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Section 1.8

Revising Organization

Revise your document to produce a predictable and logical structure between and within sections. A predictable and logical structure produces overall document coherence, which allows your audience to read the document efficiently and to use its informationeffectively. Consequently, the first review of any technical document should focus on ensuring alogical and accessible structure.

Reviewing Organization

  1. If you have not already done so, divide your document into sections and subsections by inserting headings and subheadings into your document.
  2. Read over the headings and subheadings of your document. (If your document has a table of contents, review it.)
  3. Are all the elements of your document type present and in the appropriate order? If not, are there good reasons for omitting or rearranging some sections?
  4. Does each section and subsection follow logically from the preceding one?
  5. Early in the text, is there a clear road map of the entire document? (See Forecasting.) Does the document follow that road map?
  6. Review the graphics in the order presented in your document. Do they present the key information to the reader in a logical order?
  7. Read aloud the topic sentence of each paragraph of your document. Do ideas flow smoothly from paragraph to paragraph? Will the relationship between one idea and the next be clear to your audience?

Strategies for Revising Organization

  1. If appropriate, add sections, subsections, and section headings, and subheadings to make your document conform to its standard type.
  2. If appropriate, add sections and subsections to improve the logical structure and coherence of your document.
  3. If necessary, revise the forecasting statements to provide the reader with an accurate road map of the ideas that will follow.
  4. If appropriate, add new graphics and revise and rearrange old ones to provide the reader with a visual summary of the document's central ideas.

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