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Elaborating with Supporting Details

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Elaborating with Supporting Details

Bridge support

Different types of details provide different types of support for your focus or thesis. Before you write, gather many types of details. When you create a first draft, weave those details together into an interesting explanation or argument:




Facts and statistics

Specific information that can be proven

The 2011 Tohoku tsunami was caused by an earthquake (fact) that measured 9.0 (statistic) on the Richter scale.


Illustrations of a main point

Some dog owners do not take care of their pets. (main point) On my block, one owner never takes his dog for a walk. (example)


Brief stories that make a point

My grandfather always found ways to entertain me. One day he placed two bowls at the end of his deck. One of the bowls was filled with water, and the other one with seeds. He then . . .


Words of people involved

To live on a space station is to live on the edge. Astronaut Jerry Linenger, who spent 122 days on a space station, says, "There's something about it that makes you feel, 'Yeah, I'm on the frontier'" (Hoversten).


Meanings of unfamiliar words

A tsunami is a massive transfer of energy from the crust of the earth to a body of water.


Answers to the question, "Why?"

Esperanza and her mother decided to move from Mexico to the United States. With the father dead, they found themselves with no place to live.

Refutations or Concessions

Answers to objections

Although many Americans long for the "good old days" of the 1950s, they seem to forget that the standard of living was much lower for most Americans then.


The writer's thoughts on a subject

I could only imagine how much the ship must have tossed on the high seas. The heat, the cramped quarters—it made me sick.


Your Turn Try your hand at using different kinds of details to support a point. Select one of the following humorous thesis statements. Then invent at least four different details to support the thesis you have chosen, using types from the chart above. How does each detail support your point? Which detail provides the strongest support? Why?

  1. I should be president of the United States.
  2. Our new National Anthem should be the song ____________________.
  3. Bears should go to college.
  4. The one color that should be outlawed is ____________________ .
  5. Opossums are disreputable.

Teacher Support:

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Answer Key:

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Standards Correlations:

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