Like pyramids, webs and networks organize ideas into meaningful clusters and identify how the clusters are related. Here, however, the design tends to be more freeform and open-ended, with less rigid ranking and with numerous cross links among categories.
A paragraph is a visual cue for readers. The indentation at the beginning, like the capital letter at the start of a sentence, signals your reader that a new thought unit is about to begin. Just as sentences gather words and phrases into units of meaning, these sentences are gathered into paragraphs. The paragraphs, in turn, may be gathered into major subdivisions.
Unlike pyramid charts and cluster maps, which can show complex organizational relationships in a single glance, your writing itself is sequential. Readers don't encounter your ideas all at once but one after another.
Even though you've organized everything carefully, your paper may still feel somewhat choppy and disjointed. All the pieces are in place, yet the writing lacks fluidity, rhythm, continuity. The methods used to achieve this fluid quality are called transitional devices. These techniques will help you emphasize the links between levels on a pyramid or between chunks on a cluster map.
As the user of a word processor, you have access to the program's Outline feature, which you may find useful. It's often found on the View or Tools menu. Once you become familiar with it, the outliner can help you establish and arrange complex organizational categories and subcategories.
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