Specific instructional aims

Students understand and able to develop paragraphs using details, examples, illustrations, definition, and reasons.

Sub topics

·         paragraph development using details
·         paragraph development using examples
·         paragraph development using illustrations
·         paragraph development using definition
·         paragraph development using reasons
Paragraph development pertains the discussion of the paragraph.  The discussion of a paragraph, which support the topic sentence can be developed in several ways: 1) by using details, illustrations and examples, 2) by using definition, 3) by using reasons, 4) by using comparisons and contrasts, 5) by using narrations, 6) by using arguments, etc.  Our focus in this chapter will be on the first three types of paragraph development since these three are the types most commonly used in textbooks, scientific reports and papers.
As we have discussed in previous lecture, a paragraph has three main divisions:  a topic sentence (introduction), the discussion (controlling idea) and a concluding statement (conclusion).  The topic sentence indicates the controlling idea of a paragraph.  It has been taught that a topic sentence should be clear and specific.  Besides, it should not be too broad.  However, no matter how carefully you create and limit the topic sentences, they are still relatively general statements in relation to the content of the paragraph.  Therefore, they should be narrowed down but adequately supported.  Adequate support of the topic sentence in the discussion part of a paragraph is important, as it will clarify to the readers the controlling idea of the passage.
The first lesson about paragraph development will be about details, examples and illustrations since these are of the most effective methods for developing general statement.  The methods provide concrete and specific details or illustrations that will convey a clear impression of what the general statement really is.  Following this, the second and the third methods of paragraph development will be discussed too.

Paragraph development using details

In this method of paragraph development, the paragraph is developed by providing details to the controlling idea in order to support the topic sentence.  Observe that in the example below the paragraph provides details on the subject of food production in Indonesia.  Details are given to strengthen the idea that the increase in food crop production in Indonesia should be able to provide food supply, though its population increase by four times between 1970 and 2000.
Food Crop Production in Indonesia
The predictions of experts in 1970 that the world cannot feed its extra mouths have so far proved pessimistic.  A United Nation Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO) 1983 study indicated that the third world countries including Indonesia could, in the year 2000, be able to feed four times its projected population.  Due to agricultural development, Indonesia’s food production has been increasing.  On 1988 rice production of husked paddy was 41.5 million tons and projected number by 1993 is 48.7 million tons.  Livestock production is also increasing at an average of 5% a year.  Through the method of fish culture, fishery is increasing by annual increment of 3%.  The growth rate of horticultural products has been 5 – 7% annually.  In short, Indonesia may not be totally self-sufficient; however, her view of the future need for feeding the peoples is bright.
(Source (with some modifications):  Rangkuti-Hasibuan, S.  1990.  English for Specific Purposes: Agriculture.  PT. Gramedia Pustaka Utama, Jakarta, p. 151).

Paragraph development using examples

Providing examples is another good method to develop a paragraph.  The examples should relate to the subject and the controlling idea stated in the topic sentence.  Observe the example below.
The Plant Growth
Growth is defined as a permanent increase in size.  However, size is not the only criterion used to measure growth.  For example, the growth of a sample of cells in suspension culture could be assessed by measuring its fresh weight – that is, the weight of the living tissue – at selected time intervals.  In other cases, fresh weight may fluctuate due to changes in water status of the plant and so it may be a poor indicator of actual growth.  In these situations, measurements of dry weight are often more appropriate.  In multicellular organisms, cell divisions can occur in the absence of growth.  For example, during the early stages of embryo development the zygotic divides into progressively smaller cells with no net increase in the size of the embryo.  True growth occurs only when the cells expand.  Thus, an organism is said to be growing if there is increase in its size, not in fresh weight or in cell number.
(Source (with some modifications):  Taji, A., P. Kumar and P. Lakshmanan.  2002.  In vitro Plant Breeding.  Food Product Press, New York, p. 5).

