Clarify “Developed” Versus “Details”

“Developed” writing includes ideas that are elaborated and supported. Developed writing includes reasons or ideas backed up with specifics, proof, and evidence revealed in additional sentences.

Consider the opposite of “developed” to be “listy.” Within listy writing students mention an idea and then mention another idea–without developing the first one! This kind of writing is often characterized by patterned sentence beginnings: And then. . .and then. . .and then. . .Another thing. . .another thing. . .another thing. . .First. . .second. . .third. . .In these writings, ideas are listed with no additional supporting sentences in between.

To combat this writer weakness, look to adjust your teacher talk. Stop asking students to “add details.” Details are words. However, listy writing requires more than additional words. It needs multiple sentences to flesh out each idea mentioned.

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