Adding Detail and Support

There are a number of ways to develop your paragraphs to make them longer and better.


What should you do if your paper needs to be three to five pages and it is only two pages long?

Include Facts and Statistics

Facts and statistics are statements like "About 18 million people, mostly children, die from starvation, malnutrition, and related causes." This type of statement helps you prove your main points. You can find this type of statement in reference materials or by observation.


Include examples

Specific examples are a good way of explaining your idea to a reader. A well-developed paragraph that begins with a topic sentence like "A college dorm is an excellent venue to experience diversity first hand" could be followed with a number of examples in support of such a statement.

Examples might include the following statements:

For example, my roommate is an exchange student from Korea. He is here for one year studying business. Down the hall is another student who is a Mormon from Idaho. We also have several Hispanic students on our floor.


Add quotations

Quotations from expert sources add authority to your writing. Quotations can come from a primary source like a short story or essay or from a secondary source such as a journal, a website, or a reference book. Make sure to incorporate the quotation smoothly and correctly and do a correct MLA or APA citation.


Add specific details

Depending on the type of essay, adding sensory details can be a good way to elaborate on your original material. Try adding details that appeal to the readers' sense of sight, smell, hearing, touch, or taste.

Other types of essays might include graphs, maps, tables, or timelines. Still others might benefit from the addition of anecdotes, related incidents, lists of steps, etc.