Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Logo
Apply to SIUE
Instructional Services
Instructional Services
Institutional Header

Adequate Development




Adequate Development means to communicate a single idea fully, clearly, and effectively.

A. Length and complexity may vary in adequately developed writing.

Adequate development depends on

1. Complexity of the central idea

2. Place and Purpose --The length of paragraphs in newspapers, magazines, books and essays reflect the specific purposes of each.

a. Newspaper -- short 20 to 75-word paragraphs

Reason: to break up a narrow column of writing for reader convenience (has nothing to do with adequate development)

b. Magazines and Books --100 to 250-word paragraphs

c. Essays --100 to 250-word paragraphs, or about 6 to10 sentences a paragraph

3. Audience's needs --The length of a paragraph is sometimes determined by your reader's needs:

a. How much does the reader know about the subject?

b. How much does he need to know to understand my central idea?

B. Beginnings and Conclusions - A paragraph or theme should have:

1. A brief beginning that introduces the topic (The purpose of an introduction is to is to tell the reader what you are going to say and to interest ["hook"] him into reading further.)

2. A longer middle that discusses and develops the topic (The middle of the introductory paragraph is the "line" that leads from the "hook: to the thesis statement. It consists on generalizations that relate to the topic and to the thesis.)

3. A brief conclusion that completes the discussion of the topic

An adequately developed conclusion should contain:

(a) a transitional word that signals the end,

(b) a restatement of the thesis,

(c) a summary of implications, and

(d) a clincher.

C. Middles and Details - Middles are developed with details which complete ideas.

The most commonly used details:

1. Descriptive details - tell how something looks, feels, sounds, smells or tastes.

2. Narrative details - show how things happen in sequence (may include description.)

3. Expository details - explain and clarify (may include description and narration)

4. Persuasive details - provide evidence or proof to convince the reader of something. (They may include other types of details.)