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Organization Practice -- Hierarchical Outline

Instructions: Try organizing the material in the following paragraph. You may use a hierarchical format, such as a "tree diagram," or the horizontal version of a tree diagram -- a "standard outline."

Ocean Currents

In general there are two types of currents which flow through the oceans. There are those which are helpful to marine life, bringing oxygen to the water far below the surface and carrying food to plants and animals. They also scatter eggs and young creatures far and wide, thus aiding the distribution of different forms of life in the sea. But at times ocean currents can be destructive. Currents which carry a marked increase in temperature often kill plants and fish by the thousands, blackening the beaches with decaying matter. The birds off the coast are affected by the shutting off of their food supply, and the warm current often carries torrential downpours which cause terrific floods.

from Gilbert, Doris Wilcox; Study in Depth
Prentice-Hall Inc., Englewood Cliffs,
N.J., 1966. Pg. 26

Click here to see an example of how the information in this paragraph could be organized.

When you are done, set your work aside, so you can't see it, and try to reproduce it from memory, to see how well it helps you to remember and understand the material.


Updated: November 9, 2011

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