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2 Tutorials that teach Examples as Supporting Details
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Examples as Supporting Details

Examples as Supporting Details

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Author: Linda Neuman

Arguments, evidence, and direct examples are all supporting details that will help you make claims and prove your points. Supporting details strenghten the validity of thesis statements, and help persuade the reader to take interest in what you communicate. Learn valuable techniques to add meaningful supporting detalils to enhance your writing skills.

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Lead by Example

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Source: Linda Neuman

Lead By Example

When you see an ad that demonstrates how fast and easy a vacuum cleaner sucks up a big mess, you want to buy that vacuum cleaner. You might not even need one, but watching it work so well at least has you believing it’s a great vacuum cleaner.

The same is true when you are trying to prove a point in writing.

Examples are very strong evidence that your claim is valid. If you can prove it with a direct example, or even better, more than one example, you’ll have your reader convinced.

Let’s say the goal of your paper is to explain why businesses should be basing all their decisions on attaining exponential growth as quickly as possible.

Your first topic sentence will probably want to address the way exponential growth can lead to astronomical numbers very quickly.

Example: If you put a grain of rice on one square of a chessboard, then for every square beyond it you got double the amount you had from the square before, you would end up with a pile of rice larger than Mt. Everest.

Example: Some previously unknown Youtube videos get thousands of hits after a week on the Internet, because Facebook users can post a link for hundreds of friends to see, who can each share it with their hundreds of friends.

Both these examples clearly demonstrate the concept of exponential growth leading to huge numbers in a short time, and you’ve even included a real-life example of how we all experience it whenever a video goes viral on the Internet.

They don't even have to be real

Examples can be made up, like the rice on the chessboard. If you do make one up, just be sure your reader won’t find any holes in your fabricated example. Tell it to a friend first, then ask if it was believable. If not, ask why; is it something you can fix, or do you just need to try a different example?

Good examples that clearly demonstrate the validity of your thesis are as persuasive as the powerful vacuum cleaner. They’re your way of saying “See? It really works!”

Questions and Answers

  • Answer 1
    peculier girl over 1 year ago

    can u give me a topic sentence and a supporting idea for the topic ''The ODPEM urges the public to be prepared.''

      Linda Neuman answered about 2 months ago

      Hello! I did not know you had posted a question, so I apologize for the lateness of the answer! I'm going to answer anyway, as it might help others with similar questions. First of all, on first mention of an acronym such as OPDEM, you need to spell it out. Spell the full name and then put the acronym in parentheses (OPDEM) after the name. Otherwise, the sentence is a very good one for a topic sentence--it is general, not specific, and clearly states the topic to be explored. For your first supporting detail, you'll want to explain what you mean by "urges the public to be prepared." You can give an example of what they have done, or show HOW this organization urges the public (via public service announcements on TV, etc). Thank you for asking!

  • charles
    Answer 1
    charles — almost 2 years ago

    can you give the supporting details for the topic "cooking requires a number of different skills"

      Linda Neuman answered almost 2 years ago

      Hi Charles, sorry I have been away for a while and not able to answer. The topic sentence you have provided claims that a number of different skills are needed for cooking. What are they and why are they needed? These will be your supporting details, because they will serve to prove your claim that one must possess several skills in order to cook food. For each skill you name, you need to explain why it is needed. For example, one must know how heat affects certain foods. Too much heat can burn, while too little might not be enough to produce the intended taste or texture. Now give an example: Butter left unattended at high heat will quickly turn brown, so it must be melted at low or medium heat in order to retain its yellow color, creamy texture, and delicate taste.Thanks for your question!

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