Supporting sentences

What is a supporting sentence? Supporting sentences are the ones that develop the topic sentence. They give information that explains and expands the topic of the paragraph. They also answer the questions who? what? where? when? why? how? in order to develop the main idea. Finally, good supporting sentences have different goals.

What are the different goals of supporting sentences?


The family moved from the village to the capital for
economic reasons.


She lived in a lovely three-storey castle surrounded by a forest.

Give facts

More than 10% of the university’s student population is international.


Different types of fruit grow in California, such as oranges and grapefruit.


Many tourists visit Bangkok, which is the capital and largest city in Thailand.

You don’t have to use them all in the same paragraph. The type of supporting sentences you will use depends on the purpose of your paragraph.

The main aspect to keep in mind is that all supporting sentences must be connected and related to the topic sentence of your paragraph.

Here you have an example:

I have a dream to visit Alaska. The weather is beautiful there. I love cold weather. When the temperature is low, I have energy! I also want to visit Alaska because I love nature. Alaska looks so pure and natural. I dream about its scenic landscape. In addition, there are wild animals. Finally, I want to learn important information about the native people of Alaska. Their culture sounds very interesting to me. I hope to visit this wonderful state soon.

All the sentences in italics support the first sentence (topic sentence). They develop the main idea. In other words, the author explains why s/he wants to visit Alaska. Notice that all the supporting sentences are connected to the main idea. All of them are relevant to justify why the author has this dream.

You’re now ready to write amazing supporting sentences for your paragraph!

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