Speaking to the reader
For any piece of work you write, you may feel it’s obvious what your main points are and how they link together. However, the reader has to figure this our for themselves! It's therefore your responsibility to may it easy for them and articulate your structure quickly and clearly.
"When I am marking work, I need to understand its structure straight away! I have enough to do trying to work out if a piece of work meets the marking criteria and what grade to give!"
So how do you do this? A good trick is to signpost your structure right at the start of your work in an introduction. Include a sentence or two indicating the main points you’ll be covering, and in what order. This is your promise to the reader, so make sure you stick to it.
A piece of writing flows when the reader has been primed to anticipate what is to come, and recognises it when they encounter it, with a sense of familiarity and expectations met. So try to make sure all of the points you promised to cover in your introduction are clearly signposted in the main body of your text.
To do this, make sure the terms used in your introduction appear prominently at the start of each paragraph in which they first appear. Ask yourself: could the reader get a sense of my document's structure by simply reading the introduction and the first line of each paragraph? If so, you can be pretty confident that your writing flows and reads well.
Good luck with your next assignment or project...