Developing Ideas, Arranging Details
A short guide by Steve Samuels
Depending on your purpose, you can develop a paragraph’s central idea in several ways.
• Learn to narrate and describe
• Learn ways to explain, convince and persuade
Comparison or Contrast
Cause and effect
Conclusion and support
• Learn patterns of arrangement
General to specific
Specific to general
Question to answer
Order of importance
Writing Introductions and Conclusions
A good introduction captures the reader’s attention.
A good conclusion leaves readers satisfied that the promise made in your introduction has been kept.
Make introductions interesting and informative.
Four uses of a formal introduction
• To capture the readers’ attention
• To express a central idea in a formal thesis statement
• To prepare readers for important points
• To provide background information to help readers understand your thesis and the details you will use to develop it.
Several ways to write an introduction
• Present an interesting example of your thesis
• Use startling remarks or statistics
• Create a vivid image tp prepare readers for what follows
• State a problem
• Make a comparison or a contrast
• Cite an expert or define a term
Write logical and effective conclusions
• Recall your thesis and introduction
• Ask a question
• Offer advice or call for action
• Look to the future
• Explain how a problem was resolved
Writing Effective Paragraphs
A paragraph is a unit of writing that discusses or describes one limited idea. There are several kinds, the most important of which are:
• The introductory paragraph
• Body paragraphs
• The concluding paragraph
Use one full paragraph to discuss...