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Elaboration means: Adding the details needed to paint a picture for your reader.  

Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, details are key.  

Refer to the paragraph page for information on writing paragraphs.

Elaboration Strategies


Description: describes what something looks like or sounds like
The crowd roared as Rex, his head dripping in well-earned sweat, slipped through the opposing team's star and dunked the tie-breaker.

Detail:  Adds who, what, when, why, where, how information (specific)

Henry, math in hand, tip-toed into the classroom to turn in the late math that he had redone after his little brother barfed all over it the night before.

Strong Verbs:  Action (can it be done?) --- pulls, slips, yells
My Labrador, Rampage, pulls the table cloth until the plate slips onto the floor and crashes, spilling the roast beef for her to gobble up. 

"Stop!" yells Mom.

Emotions: How were you feeling? How was the character feeling? How do the characters feel about each other?

I could see my mom frowning. She tapped her foot and crossed her arms. I knew I was in trouble.

Thoughts: What are the characters thinking?

I thought, “Where did I put the key?” 

Example: -- a comparison -- an anecdote, evidence, for instance, for example 
Africa is a sleeping giant; The dog was as big as a polar bear.

Dialogue: include conversations between characters to SHOW what is happening

“Yeah!” I yelled. “We're going to the carnival.”

“Please don't spend all your money on the ring toss again,” pleaded Mom.


See all the help you need here at our wiki:


For example, you can learn about:

How do I revise?


Use the muscles in your ARMS:


Add-What else do I need to include? Can I add a more descriptive verb? Can I add a simile? alliteration? consonance? imagery?


Remove-Can I leave out any unnecessary words like of and the? Is there a line that doesn't fit? Can I use fewer, more concise words?


Move-Is the information in the most logical place? Do I need to change my line breaks? Are me sentences and paragraphs flowing easily from one idea to the next? Do I need transitions?


Substitute-What words could be replaced with clearer, stronger words? Nifty nouns and Vivid Verbs: ACTION and ACTIVE


Writers are masters of word power with ARMS using figurative language.  Review our strategies:


Poetry Techniques

Figurative Language