Patterns of Development

Patterns of development help us sort out information and shape paragraphs or essays. They can help organize an outline, or depending on the purpose they can determine the form that a paper will take. Remember that most paper will use a combination of methods, working together in function of each other.

Given the topic "environmental issues," these are some examples of how the methods can help limiting the topic, developing a thesis statement, and writing an outline.

1. Narration means to tell a story: The history of the Love Canal
A narration deals with people, places, events, dates, etc.
2. Description means to tell what something is like.
Describe the damage done by pollution to a river, lake, forest, etc. A good description will revolve around a "dominant impression."
3. Illustration with examples means that a generalization is supported by specific instances.
Food industries do not encourage consumers to produce less litter.
4. Definition means to explain what something is.
Define "ozone layer"
5. Comparison means to identify the ways in which two "different" items are similar. Contrast means to identify the ways in which two "similar" items are different. This means that there is no purpose in comparing or contrasting two items that do not share some common characteristic (apples and books).
Compare the environmental advantages of paper bags as opposed to plastic bags
6. Classification means to sort items in order to group together those with similar characteristics and to distinguish them from those with different characteristics.
Provide examples of how we can reduce waste by reducing, reusing, recycling.
7. Causal analysis means to find the reasons that produced a certain result or to identify the results produced by a certain phenomenon.
Effects of acid rain on vegetation
8. Argumentation means to provide enough reasons and proof to convince the reader that a certain opinion is valid.
Industries do not receive enough incentives to reduce waste.
9. Process analysis means to explain how to do something.
How to start a compost pile.

Combining different methods: "Identifying plastic as a source of pollution"

How plastic was developed (narration/process)
Definition/description of plastic
Different kinds of plastic (classification/illustration)
Consequences of the use of plastic (effects)
Alternative solutions offered (argumentation/comparison)

More examples:
Thesis statements
Topic:  food
1. Narration:  Baking and sharing Christmas cookies is my favorite holiday tradition.
2. Description:    The table at my grandmother's Thanksgiving dinner is covered with delicious, great smelling, and colorful holiday dishes.
3. Exemplification:    Because they cannot easily prepare their own food, many college students who live in the dorms are on a diet of fast food, junk food, or snacks.
4. Definition: A pizza is a flat bread, which may be covered with tomato sauce, cheeses, and a variety of toppings.
5. Comparison:   Real Italian food, the kind that is eaten in Italy, is very different from American Italian food.
6. Classification:  Although traditionally pizza is an Italian dish,  Greek pizza, Mexican pizza, and Hawaiian are becoming increasingly popular.
7. Cause and effect:  Italian food in Italy is very different from American Italian food  because of regional variations and because of availability of ingredients.
8. Process:  Baking bread is a process which consists of three main steps:  kneading, shaping, and baking.