Tuesday, September 18, 2007

3.5--Paragraph Development

A. Here’s the problem:
I see underdeveloped paragraphs arising from two causes. First, you may find yourself short of time, and as a result you have to get the revised draft of your essay to me even though you have a game and another test to study for. More often, however, I think you don’t see the potential of the ideas in your papers and therefore don’t explore them fully.

B. What to do:
Ask yourself in each paragraph whether the most important ideas can be taken further, whether you can explain more completely or give an example which will make your argument more convincing. In particular, avoid very short paragraphs in the middle of an essay, except as transitional paragraphs.

C. Example: Ironically, as much as Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth seem different and incompatible, their characters truly are alike. Both characters are strong-willed individuals who are un-afraid to express their feelings. They are able to communicate their true beliefs which leads to a better understanding of faults in their personalities.

Corrected Version: Ironically, as much as Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth seem incompatible, their personalities are more similar than they realize. Both are strong-willed, unafraid to express their feelings. Elizabeth defies Lady Catherine’s bullying, while Darcy uses his influence with Bingley to dissuade him from proposing to Jane. Also, they cause each other to honestly examine their own faults. Elizabeth realizes that she had been blinded by prejudice while Darcy understands why his manners had so deeply offended Elizabeth.

D. Now you try—write an improved version of the following paragraph.
1. Of Mr. Darcy, one character comments that “the world is too blinded by his fortune and consequence, or frightened by his high and imposing manners, and sees him only as he chuses to be seen.” Darcy’s pride and often imposing manners toward the Bennet are less a reflection of what society dictates of him than his own personal inclinations.