Paragraph development using illustrations

Graphs, figures or tables can be used efficiently and effectively to present facts or data support what the writer says in the topic sentence and further develop the paragraph.  Observe the following example.
Growth Measurements
In general, a reliable way to asses growth is to measure one or more size parameters such as length, height or width and calculate the area of the volume where appropriate.  When growth is measured continuously over time, an S-shape curve like that in the Figure 1 is often obtained.  Growth curves of this form shows a period of slow growth (lag phase), followed by a period of rapid growth (the logarithmic and linear phases), followed by the period when the growth ceases (the stationary phase).  Growth curves of this shape may apply to single cells, plant organisms, or whole plants.  Whatever the parameter is, this type of growth kinetics will always be obtained as the results of measurement.
Figure 1.  The curves showing the growth kinetics of plant cells.  A, cell number;  B, cell length.

(Source (with some modifications):  Taji, A., P. Kumar and P. Lakshmanan.  2002.  In vitro Plant Breeding.  Food Product Press, New York, p. 6-7).

Paragraph development using definitions

As the name suggests, paragraph development using definitions is the method of developing a paragraph by defining a thing, a person, a term, etc.  In the example below, horticulture is defined by an explanation of what it is and what it is comprised of.  By this method, horticulture is differentiated from agronomy.  Hence, there is a classification in the paragraph that tells what is included in horticulture and what is not.  In brief, the paragraph is simply defining horticulture.
Horticulture is branch of agriculture concerned with producing fruits, vegetables and ornamental plants.  Horticulture originally referred to small private plots in which plants were cultivated.  It differed from agriculture, which pertain to the cultivation of field.  However, these definitions are no longer hold.  Horticulture now includes orchard, ranches, plantations, glasshouses, plastic tunnels – the whole gamut of areas, large or small, and tropical, subtropical, or temperate, in which plants may be successfully grown.  It is contrasted today with agronomy.  The distinction between the two is made largely on the basis of the plants concerned.  Agronomy is being restricted to crops such as grain, hay and cotton that have been traditionally cultivated in large field.  Even here, there is no sharp line to separate the two, especially in the case of vegetables.  Red pepper, for instance, when grown for export is considered agronomic, but when grown as a table vegetable is horticultural.  Hence, there is a tendency to determine the classifications in terms of the extent of the area rather than on the more precise basis of the plant itself.
(Source:  Rangkuti-Hasibuan, S.  1990.  English for Specific Purposes: Agriculture.  PT. Gramedia Pustaka Utama, Jakarta, p. 152).

Paragraph development using reasons

Paragraph development using reasons is the method of developing a paragraph by giving reasons on “why something happens?”  By this method, the question is answered by discussing the possible reasons, and at the end of the paragraph the alternative for better result is presented as the conclusion.  Please have a look the following example. 
The Effect of Colchicine on Tetraploid Plant Induction
The induction of tetraploid Swainsona formosa using seed treatment with colchicine was found ineffective and was liable to result in abnormal seed germination.  The detrimental effect of colchicine on seed germination may be caused by the concentrations tested, which were too high.  In addition, treating the whole seed undergoing germination will affect all parts of the seedling, although the only target and the only part that must be affected is the growing point.  The major weakness of the method is that the roots are affected and usually the growth of affected roots is either poor or inhibited.  Meanwhile, lower concentrations of colchicine were not effective in inducing poliploidyzation due to the hard seed coat limiting the access of colchicine to the growing point.  The embryological study showed that the seed coat of S. formosa consisted of thick-walled columnar palisade cells on the outside and a mesophyll with a layer of hypodermal osteosclereids.  This structure is believed to restrict the effectiveness of colchicine at lower concentrations. Therefore, it is suggested to apply the low concentration of colchicine on the growing point of S. formosa seedling to successfully induce tetraploid plants.
(Source:  Zulkarnain.  2003.  Breeding Strategies in Sturt’s Desert Pea (Swainsona formosa (G.Don) J.Thompson) Using In Vitro and In Vivo Techniques.  PhD Thesis.  The University of New England, Armidale, Australia).

