The University of Sydney The Write Site
Home Glossary Site map Help
Module 1: Grammar Module 2: Sources Module 3: Structure
Home » Module 3 Unit 2: Structuring paragraphs » Paragraph development - page 1/4
Unit 1: Planning your essayUnit 2: Structuring paragraphsUnit 3: Introductions & conclusionsUnit 4: Writing persuasivelyUnit 5: Writing cohesively

Paragraph development

This section shows you how to develop your paragraphs beyond the topic sentence. It provides analysis of the development component in examples of written work.

The development section of a paragraph elaborates the controlling idea expressed in the topic sentence.

Within the context of argumentative essay writing, the development section (or body) of a paragraph can have a number of roles. Often, it fulfils all of these roles simultaneously.

It may do this by:

  • describing - presenting more information about the controlling idea.
  • exemplifying - using examples to illustrate the controlling idea.
  • analysing - comparing and contrasting concepts associated with the controlling idea.
  • challenging – questioning the information or perspectives in source material related to the controlling idea.
  • persuading - building an argument around the controlling idea and its relationship to both the individual argument it is part of and the wider thesis being supported.
  • using supporting evidence - giving references to sources which are useful in either establishing or supporting the controlling idea.