How To Organize a Paper: The Martini Glass Format

Martini Glass

What is the Martini Glass?

The Martini Glass format of organizing a document is very similar to the Hourglass format. It is quite common to see the Martini Glass method called the Hourglass, as they are so similar. However, there are a few differences in the way that they work.

The Martini Glass method begins with a typical Inverted Pyramid style beginning, giving the essential details, but then it gives a detailed description of what happened in a situation, often in chronological order, and ends with a kicker.

When Do I Use the Martini Glass?

You would want to use the Martini Glass when writing about specific, chronological events. It is a model that provides for detailed explanations of the events and what has occurred.

It is especially useful for providing a detailed recap of something like a sporting event. Plus, the Martini Glass gives room for being entertaining and even a bit funny in your writing.

If you find yourself wanting to write “And then this happened, then this happened, then this happened…” then this is the method for you.

How Does the Martini Glass Work?

The Martini Glass covers the most important information first, then transitions into providing a series of events in chronological order, then presents a strong concluding statement, also known as the kicker. The following are necessary requirements to form the Martini Glass Format

  1. Inverted Pyramid Beginning: This details the “who,” “what,” “when,” “where,” and “why” of a piece. It gives readers the information that they need to know right away, without needing to wade through many details that they may not want.
  2. The Transition: This is a brief statement that indicates the shift to the chronological piece of the story.
  3. The Recap: This is the chronological piece of the story. Here you write step-by-step details of the event.
  4. The Kicker: This is the solid concluding statement. It should be something memorable that you leave your reader with. It is often a surprising twist, a strong closing quote, something interesting, or even down-right funny.

Example of the Martini Glass

Imagine that you are working at an elementary school and are covering the annual students versus teachers baseball game.

You would begin by covering the basics:

Who: 5th grade students and the faculty at Cotton Meadows Elementary School

What: Played a Game of Baseball

When: Last Friday

Where: On the school field

Why: It’s a tradition at the school that is being continued.

From here, you would use a transition statement such as “The announcer provided this detailed description of the game.”

Then you go into a recap of the game, stating the points scored in each inning, any notable plays made by the players involved, etc.

To end, you may say something like “In the end, Mr. Russell, a 4th grade teacher, made the winning run, but split his pants while doing so.”