Develop paragraphs in a variety of patterns that reflect your thinking about the material. As you write the topic sentence and its supporting sentences, look for ways to structure your thinking. Where one author advances his or her material by narrating a series of events, another undertakes a physical description and another undertakes an analysis of the topic. These patterns of paragraph development usually emerge in the process of revision. More than one pattern of development may be used in a series of paragraphs.
Use the following methods as paragraph development for your essay. Some methods are good for any audience; for others, you must use your judgment.
Narration develops the topic as a story. Most events are arranged in chronological order (as they occurred). Narration is based on facts and true experiences. Good for audiences who read for more than just information.
Description uses sight, sounds, odors and whatever other sensory detail to let the reader experience the situation under discussion. The audience here is more visual in nature; also this method is good for the audience who needs to see the runaway, the results of a failed experiment, or the nature of your alarm about a particular topic.
Illustration (exemplification) requires in-depth examples. Shows the reader rather than tells. Most audience need a variety of illustration.
Definition specifies what, when, where, how and why of the topic under consideration. If the audience does not know your topic, this is a must. Or if you are trying to display your topic in an unusual manner, use definition.
Division attempts to sub-divide a complex topic. When addressing a complex problem, many audiences will need the writer's aid. Break down the problem into smaller more manageable parts.
Classification works by classifying the problem under discussion with others of its kind. With an antagonistic audience or one who is unfamiliar with your topic, this works well.
Comparison and contrast shows similarities and differences between two like topics. Most audiences appreciate a well-developed compare/contrast paragraph (essay).
Analogy merges the familiar and the unfamiliar. Use for the audience who might be intimidated by your topic. For example, you might draw an analogy between gene splicing (your topic) and the cut/paste command on the computer. However your analogy must be believable!
Cause and effect illustrates how something happened or what the consequences are. Audiences of all types rely on this type of information.
Process analysis gives practical 'how to' information. If you are trying to show your audience how to do something or how something works, this is a must.