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What is the "method of development" for an essay?I'm writing against cosmetic...

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jhg | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 31, 2011 at 3:55 AM via web

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What is the "method of development" for an essay?

I'm writing against cosmetic surgery.

So far, my arguments are:

1. inner beauty is more important than outer beauty
2. beauty is subjected to different judgments
3. cosmetic surgery is harmful for health

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clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 3, 2011 at 11:42 PM (Answer #1)

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Before going any further, you need to keep one point in mind, and that is the overall purpose of your essay (or thesis).  From what you have above, it is this:

"I disagree with the use of cosmetic surgery."

Your method of development should answer the question: "Why do I disagree with the use of cosmetic surgery?"  The "method of development" in any essay is how you choose to set-up or organize your points in order to make your arguments as clear and as strong as possible.  It is easiest to do this through topic categories (big reasons why) and detailed examples which fit into those topics.  These can easily be organized by using an outline.

Using what you have so far, it looks to me like point #1 is the one idea that could best be expanded into more specific examples.  This means that you could use point 3 as a topic sentence of one paragraph, then elaborate or explain it using concrete evidence.  It will be very easy to go into the specific health risks that cosmetic surgery poses.

Point #1 above is completely your opinion.  This means it is going to be a little harder to prove with real-life or factual examples.  A question you might want to consider is, how are you going to prove that inner beauty is more important than outer beauty?

#2 above, while a good point, is vague as a topic category.  It sounds more like something you might mention in the introduction.  There's simply nothing in that statement which answers your original question.  (Hear it this way: I disagree with cosmetic surgery because beauty is subjected to different judgments." Do you see how it doesn't make very much sense at face value?)  This point, again, will be very hard to prove with concrete evidence.

I encourage you to go back to the drawing board (brainstorm!) and create a longer list of reasons why you disagree with the use of cosmetic surgery.  At this point, you've already got the "health risks" category covered, so you are looking to create two other categories that are as definable, yet broad (meaning they can be filled with factual examples).  Try to come up with specific examples, facts (based on experience or observation is fine), or things you've read.  Then tweak your other two categories to be as clear as possible.  You might land on something very close to your original ideas.

You have a great start here.  If you get stuck again, feel free to come back to Enotes for more help.

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