Friday, July 18, 2008

(20) Lacking Development, Elaboration

Most writing requires that the writer fully develop the focus and purpose for the text. [ADD]

The most significant elements of academic and scholarly writing are the elaborations, the development of ideas, arguments, positions, and questions. Many inexperienced writers fall into the trap of stating; they believe that simply stating something makes it so. Academic and scholarly conventions require full elaborations of ideas.

Many techniques can help develop and elaborate a point or points in paragraphs and throughout an essay. Consider some of the following:

Be sure to use transition. Words and phrases that move your writing forward and make relationships among ideas help develop your point. The most basic transition is the use of ranking terms such as “first,” “next,” and “last” (Be sure not to add unneeded adverb endings to words that are already adverbs, such as making “last” into “lastly”).

Consider the number of support elements in your discussion. One piece of evidence is usually insufficient. Try to offer the reader several elements of support, incorporating variety in the types of support you include.

If you include quoted or paraphrased passages from sources, be sure to include sentences that show you unpacking that material for the reader. Part of your job as a writer is offering evidence, but you also should interpret, reflect, and balance the evidence.

Include statements that keep your discussion connected with your primary focus.