Supporting Details

Supporting details are very important parts of a paper. It can be said that the topic and main idea of a paper is the most important part. But, without supporting details, main ideas and topics are irrelevant.

So, basically, supporting details reinforce a larger point. So, a writer will make a point, which may take the form of a topic or a main idea of a paper.

The next lesson: Synthesizing Text, both lessons are included in Practice Tests.

The following transcript is provided for your convenience.

So, the writer makes that point, and then the writer backs up their point with supporting details. And these details are most often found informative and persuasive text. And this makes sense because if the writer is telling you about something, each main point they make, they’re also going to need to back up with more points so that the reader can be sure that they are being told accurate information.

Then also, in a persuasive text, if the writer is trying to get the reader to do something, or to think a certain way, the writer makes a point. So, you’re going to have to back up those points, so that the reader will indeed think that way or take that action that the writer wants them to take.

And, supporting details are often easy to spot, because the writer will let you know that those details are coming. A lot of times, they’ll make a main point, and then they’ll say something like, “First,” and they’ll give a supporting detail, and “Second,” and give another supporting detail, and then say, “Finally,” and then give the third supporting detail.

Or, they might say something like, “For example,” or, “For instance,” and that would tip you off that the next supporting detail is coming along.

Supporting details need to be two things. They need to be both factual and relevant, because if something is totally accurate and factual, but it’s not relevant to the main idea, then it’s no good. The supporting detail needs to be accurate and needs to relate back to the main idea. And if a supporting detail is very relevant, if it pertains to the main idea but is not accurate, then again, it’s no good, because what good is information that is not true?

So, the important thing to remember with supporting details is that basically their job is to reinforce a larger point, and they can be most often found informative and persuasive text. They’re often easy to spot because they’re preceded by words like “First,” “Second,” “Finally,” or, “For instance,” or, “For example,” and the most important thing for details to be is both factual and relevant.

Practice tests help you remember. Take this mini-test to solidify your memory.
Mini-test: Supporting Details 

1. What are supporting details?
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2. Supporting details are required in what kinds of texts?
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The next lesson: Synthesizing Text, both lessons are included in Practice Tests.

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