What is Spatial Order in Writing?

If one wishes to write quality essays, then he needs to have more than just good command over the English language. First of all, one should know that having a good command over the English language does not ensure good writing skills as well. It is surely one of the elements that make a good writer but there are many more elements that one needs to be able to write well.

The usage of words or word choice is one of these elements. A good writer will always know which word should be used where. The English language has a plethora of words that have similar meanings. Tens of words mean the same thing. But a good writer would know what others won’t. He would understand that there is a reason the words are different. He would know the correct place to use each of these words. In fact, this is one of the tiny things and a minute quality that differentiate good writers from average ones. The quality lies in the details. And good writers are always aware of the minute details that others don’t really care about.

Another element that makes a good writer is the organization of the words. While anyone can write, good or bad, but not everyone has the skill to structure and organize the words in an appealing manner.

In the case of Essay writing, organization of the content and words plays quite an important role. It is the organization of the text that presents to the readers the logical development and representation of the ideas. The organization of the text more or less decides the quality of the essay and what kind of an appeal it is going to have to the readers.

Therefore, a writer, while writing an essay, needs to be very careful of the text structure and the cohesive parts.

The text structure decides how the ideas are drawn together, and the cohesive organization determines how well the details inside the essay are stuck and glued together.

What is Spatial Order?

Well, the dictionary meaning of the word ‘spatial’ is ‘of relating to space and the relationship of objects within it’. The term ‘Spatial order’ means the method of writing in which the ideas or the elements in an essay are arranged in the order of their physical location. In other words, Spatial Order can be defined as the method of organizing content in a way that the details, or ideas, or the elements of an essay are described in the order of their location (in space). Usually, this logical progression of a view inside an essay moves from the left to right or/and top to bottom.

Most of the writers, while writing an essay, focus on the content, choice of words, grammar, and many other things, but spatial order is something that most of the writers are not even aware of and thus, they do not use it in the essays.

Spatial order is also called the order of space structure or place. The order is used to describe the things in the order of their appearance as observed by an individual.

Spatial order is quite important for some types of writing. For instance, if an architect wants to describe the design of a building that has been created, the spatial order of writing would come in very handy. Similarly, when a technical writer needs to describe how a mechanism works, spatial order would be very helpful. In fact, in both these situations, it would be mandatory for the writer to employ the spatial order in writing in order to make sure that the readers understand the mechanism of the design clearly.

Many writers and readers confuse the spatial order with the chronological order of writing. In fact, most of the readers tend to think that they are one and the same. However, it does not change the fact that they are absolutely different. As a writer, you should always remember that unlike chronological order and the other organizational methods for data, spatial order does not take into account the time. Spatial order is primarily focused on the location. All it does is take into account the location of objects and not the time. This is one of the biggest distinctions between spatial order and the other organizational methods of data in writing.

Transitional words for Spatial order:

As already mentioned, most of the students and writers find it difficult to identify the implementation of spatial order. If you are one such student or writer, then all you need to do is look for the transitional phrases or words for spatial order.

Keep in mind that a spatial order comes with a defined set of transitive words and phrases that are meant to be looked for by the writers and readers to identify or distinguish between the parts of the spatial ordering of a paragraph or argument. Some of these words are: alongside, above, beneath, behind, beyond down, in back, in front, to the right of, to the left of, under, up, and farther along.

These words and phrases are quite critical and crucial. To a good writer, they indicate the use and implementation of the spatial order, and to a reader, they prove to be very helpful to move spatially through a paragraph, especially in case of the paragraphs that are meant to describe a scene or setting in a text or poetry. For instance, if a writer is talking about a room in a story, he can simply mention a room as a whole. But if he decides to describe the individual details of the room, he would have to use spatial order. The description would involve the relative position of all the objects inside the room with respect to the others. For instance, it can be written that cupboard is next to the chairs, which is in front of the master bed.

From the above example, it can be clearly understood that whenever a writer feels the need to describe some objects in order of their location in space or their relative position with respect to each other, it can only be done with the help of spatial order in writing.

