Paragraph Development

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Developing Unified and Coherent Paragraphs

A paragraph is unified when every sentence develops the point made in the topic sentence. It must have a single focus and it must contain no irrelevant facts. Every sentence must contribute to the paragraph by explaining, exemplifying, or expanding the topic sentence. In order to determine whether a paragraph is well developed or not, ask yourself: "What main point am I trying to convey here?" (Topic sentence) and then "Does every sentence clearly relate to this idea?" There are several ways in which you can build good, clear paragraphs. This section will discuss three of the most common types of paragraph structure: development by detail, comparison and contrast, and process. Finally, it will suggest that most paragraphs are built of a combination of development strategies.

Methods of Paragraph Development

* Paragraph Development by Detail/Particular
* This is the most common and easiest form of paragraph development: you simply expand on a general topic sentence using specific examples or illustrations. Look at the following paragraph (you may have encountered it before): * Example:

Work tends to be associated with non-work-specific environments, activities, and schedules. If asked what space is reserved for learning, many students would suggest the classroom, the lab or the library. What about the kitchen? The bedroom? In fact, any room in which a student habitually studies becomes a learning space, or a place associated with thinking. Some people need to engage in sports or other physical activity before they can work successfully. Being sedentary seems to inspire others. Although most classes are scheduled between 8:30 and 22:00, some students do their best work before the sun rises, some after it sets. Some need a less flexible schedule than others, while a very few can sit and not rise until their task is completed. Some students work quickly and efficiently, while others cannot produce anything without much dust and heat. * The topic sentence makes a general claim: that school work tends not to be associated only with school. The rest of the sentences provide various illustrations of this argument. They are organised around the three categories, "environment, activities, and schedules," enumerated in the topic sentence. The details provide the concrete examples which your reader will use to evaluate the credibility of your topic sentence.

* Paragraph Development by Description
* Description is a method of paragraph development wherein you create vivid pictures or images of a story or instance through the use of words. Normally, adjectives are used in this method. In writing a descriptive paragraph, you need to make use of sensory details, i.e.—details which comes to your senses (smell, touch, taste, hearing and sight).

* Example:
           I believe many men, if not all, have their own standards of an ideal girl apart mostly from the most obvious one which is more of a physical judgment with women (one that has a "coke-like body," one who's mestiza, with long black shiny hair, etc, etc. etc..). Of course, I can't deny that women having such qualities are sexually appealing for all Adams and I would regard it to be even nicer and a great blessing if my "soul mate" would possess such qualities as well as a similar degree of beauty within. I don't really need an "accessory" type of a girlfriend (one who men only courts for the purpose of bragging about her appeal among his friends and peers). As all humans have their individual flaws, she should be honest to show who she is and not being pretentious about who she should be in front of my friends and family. She should, however, know how to control herself at a certain degree. She should also be knowledgeable about the proper etiquette of a woman because in the near future, she would carry my name upon marriage.

* Paragraph Development by Comparison & Contrast
* You...
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