just to the right; Behind; Between

  10. 9.3: Organizing Your Writing

    The paragraph incorporates two objectives you have learned in this chapter: using an implied topic sentence and applying spatial order. Often in a descriptive essay, the two work together. The following are possible transition words to include when using spatial order: Just to the left or just to the right; Behind; Between; On the left or on ...

  11. GKT103: Organizing Your Writing

    The paragraph incorporates two objectives you have learned in this chapter: using an implied topic sentence and applying spatial order. Often in a descriptive essay, the two work together. The following are possible transition words to include when using spatial order: Just to the left or just to the right; Behind; Between; On the left or on ...

  12. Description

    The structure of a descriptive essay is more flexible than in some of the other rhetorical modes. The introduction of a description essay should set up the tone and point of the essay. ... The organization of the essay may best follow spatial order A method of organization that arranges ideas according to physical characteristics or appearance ...

  13. How to Write a Descriptive Essay

    Describe a place you love to spend time in. Describe an object that has sentimental value for you. You might also be asked to describe something outside your own experience, in which case you'll have to use your imagination. Imaginative descriptive essay prompts. Describe the experience of a soldier in the trenches of World War I.

  14. Spatial Order Organization: What Is It and How to Use it in Essay Writing

    Writing Advice Spatial Order Organization: What Is It and How to Use it in Essay Writing Adela B. Published September 17, 2020 Last updated Jul 27 2023 According to Merriam-Webster, spatial order organization is the process of relating to space and the objects in it.

  15. Description

    The introduction of a description essay should set up the tone and point of the essay. The thesis should convey the writer's overall impression of the person, place, or object described in the body paragraphs. The organization of the essay may best follow spatial order, an arrangement of ideas according to physical characteristics or appearance.

  16. Spatial Order And Chronology In Writing, Speech And Essay

    As a rule, the principle of spatial order is best suited for descriptive writing. For example: In fiction or non-fiction, when a description is required to evoke certain feelings in the reader or to tell in great detail about the location of certain objects and places. And also, in order to describe physical or social phenomena.

  17. 5.1 Methods of Organizing Your Writing

    Spatial order is best used for the following purposes: Helping readers visualize something as you want them to see it; Evoking a scene using the senses (sight, touch, taste, smell, and sound); Writing a descriptive essay. Spatial order means that you explain or describe objects as they are arranged around you in your space, for example in a ...

  18. 3.8 Rhetorical Modes of Writing

    The descriptive essay uses vivid, sensory details to draw a picture in words. The writer's purpose in expository writing is to explain or inform. ... The organization of the essay may best follow spatial order, which means an arrangement of ideas according to physical characteristics or appearance. Depending on what the writer describes, the ...

  19. Using Description

    The introduction of a description essay should set the tone and the point of the essay. The thesis should convey the writer's overall impression of the person, place, or object described in the body paragraphs. The organization of the essay may best follow spatial order, an arrangement of ideas according to physical characteristics or ...

  20. Spatial Order: Spatial Descriptive Writing & Spatial Order Pattern

    Some are listed below: Cause and effect pattern Problem solution method Spatial order The pattern of advantage and disadvantage Order of importance A pattern of chronological order The writer or student should first analyze all the patterns carefully and choose the best one to deliver their thoughts to connect with the audience.

  21. 9.3: Description

    The introduction of a description essay should set up the tone and point of the essay. The thesis should convey the writer's overall impression of the person, place, or object described in the body paragraphs. The organization of the essay may best follow spatial order, an arrangement of ideas according to physical characteristics or appearance.

  22. 10.3 Description

    The introduction of a description essay should set up the tone and point of the essay. The thesis should convey the writer's overall impression of the person, place, or object described in the body paragraphs. The organization of the essay may best follow spatial order, an arrangement of ideas according to physical characteristics or ...

  23. What is Spatial order? Description and Examples

    Spatial Order Essay Outline How to Write a Spatial Order Essay? What Is a Descriptive Essay? Let's have a short review of descriptive essays, as spatial order essays are useful in the latter.