Category II - Organization/Theme Structure

This category refers to the overall design of the work and the way in which the thesis and its argument are related. The work needs to have a stated or clearly implied thesis and any necessary qualifiers to make the thesis precise. The thesis needs to be focused enough to be covered adequately in a 500-600 word essay (or the particular required length). The thesis also needs to be substantiated by appropriate evidence and a clearly organized, fairly reasoned argument. Moreover, the essay probably should not be of the "five paragraph" type. It is more important that the work reflect an arrangement of the thesis and its reasons or ideas which is comprehensive, coherent, and engaging. In fact, sophisticated organizational structures are encouraged because they can help thoroughly explain complex ideas.

In addition to a clear and logical arrangement, the work must contain the necessary transitions which explain how the thesis and its reasons or ideas are related. The cohesive ties and transitional devices need to be written so that the work coheres. Coherence is needed between the thesis and supporting ideas, from paragraph to paragraph, and within each paragraph.

The following questions may be useful in determining whether the work is focused, organized, and coherent:

If the answers to the above questions are positive or generally positive with minor problems, then the work is passing in the organization/theme category. Two or three problems in this category may indicate that the work is not passing.

Go to [AREA I] Audience
Go to [AREA III] Development
Go to [AREA IV] Sentence Structure
Go to [AREA V] Word Choice
Go to [AREA VI] Grammar/Usage/Mechanics