Paragraph Development

Each paragraph in your paper, with the exception of the introduction and conclusion, should explore one idea that develops the thesis. Each paragraph provides supporting detail to prove its assumptions. Or, as the Prentice Hall Handbook notes, a "paragraph that lacks development is one that introduces a topic but fails to provide enough information to explain it to readers" (Kramer, Leggett, and Mead 74).The following paragraph is an example of a paragraph that develops this thesis:

Although William Shakespeare and Steven Spielberg write and produce in vastly disparate time periods, both men use violence, sexually explicit material, and formulaic plot patterns in Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Jurassic Park, and The Color Purple to draw the masses to their respective seats.

Although many critics draw attention to the immense violence inflicted upon women and children in Spielberg's The Color Purple, Shakespeare also employs violence to delineate the dramatic change in the character of Macbeth. Unlike in Mr. Spielberg's film, Macbeth begins the play as a decent citizen. He has performed valiantly in battle, and the king praises him as "worthiest cousin!/The sin of my ingratitude even now/was heavy on me"(1.4 14-16). However, during the course of the play the character of Macbeth changes. Macbeth's downward spiral becomes most evident in the scene where Macduff's wife and children are murdered. Shakespeare depicts this scene graphically in order to fully show his audience Macbeth's fall. The murderers arrive at Macduff's home when he is away and pronounce Macduff a traitor. Macduff's young son stands up futilely for his father; "[t]hou liest, thou shag-ear'd villain!" (4.2 81). The murderers, commissioned by Macbeth, stab the boy and then his mother. Shakespeare could easily have positioned this scene off-stage, sparing his audience the untimely and brutal death of an innocent mother and child. However, this scene in all its bloody detail communicates to the audience the need for Macbeth's destruction. Macbeth has become an evil ruler who destroys the good and the innocent. Initially a character worthy of admiration and praise, Macbeth's violence toward those who cannot defend themselves mark him irrevocably.

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