Supporting Sentences
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Definition

A supporting sentence is a sentence in a paragraph structure that provides additional information or evidence to support the main idea or topic sentence of the paragraph. It helps to develop and clarify the main idea and provides specific examples or details to help the reader understand the main idea more fully.

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Examples of Supporting Sentences

Here are a few examples of supporting sentences:

“The Great Wall of China is the longest wall in the world, stretching over 13,000 miles from east to west.”

Britannica

This sentence provides specific information to support the main idea that the Great Wall of China is a significant structure.

“According to a study conducted by the American Heart Association, eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables can lower the risk of heart disease.”

AHA Journals

Here, this sentence provides evidence to support the main idea that a healthy diet is important for heart health.

“Many experts believe that regular exercise can have a number of benefits, including improving cardiovascular health, boosting mood, and aiding in weight loss.”

Healthline

This sentence provides specific examples of the benefits of regular exercise to support the main idea that exercise is important for overall health and well-being.

Supported vs Unsupported Statements

Unsupported Statements

  • My bill has an erroneous amount on it.
  • I am deserving of a raise.
  • I am not guilty of the crime.

The claims may be genuine, yet they lack credibility since they are not backed up by evidence.

Supported Statements

  • My bill has an erroneous amount on it. The Biryani Rice Plate, which costs $6.99 on the menu, was what I ordered. The order is right on the bill, however, the total is $16.99.

Characteristics of Supporting Sentences

There are a few main characteristics of supporting sentences:

  • They provide additional information or evidence to support the main idea or topic sentence of the paragraph.
  • They help to develop and clarify the main idea.
  • They provide specific examples or details to help the reader understand the main idea more fully.
  • They should be relevant to the main idea and contribute to the overall purpose of the paragraph.
  • They should be well-written and clearly structured, with proper grammar and punctuation marks.
  • They should be coherent and flow smoothly within the paragraph.
  • They may include evidence, research, examples, explanations, or counterarguments to support the main idea.

Primary vs Secondary Supporting Details

Primary support points are the core concepts that support your main argument, while Secondary support provides information to assist your primary support. So, to support the primary point, the author may offer statistics, facts, definitions, and scientific results. For example, the author draws on personal experiences, recollections, anecdotes, analogies, expert quotes, and personal observations.

Difference between Topic and Supporting Sentences

There are a few strategies you can use to add relevant supporting sentences about the topic sentence:

Provide Specific Examples

One way to support your topic sentence is to provide specific examples that illustrate the main idea. For example, if your topic sentence is:

“Exercise is important for overall health and well-being,”

Research Gate

So, you can add supporting sentences that provide examples of the benefits of exercise, such as: “Regular exercise has been shown to improve cardiovascular health, boost mood and aid in weight loss.”

Offer Evidence or Research:

Another way to support your topic sentence is to provide evidence or research that backs up your main idea. For example, if your topic sentence is “Eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables can lower the risk of heart disease,” you could add a supporting sentence that cites a study or research article that supports this claim.

Explain or Expand upon the Main Idea

You can also add supporting sentences that explain or expand upon the main idea in more detail. For example, if your topic sentence is:

“The Great Wall of China is a significant structure.”

National Geographic

You can add supporting sentences that describe the history and construction of the wall, or the cultural and economic significance it holds for China.

Provide Counterarguments

If you want to present a well-rounded argument, you can also include supporting sentences that address counterarguments or opposing viewpoints. For example, if your topic sentence is “Climate change is a major concern,” you could include a supporting sentence that acknowledges that there are some people who disagree with this view, and then provide evidence or arguments to refute their objections.

Relation of Supporting Sentences to Conclusion

A concluding sentence is a sentence that brings closure to a paragraph by summarizing the main points and reinforcing the main idea. To move from supporting sentences to a concluding sentence, you can follow these steps:

  • Review the main idea and supporting points: Look back at the topic sentence and supporting sentences of your paragraph and consider the main points that you have made.
  • Summarize the main points: In your concluding sentence, briefly summarize the main points that you have made in the paragraph.
  • Reinforce the main idea: In your concluding sentence, reinforce the main idea or topic sentence of the paragraph by restating it in a different way.
  • Provide a sense of closure: Your concluding sentence should provide a sense of closure to the paragraph and help the reader to understand the significance of the main idea.

Moving from Supporting Details to Conclusion

Here’s an example of how to move from supporting sentences to a concluding sentence:

Topic sentence

“Exercise is important for overall health and well-being.”

Supporting Sentences

“Regular exercise has been shown to improve cardiovascular health.”
“Exercise can boost mood and reduce stress.”
“Physical activity is also essential for maintaining a healthy weight.”

AHA journals


Concluding Sentence

“In conclusion, the numerous benefits of exercise make it an important aspect of a healthy lifestyle. By making time for regular physical activity, we can improve our physical and mental well-being and reduce the risk of various health problems.”

By Waqas Sharif

Mr. Waqas Sharif is an English Language Teaching (ELT) Professional, Trainer, and Course Instructor at a Public Sector Institute. He has more than ten years of Eng Language Teaching experience at the Graduate and Postgraduate level. His main interest is found in facilitating his students globally He wishes them to develop academic skills like Reading, Writing, and Communication mastery along with Basics of Functional Grammar, English Language, and Linguistics.

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