How Spatial order can be used in writing:

As already mentioned, the best and the most appropriate place to use a spatial organization or spatial order is in the descriptions of scenes and setting. However, it can also be utilized whenever there is any need to give instructions or directions. The spatial order of writing provides the logical progression of one thing as it is related to another in a written scene or setting. This quality of this order or this style of writing is the reason it should be used by all the writers whenever they are writing about a setting.

However, one demerit of using this is that all the objects that are described tor included in a scene end up carrying the same amount of importance. It becomes difficult for a writer to ascribe more importance to one particular object when needed. Therefore, it is advised that the writers do not use this method of description while describing all kinds of settings. There are times when the story demands the writer to point out some of the objects particularly and give special emphasis and importance to these things. In such scenes, the spatial order of writing should be avoided. If it is used in such scenes, it should be done carefully.

Keeping in mind the above-mentioned demerit or disadvantage of using spatial order, the purpose or the intention of describing a scene or occurrence should be decided before deciding which organization method should be used to present the content. It is true that the spatial order is the best and the most common organization method used in scene descriptions, but at times, the chronological method of simply stream-of-consciousness turns out to be the most suitable organization method to convey a meaning or make a point.

There is a simple way in which the writers use spatial order in their writings. As a student, you can use this approach or this way to implement spatial order in your essay.

The first thing to be done is to decide what is it that needs to be described in the very beginning of the essay or the story. It is obvious that there will be a lot of scenes ( in case of a story) or a lot of paragraphs (in case of an essay). Once this is decided, the next step is to work out the details of that scene. It is important to work out all the important details of the scene. Once this is done, it should be decided that which details will be prominently presented to the readers. The next step is to describe all the elements of the scene in a logical order.

In case of spatial order, it is the writer’s choice whether he wishes to describe the details of the scene from right to left, left to right, or top to bottom. As a writer, you can choose any of these approaches. You may even start from a point away from the main character. Even if, in the story, the readers are viewing the scene from the eyes of the main character, it is not mandatory for the writer to start from a point near him.

However, it is very important that the writer uses transition words to form a logical relationship between the details or objects presented in the scene.

Advantages of Spatial order in writing:

There are many advantages to using this method of organization in writing. However, for a student who wants to use this method for the sole purpose of writing his essays and assignments, it can be difficult to understand all the advantages and disadvantages.

Here are some of the advantages of using Spatial order in writing:

  1. By using the spatial order of writing, the elements of a scene can be arranged in the order of their appearance in space. Many times, while describing a scene of a paragraph in a piece of content, one can be in the situation of having to involve a lot of elements or objects. To avoid any confusion while describing such a scene, it is best that spatial order is used.
  1. By using the spatial order, you can describe a scene in an absolutely logical order. This logic or reason becomes really crucial for the paragraph. It is because of this logical order only that the readers get to understand the text written. No matter how many elements are there in a paragraph or how complex the setting of a scene is, if you use the spatial order of writing, your readers will be able to understand the intended meaning of the paragraph.
  1. In the spatial order of writing, the use of transitional words is involved. And because of these transitional words, the readability of the content is enhanced. Because of these transitional words, it becomes a lot easier for the readers to grasp the meaning of the content.
  1. As already mentioned, most of the budding writers do not know much about the Spatial order of writing. Therefore, as a student, if you implement spatial order in one of your essays or one of your assignments, it gives you an edge over the other students of your class. Spatial order gives your essay a distinctive appeal. It indicates to your professor or your supervisor that you have put in more effort than all your peers or classmates. Moreover, it surely enhances the quality of your assignment or essay. If you employ spatial order in your assignment, it will become easier for the supervisor to understand your content. With better understanding, he will be more likely to grant you a grade that you would have been expecting.

Therefore, a budding writer or a student who gets assignments to write essays frequently should definitely read about the Spatial order in order to understand enough to be able to employ it in his writings.

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