Students’ activity

Assignment 1

Write your own paragraph by developing your topic sentence using “details, examples and illustrations’.  The subject should be in the field of agriculture.  Then, indicate the three main divisions of your paragraph: the topic sentence, the discussion or controlling idea, and the conclusion.  To assist you to develop the paragraph, write down a list of ideas as controlling ideas to support your topic sentence before you begin writing.

Assignment 2

Look over the paragraph development using definition.  Try to write your own paragraph defining a term in agriculture.  Again, before starting to write the paragraph, make a list of ideas of what you are going to say in the discussion part.  The following is only an example.  You should try to choose your own topic sentence for this development.
Topic sentence    :  There are two types of mushrooms, the edible and inedible.
List of ideas (CI)   :  - definition of both types.
                                   - characteristics of both types.
                                   - names of both types in plant science.
                                   - cultivation of the edible kind.
                                   - mushroom poisoning from the inedible kind.
Conclusion           :  One should be able to differentiate between the edible and the poisonous kind of mushroom.

Assignment 3

Look again on the section of paragraph development using reason.  Try to make your own paragraph to answer a question concerning agriculture topic.  Here are some examples of the topic.
·   why does the production of red pepper decrease during the last five years?
·   why may the continuous use of pesticide harm our environment?
·   why does the pesticide use can cause health problem?
·   why should the use of synthetic fertilizer be limited?

Vocabulary list

Cease                                             =  berhenti
Cell divisions                                 =  pembelahan sel
Colchicine                                      =  kolkisin
Columnar                                       =  berbentuk kolom
Cotton                                             =  kapas
Criterion                                          =  kriteria
Curve                                              =  kurva
Edible                                              =  dapat dimakan
Embryo development                      =  perkembangan embryo
Expert                                              =  pakar
Fish culture                                      =  budidaya ikan
Fishery                                            =  perikanan
Fluctuate                                         =  berfluktuasi
Fresh weight                                   =  berat segar
Grain                                               =  biji-bijan
Growth curves                                =  kurva pertumbuhan
Growth kinetics                              =  kinetika pertumbuhan
Hay                                                 =  jerami
Horticultural products                    =  produk-produk hortikultura
Husked paddy                                =  gabah
Hypodermal                                   =  hipodermis
Inedible                                          =  tidak dapat dimakan
Inhibited                                        =  terhambat/dihambat
Lag phase                                      =  fase lag
Livestock                                      =  ternak
Living tissue                                 =  jaringan hidup
Logarithmic and linear phases     =  fase logaritma dan linear
Lower concentrations                   =  konsentrasi lebih rendah
Mesophyll                                     =  mesofil
Orchard                                        =  kebun buah-buahan
Osteosclereids                              =  osteosklereid
Palisade cells                                =  sel-sel palisade
Parameters                                    =  parameter
Pessimistic                                   =  pesimis
Plant growth                                 =  pertumbuhan tanaman
Plastic tunnels                              =  lorong plastik
Poliploidyzation                           =  poliploidisasi
Ranches                                        =  peternakan kuda
Rapid growth                                =  pertumbuhan cepat
Red pepper                                   =  cabai merah
Seed coat                                      =  kulit biji
Seed germination                         =  perkecambahan biji
Single cells                                   =  sel-sel tunggal
Slow growth                                 =  pertumbuhan lambat
S-shape curve                               =  kurva berbentuk S
Stationary phase                           =  fase stasioner
Subtropical                                   =  iklim subtropis
Suspension culture                       =  kultur suspensi
Temperate                                     =  iklim sedang
Thick-walled                                =  berdinding tebal
Tropical                                        =  iklim tropis
Whole gamut                                =  seluruh area
Zygotic                                         =  zigot

penulis : Prof.Dr.H.Zulkarnain