Modes of Development

Paragraphs can be developed in several ways. 

Definition:  To define is to state the precise meaning of something. 

Description:  To describe is to convey by words a mental image or impression of something.  How does x appear to the senses (sight, smell, hearing, touch, taste)?

Explanation:  To explain is to make a statement and then to provide information that makes the statement understandable and believable. 

Narration:  To narrate is to relate in chronological order, to tell a story.

Summary:  To summarize is to state in condensed form the important points or major events of something.

Illustration:  To illustrate is to clarify something using examples.  What generalization can be made about the subject?  What specific information serves as an illustration or example of that generalization?

Analysis:  To analyze is to separate into parts and to examine them in order to determine the nature of the whole.  What are the most important parts of x?

Cause/Effect or Effect/Cause:  To perceive cause and effect is to determine the reasons (causes) for events (effects) or vice versa--the result(s) first and then the causes.

Classification:  To classify is to separate something into parts and then arrange those parts into categories based on shared characteristics. 

Comparison/Contrast:  To compare is to note the similarities between two or more things.  To contrast is to find the differences.  Usually, only one of these modes is used in a paragraph.

Process Analysis:  To analyze a process is to perceive steps or stages and the culmination of those steps or stages. 

Synthesis:  To synthesize is to combine parts to form a new, more complex whole. 

Persuasion/Argumentation:  To persuade or argue is to take a stand and to defend that stand against other ones using logical reasons and avoiding logical fallacies.