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The Architecture of Writing: What It Is, How it Works, and Why It's Powerful

If you have been following my work or Trivium Writing, you will have heard about the method called The Architecture of Writing (AoW). AoW is Trivium Writing’s foundation and a large part of its intellectual property.

The Architecture of Writing (AoW) is an innovative approach to English Language Arts (ELA) instruction that revolutionizes how writing is learned. 

By integrating writing into the architectural profession, AoW emphasizes the close relationship between writing and the built environment. This methodology enhances documentation, communication, and education, fostering critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making.

In this article, we'll explore exactly what The Architecture of Writing is, how it works, and why it’s powerful. By the time you are done reading, you’ll have a clear understanding of the methodology, understand its basic components, and know whether you would like to learn it more in-depth.

Table of Contents

What Is The Architecture of Writing?

Structured into three distinct “architectures," AoW is a multifaceted instructional methodology for English Language Arts. This holistic approach ensures a comprehensive understanding of writing and aligns perfectly with individual and institutional goals.

The Architecture of Writing

The methodology operates on two principal levels: text and grammar.

The first level (external) delves into grammar analysis, breaking down the structure of the English language into its fundamental components: sentences, clauses, phrases, and parts of speech.

This granular approach to grammar is crucial in enhancing proficiency in writing mechanics and clarity of expression.

The second level (internal) encompasses text analysis, focusing on the macro aspects of writing, such as topic, text or chapter, paragraph, and sentence structure.

This level is instrumental in developing abilities to construct and interpret texts coherently and meaningfully. It is similar to the concept of literary architecture, where narratives are structured similarly to the design and construction of physical buildings.

The third level (philosophical) explores the underlying principles and deeper meaning behind writing, delving into the purpose, ethics, and impact of written communication.

This level encourages learners to reflect on the "why" of writing—why they are writing, for whom, and what they aim to achieve through their words.

The Architecture of Grammar

Integral to The Architecture of Writing is the Architecture of Grammar (AoG).

AoG is a comprehensive and engaging textbook that has been implemented successfully in schools and colleges. While AoG is particularly suited for teachers and students, its insights and methodologies can profoundly impact any person who wants to improve their writing skills.

Banner AoG

Feedback from faculty and students on AoG has been overwhelmingly positive. Moreover, the results have proven that The Architecture of Grammar significantly boosts student results. 

Notably, a 2021 study conducted at Green Valley College, which implemented The Architecture of Writing and used The Architecture of Grammar textbook in its Purposive Communication course, found that 85.7% of students scored 80% or above when assessed on grammar after using The Architecture of Grammar. This represented a very significant increase from previous years.

Faculty members have noted a significant depth in students’ understanding of grammar, which is foundational for effective communication. AoG's consistency and comprehensiveness, compared to other textbooks, make it a preferred resource for both teaching and learning grammar.

Students have also expressed appreciation for AoG, highlighting its ease of understanding and engaging content.

Unlike traditional textbooks, AoG's unique structure and approachable language make learning grammar enjoyable and effective. Many students expressed their desire to recommend AoG to others, emphasizing its utility and appeal in grammar education.


The Origins of The Architecture of Writing

Seven years ago, Nadia walked into my life and helped me give birth to The Architecture of Writing.

Nadia was a computer scientist who had moved from Pakistan to Canada.

As she was completing her master's degree, Nadia was deeply immersed in her academic research desperately needed writing help. But not just any help. She needed someone who could guide her without actually writing for her, as that would be plagiarism.

That's where I came in, with my background as a professional writer, published author, and writing coach. Nadia's struggle wasn't unique, but it was profound. She had never been taught to write in a way that clicked with her scientific mindset.

Truth be told, I hadn’t been trained to teach someone like her either.

But necessity is the mother of invention. I grabbed a legal pad, started sketching out analogies, and built models—tools that resonated with her logic-driven brain. The journey wasn’t without its stumbles, though.

Translating these concepts into something Nadia could use felt like deciphering an ancient code.

Yet, as we progressed, it was clear we were breaking ground. The proof? Her academic supervisor accused her of hiring a ghostwriter because her writing had leapfrogged in quality seemingly overnight. “Well, damn,” I thought.

(I have no pictures of the original legal pad, but the models looked like this.)


How The Architecture of Writing Developed

As I noticed progress with Nadia, I began refining and teaching these analogies and frameworks to others, gathering their feedback. The comments were consistently positive: “Why has no one ever taught me writing this way?” “This is completely game-changing.” “This makes writing so easy!”

People were astounded by how straightforward and transformative it made the writing process. That’s when I realized I had something truly valuable. And that’s when The Architecture of Writing was born.

