Developing Your Ideas

Reasons for Developing Your Writing

Kate Kiefer, English Department
Students need to be concerned with development for two main reasons:

  1. Details tend to be more persuasive and engaging than generalities. Most readers tend to get tired of reading texts that require them to fill in the gaps. (Obviously, those texts leave more room for readers to fill in what they want to and not necessarily what the writer intended, and so general texts also tend to be less successful in communicating ideas.) Details are more memorable than generalities and keep readers' attention more fully engaged on the text.
  2. Details tend to show what we know. In an academic setting in our culture, grasp of details sets apart the "C" student from the "A" student. Academic survival often depends on being able to prove control of a subject matter, and that control gets communicated through effective use of detail.
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