Expansion of an idea or expansion of a proverb is simple and straightforward. It involves 5 easy steps. They are:
Step 1: Understand the symbol of the words in the proverb: Most proverbs or ideas are symbolic. The name of place or animal or thing or person stands as a symbol of some quality. We have to try to understand that in the context of the proverb.
For example take the proverb, ‘Rome was not built in a day‘. Here the noun ‘Rome’ is the name of a place. We also (should) know that Rome was a great city. So what does Rome stand for? It stands for Greatness or success. (Remember it was a great city).
Or take the example of ‘All that glitters is not gold‘. Here we have the noun ‘gold’. It is the name of a thing. We know that gold is a precious metal. So what does gold stand for? It stands for precious.
Step 2: Substitute the meaning in the idea or the proverb: Take the two previous examples.
‘Rome was not built in a day’ and ‘All that glitters is not gold’. Now substitute the symbols we found out earlier in the sentences. What do we have?
- ‘Greatness or success was not built in a day’
- ‘All that glitters is not precious’
The proverb is now decoded and ready for understanding.
Step 3: Look for a story or anecdote or example or illustration: Now that you have understood what the proverb stands for or what the proverb means, we should look for a suitable example to illustrate it.
Where do we get these stories? There are plenty of them. Aesop’s fables are ideal. So are the tales of India, the Panchatantra.
We can also look for example from today’s world. We could, for example, for the proverb ‘Rome was not built in a day’, talk about the effort put in by Barack Obama to achieve greatness, and that it took many years to build it, that it did not happen overnight.
Step 4: Look for similar proverbs or ideas: “Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success” by Napoleon Hill is similar to ‘Rome was not built in a day’; so is the proverb ‘Do not judge the book by its cover’ similar to ‘All that glitters is not precious’.
Step 5: Sum up the paragraph: Use summing up words or phrases to indicate that you have finished the expansion and intend to sum it up. You could use ‘Thus’ or ‘In fine’ or ‘So’ or ‘The proverb advises that’. Let the reader know that you are signing off.
So we have 5 Steps on ‘How to do expansion of an idea or expansion of a proverb’:
Step 1: Understand the symbol of the words in the proverb
Step 2: Substitute the meaning in the idea or the proverb
Step 3: Look for a story or anecdote or example or illustration
Step 4: Look for similar proverbs or ideas
Step 5: Sum up the paragraph
This is how I do expansion of an idea or expansion of a proverb.
If you have anything to add or any question to ask, please feel free to leave a comment.
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