Working at the Writing Center

I then poured years into developing this into a robust methodology while juggling my gigs as a writer and coach. My goal was to rethink how we communicate our ideas effectively.

During this journey, I founded Trivium Writing, a company that offers writing, coaching, consulting, and education services rooted in The Architecture of Writing.

Since 2020, we've contributed to over 20 book creations, built a dozen websites, and guided over 75 clients and 2,510 customers toward clearer, more impactful writing.

Trivium Writing

Why does The Architecture of Writing work? Because it speaks to real people doing real things. It’s for the goal chasers, the truth seekers, and the self-improvers. It’s for anyone who feels their ideas deserve a spotlight but feels hindered by their writing.

The Gaps Addressed by The Architecture of Writing

Through my work and research, I identified and sought to address several key issues in writing education.

Here’s a breakdown of what I discovered:

Mechanics of Creative Writing

The decline in teaching traditional methods like sentence diagramming has impacted students’ understanding of sentence structure and grammar.

Historical methods such as sentence diagramming, popular before the 1960s, provided a visual and analytical approach to understanding sentence construction. These methods often included various materials such as workbooks and guides that helped students grasp complex grammatical concepts.

Recent interest in these methods, however, suggests their potential to improve writing clarity and comprehension.

Writing Skills in Graduates

Many students still lack proper writing skills when they graduate high school.

This is evident in the workplace, where employers often find college graduates lacking satisfactory writing abilities. The lack of rigorous writing practice in certain schools, such as the requirement to write lengthy papers and detailed analyses, contributes to this deficiency.

The focus on testing other skills over substantial writing exercises has led to a decline in students’ ability to construct coherent and well-reasoned written arguments.

Teachers' Comfort with Writing

A significant challenge in writing instruction is that many teachers are uncomfortable with writing.

This discomfort can impede their ability to teach writing effectively. The importance of teachers being proficient in writing is underscored by the fact that good writers can better impart writing skills to students.

I created The Architecture of Writing to address these issues and provide a clear and simple solution to teaching writing. I built the method based on the practical realities of students from all walks of life and all ages.

By now, the method has proved successful for native-English speakers and non-native-English speakers alike in different regions of the world and cultures.

How The Architecture of Writing Works

The Architecture of Writing (AoW) operates on a comprehensive and multi-level framework designed to simplify how writing is taught and learned.

The methodology is meticulously crafted to cover all aspects of writing, from text analysis and grammar to the deeper, philosophical considerations of communication.

By addressing these three distinct yet interconnected levels—internal, external, and philosophical—AoW provides a holistic approach that equips learners with the tools they need to write with clarity, precision, and purpose.

The Architecture of Writing

Visual Frameworks and Graphics

The method is grounded in the principles of Multimodal Learning Theory (Mayer, 2009), which emphasizes the power of combining visual and verbal learning.

By articulating a clear vision for writing and design, The Architecture of Writing helps writers and designers convey their thoughts and ideas effectively.

By integrating these elements, learners gain a clearer understanding of writing structures, fostering crucial writing skills for business, academic, and personal purposes.

Inquiry-Based Learning Approach

Understanding the ‘why’ behind writing is pivotal in The Architecture of Writing.

The Architecture of Writing aligns with inquiry-based learning (Pedaste et al., 2015), which encourages students to delve deeper into their learning, enhances engagement, and promotes critical thinking skills.

This aspect supports the highest standards in both traditional pedagogy and adult learning.

Simplified and Streamlined Instruction

Recognizing the challenges of cognitive overload, The Architecture of Writing is streamlined and efficient, reflecting Cognitive Load Theory (Kalyuga, 2007).

By simplifying essential writing skills, learners can better grasp complex concepts, a strategy that aligns with the essential need to focus on clarity and coherence in writing.

Framework as an Analytical Tool

Utilizing frameworks as tools for analysis, The Architecture of Writing fosters metacognitive skills in students (Dignath & Büttner, 2008).

This approach helps learners critically analyze their writing, making them reflective and self-regulating "writing architects."

The Three Pillars of The Architecture of Writing

The Architecture of Writing is built upon three fundamental pillars that create a comprehensive and cohesive framework for mastering writing.

These pillars—internal, external, and philosophical architectures—address the various dimensions of writing, from the structural and mechanical to the conceptual and ethical.

With 8 components per pillar, The Architecture of Writing consists of 24 components. These 24 components alone give learners everything they need to become effective writers. 

Pillar #1: External Architecture

The External Architecture delves into grammar analysis, breaking down the structure of the English language into its fundamental components: sentences, clauses, phrases, and parts of speech.

The External Architecture consists of 8 levels:

The External Architecture

This granular approach to grammar is crucial for enhancing proficiency in writing mechanics and clarity of expression. By focusing on the external elements of writing, learners gain a deeper understanding of the rules and patterns that govern language.

