Some typical methods of paragraph development include narration, exposition and description. Although each style is distinct, these modes are commonly combined together in most forms of writing.
Narration is the sequential presentation of events that create a story. The events in the paragraph are typically presented in chronological order, but narrative paragraphs can also feature flashbacks. Narration is not merely the listing of events, but the accumulation of these events into a coherent narrative that features characters, a setting, a conflict and a resolution.
An anecdote or a newspaper article that opens with a description of its subject's actions are both examples of narration. Exposition is writing that explains a topic. Exposition can be a small part of a paragraph used to clarify a concept, or it can be a central development method in a piece of writing. Exposition often cites authoritative sources on its subject in order to build credibility. A paragraph that explains the cause of a public health problem using expert testimony is an example of exposition.
Description uses vivid details and imagery to help readers understand the story. It attempts to evoke a picture in the reader's mind. Rather than describing every minute aspect of a scene, it provides details that let the reader's imagination fill in the blanks. A paragraph that details the appearance of buildings in a decaying neighborhood is an example of description.