What is “development” or “support”?

From LitWiki

Strong writing develops key points by providing supporting detail. Include enough detail to get the job done, and use support that’s relevant to the point you’re attempting to develop. The quantity of detail depends on your audience and purpose. A newcomer to town will need more detailed directions on how to get to your apartment than a long-time resident. A clinical report should include every observation relevant to the diagnosis. Generally, providing too much detail is better than not enough. The kind of detail depends on the nature of the point you are developing. Descriptions, generalizations, directions, position statements, and arguments — each of these might be developed in a different way. You might describe a friend with personal anecdotes, illustrate generalizations with examples, clarify directions by specifying a sequence of steps, explain a position by contrasting with alternative positions, and develop arguments by anticipating objections and responding to counter-arguments. Detail makes your writing vivid, plausible, and effective. There is no better way to show your instructors that you have mastered course content — whether the content is critical thinking, aesthetic judgment, theories of management, public relations, or organic chemistry — than by demonstrating a command of detail.

Support and development makes your essay more interesting and credible. When a you make a supposition, such as providing an interpretation of a poetical passage, you must use specific evidence from the poem (primary source) or a published critic’s interpretation of the poem (secondary source). This support or evidence helps make your interpretation tenable. See What is “interesting detail” and how do I use it? for more information.

Composition FAQ