This knowledge allows them to write with precision and confidence, ensuring that their communication is correct but also impactful and engaging.

Pillar #1: Internal Architecture

The Internal Architecture of Writing focuses on text analysis and emphasizes the macro aspects of writing, such as topic selection, chapter organization, paragraph construction, and sentence structuring.

The Internal Architecture consists of 8 levels:

The Internal Architecture

This level is instrumental in developing the ability to construct and interpret text coherently and meaningfully, much like how architects design and organize a building's blueprint.

By understanding the internal structure of texts, learners can create well-organized, logical, and compelling narratives.

This approach enhances their ability to convey ideas effectively, ensuring that each piece of writing is built on a solid foundation of clarity and purpose.

Pillar #3: Philosophical Architecture

The Philosophical Architecture examines the deeper principles and meanings behind writing, addressing the purpose, ethics, and impact of written communication. This level encourages learners to reflect on why they write, for whom they write, and what they aim to achieve through their words.

The Philosophical Architecture consists of 8 levels:

Internal Architecture

By engaging with the philosophical aspects of writing, students develop a greater awareness of their voice and the power of their message.

They consider the broader implications of their writing, such as its influence on readers, its contribution to societal discourse, and its alignment with personal values and beliefs.

This reflective approach transforms writing from a technical skill into a thoughtful and impactful practice, capable of inspiring, informing, and provoking thought.

Why The Architecture of Writing is Powerful

Just as a story in cinematography, cooking, or architectural design can be enriched by elements like color theory and structural forms, writing too can be inspired by these analogies to expand the understanding of storytelling.

AoW is a transformative approach that empowers learners to achieve their full potential in writing by comparing the process to other disciplines.

By addressing both the structural and grammatical aspects of writing, it fosters a deeper understanding and proficiency that goes beyond traditional instruction.

Here’s why The Architecture of Writing is so powerful:

It Enhances Writing Proficiency

AoW equips learners with a robust command of writing, allowing them to meet and surpass academic and professional benchmarks.

The methodology emphasizes both macro and micro elements of writing, such as text structure and grammar mechanics, ensuring a holistic improvement in writing skills.

By mastering these components, learners can construct well-organized, coherent, and impactful writing for academic papers, business reports, or creative projects.


For instance, deconstructing a short story into its basic elements and analyzing the relationship of each part to the overall structure can significantly enhance one's ability to design and build compelling narratives.

AoW not only helps students achieve higher grades but also prepares professionals to produce high-quality documents that stand out in competitive environments.

It Increases Engagement

One of the standout features of The Architecture of Writing is its ability to engage learners through visual frameworks and inquiry-based learning.

By incorporating visual aids and structured diagrams, the methodology makes complex writing concepts more accessible and easier to understand. This visual component, combined with a focus on understanding the ‘why’ behind writing techniques, keeps learners interested and motivated.

Engaging activities, practical exercises, and telling compelling stories further enhance participation, making the learning process dynamic and enjoyable. This heightened engagement leads to better retention of concepts and a more profound appreciation for the art of writing.

It's Scalable and Adaptable

The Architecture of Writing's flexibility allows it to be scaled and adapted to various contexts, making it suitable for a wide range of learners.

Whether you're a high school student, a college graduate, or a seasoned professional, the principles of AoW can be tailored to meet your specific needs. This adaptability ensures that learners at different levels and from diverse backgrounds can benefit from the methodology.

This scalability also means that educational institutions and professional organizations can integrate AoW into their curricula or training programs with ease, providing consistent and effective writing instruction across the board.

It Supports Professional and Personal Development

For professionals and entrepreneurs, The Architecture of Writing offers invaluable strategies for producing compelling, clear, and effective written communication.

In the business world, the ability to convey ideas succinctly and persuasively is crucial. AoW teaches professionals how to structure their writing to achieve maximum impact, whether drafting emails, creating marketing content, or preparing reports.

group of people sitting beside rectangular wooden table with laptops

By improving their writing skills, professionals can enhance their credibility, influence, and overall effectiveness in their roles. Entrepreneurs, in particular, can leverage these skills to craft persuasive pitches, clear business plans, and engaging content that drives business success.

Long-Term Benefits of The Architecture of Writing Method

The benefits of mastering The Architecture of Writing extend far beyond immediate writing tasks. Drawing inspiration from the fields of architecture and engineering, AoW takes a practical and logical approach to writing that helps people from all disciplines hone their skills.

The skills learned through AoW have long-lasting implications, fostering critical thinking, analytical abilities, and effective communication. These competencies are essential in various domains, including education, business, and personal development.

