Prioritizing Criteria


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Example Development Paragraphs

The following paragraphs represent a weak example of development and three revised paragraphs. These are also informative as overheads or useful for small group work.

Weak Example: It was the worst movie I've seen in a long time. It was really boring. The characters were undeveloped and the plot was one cliche after another. I should have just stayed home. I'm sorry I wasted six dollars on such a stupid film.

Strong Example This movie is to cinema what Boone's Farm is to wine. It was about as action-packed as a tortoise clipping his toenails. The characters were more like caricatures and a four-year-old could have predicted the ending. Next time I'll give my six bucks to charity.

Strong Example: I was disappointed by the movie. The soundtrack was tinny and flat, and when there was supposed to be silence you could hear popping sounds and white noise instead. There were little starts and skips in the film where the cuts had been badly pasted together. The picture itself was grainy and the colors were faded, as though you were seeing them through gray-tinted lenses. It didn't help that the springs had gone in my theater seat and one of them was poking into my leg the whole time.

Strong Example: This movie is an insult to the intelligence of the audience. We are supposed to accept one improbability after another: that the hero, a private detective, is willing to take on the case out of the goodness of his heart; that the police are willing to freely share with him information on a case still under investigation; that the villain just happens to be the man who killed his parents when he was a boy. And of course the key witness turns out to be a leggy, rich, and unattached blonde who is wildly attracted to the detective.