Learners who internalize the principles of AoW become more adept at organizing their thoughts, presenting arguments logically, and engaging their audience. This foundation in clear and coherent writing enhances overall cognitive abilities and supports lifelong learning and professional growth.

Ultimately, The Architecture of Writing empowers individuals to express themselves confidently and persuasively in any context.

Who Should Use The Architecture of Writing

The Architecture of Writing (AoW) is designed for anyone looking to enhance their writing skills, whether for academic, professional, or personal purposes.

Here's a closer look at who can benefit from this innovative methodology:


From high school to graduate school, students at all levels can significantly benefit from AoW.

The method provides a structured approach to writing that helps students understand and master the mechanics and the art of writing.

By breaking down complex writing tasks into manageable components, AoW enables students to produce clear, coherent, and compelling essays, research papers, and creative projects.


Teachers and professors can use AoW to enhance their writing instruction.

The methodology offers a clear, systematic approach to teaching writing, making it easier to explain complex concepts and improve students' writing skills.

AoW also provides valuable resources, such as The Architecture of Grammar textbook, which can be integrated into the curriculum to support effective writing education.


In the business world, clear and effective communication is crucial. AoW equips professionals with the tools to write persuasive emails, reports, proposals, and marketing content.


Articulating ideas clearly and persuasively is essential for securing funding, attracting customers, and growing a business. Entrepreneurs can leverage AoW to craft compelling business plans, pitches, and marketing materials.

Writers and Authors 

For aspiring and established writers alike, AoW provides a robust framework for planning and structuring their work. By applying the principles of literary architecture, writers can create well-organized, engaging, and thought-provoking narratives.

Non-Native English Speakers

AoW is particularly beneficial for non-native English speakers who want to improve their writing proficiency. The methodology breaks down the complexities of English grammar and text structure, making it easier to grasp and apply.

By following AoW, non-native speakers can achieve greater fluency and confidence in their writing.

Lifelong Learners

Anyone with a passion for self-improvement and a desire to communicate more effectively can benefit from AoW. Whether you’re looking to write better emails, improve your social media presence, or express your thoughts more clearly, AoW provides the tools and strategies to enhance your writing skills.

How to Get Started With The Architecture of Writing

Embarking on your journey with The Architecture of Writing is straightforward and rewarding.

Follow these steps to get started and make the most of this transformative methodology:

Step 1: Download the PDF Guide

To begin, download our comprehensive PDF guide, which provides an in-depth overview of The Architecture of Writing.

The guide includes detailed explanations of the methodology’s components, practical exercises, and visual frameworks to help you grasp the concepts quickly and effectively.

Step 2: Familiarize Yourself with the Three Pillars

Start by understanding the three fundamental pillars of AoW: External, Internal, and Philosophical Architecture.

Each pillar addresses a different aspect of writing, from grammar and text structure to the deeper purposes and ethical considerations of written communication.

Familiarizing yourself with these pillars will give you a solid foundation upon which to build.

Step 3: Utilize The Architecture of Grammar (AoG)

Incorporate The Architecture of Grammar textbook into your learning or teaching process to address any possible grammar gaps. 

AoG offers a detailed breakdown of English grammar, making it easier to understand and apply. Use it alongside the AoW methodology to enhance your writing style, mechanics, and clarity.

Step 4: Engage in Practical Exercises

Our PDF guide includes a variety of practical exercises designed to reinforce your learning.

These exercises will help you apply the principles of AoW to real writing tasks, from drafting essays and reports to crafting compelling narratives.

Regular practice will solidify your understanding and improve your writing skills.

Step 5: Reflect on Your Writing Purpose

Take time to reflect on the philosophical aspects of writing.

Consider why you write, who your audience is, and what you hope to achieve with your words. This reflection will deepen your connection to your writing and enhance its impact and meaning.

Step 6: Seek Feedback and Iterate

Writing is a continuous process of improvement.

Seek feedback on your work from peers, mentors, or writing coaches. Use the feedback to refine your writing, and don’t hesitate to revisit the AoW principles and exercises as you progress. Iteration and practice are key to mastering the methodology.

Step 8: Apply AoW in Various Contexts

As you become more comfortable with AoW, apply its principles to different writing contexts.

Whether you’re working on academic papers, professional documents, or personal projects, use the structured approach of AoW to enhance your writing. The versatility of AoW ensures that you can adapt its strategies to any writing task.

By following these steps and utilizing the resources provided in our PDF guide, you’ll be well on your way to mastering The Architecture of Writing. Embrace the journey, and watch your writing transform into a powerful tool for communication and expression.

Leandre Larouche

Article by Leandre Larouche

Leandre Larouche is a writer, coach, and the founder of Trivium Writing.