Online Tutor For English


Go back to Writing Lessons


How to ask supporting questions to begin an essay

Sue Gench


Below is an exercise for how to ask supporting questions:

  1. First think about what you want to write on. Let's suppose you want to write on ways to rid bad eating habits.

  2. Think a title for this topic using key words and key phrases: eating, bad eating habits, how to stop bad eating habits, how to cure bad eating habits. The title of the essay is the precursor for the reader to predict what the essay is to be about. A good title holds key words or a key phrase for the main topic, and, for this topic, the phrase how to stop bad eating habits makes a good title.

  3. Next, think a main topic sentence using the title above. The title, How to stop bad eating habits, will help you stake out a good main topic sentence. The sentence, "Bad eating habits are most common causes of health problems but they can be stopped." makes a good main topic sentence for this essay because it clearly indicates what this essay will discuss next in the body.

  4. Now that you have staked out the main topic sentence, continue to ask next supporting questions. A "What" supporting question evokes a good supporting idea to begin with. "What are those bad eating habits?"; "What do you mean by bad eating habits?"

  5. Define what you mean by bad eating habits; what are those bad eating habits.

  6. Answer the question. Does your answer provide useful information for this topic? If it does, then write it down.

  7. Next, ask another supporting question of '../sat-preparation/supporting-sentences-who-why-how-etc.php">what', 'who', 'why', 'where', 'which', 'when', 'how'.

  8. Repeat these steps for all the "W questions" untill you can answer the question.

1) The first 'W' question for the topic "What do you mean by bad eating habits?"

The answer you will probably think is "Bad eating habits are quite common, such as eating bad food or junk food; over-eating, skipping meals or nutritious food, or binging."

2) Test your question. Does the answer to the what question above give necessary information? Yes, it does. Then write it down.

3) The second "W" question: "What kinds of foods are bad for health?"

Generally speaking, we know what foods are bad for health. Processed foods, fried foods, junk foods (potato chips, crackers, pretzel, candy, soft drinks). Canned foods are bad for you because they are processed. If you eat canned foods regularly, you endanger your health in the long run. Fried foods you cook or buy, or eat at restaurants are bad for you. Junk foods, such as potato chips, crackers, pretzel, candy, soft drinks are bad for you.

4) Test your question? Does the answer to the what question above provide necessary information? Yes, it does, so put it down.

5) Ask a "why" question: "Why are processed foods, like fried food and junk food, bad for health. What's wrong with these foods?"

Canned foods are bad for you because they contain chemicals to preserve them fresh for a long time. If consumed regularly, these chemicals may, after a while, increase your cholesterol, blood pressure, and damage bowls, intestines, your liver and kidneys, even your brain. Research findings show that regularly consuming chemicals in these foods may cause colon cancer, heart disease, liver and pancreas diseases, memory and mood disorders.

6) Test your answer: Does the answer to the why question provide necessary information? Yes it does, so keep the answer.

7) Ask a "what" question: "What do you mean by over-eating?" "What is over-eating?"

Over eating suggests eating more than necessary; eating excessive calories we don't need to sustain good health. Over eating is associated with obesity, a disease common with people eating bad food or junk food, causing health problems, such as: diabetics, coronary art disease, stomach and colon cancer and liver disorders. So if you are obese, eating processed food, fried food or junk food, you will likely develop one or few of these diseases over time.

"What is binging?"

Binging is also a disorder associated with eating large amount of food at once and then forcing yourself to vomit it. This disorder is common among teenagers. Teenagers binge and then force themselves to vomit under guilt feelings.

8) Ask now the "How" question: How can you stop binging?

By common sense, if you overeat and eat bad food, stop eating bad food, the problem will gradually disappear after a while. On the other hand, if overeating reaches obesity, binging requires effective medical treatment; the binging person may need medical attention, psychological therapy, dietary control under professional supervision.


Show me how to make supporting questions work

Supporting questions and answers

Supporting sentences




© 2014 Copy Rights Reserved at Online Tutor For English

Add Link Online Resources

How to Write a Good Sentence

An Example of Four-Paragraph Essay

A Three-Paragraph Essay

How to Write a Good Paragraph

How to Write a Business Letter

Illustrations of a Well- Written Paragraph

Steps to Write a Three-Paragraph Essay

How to Write a Good Main Topic Sentence

How to Write Good Supporting Sentences

Recommendations for Writing a Good Paragraph

Writing Resources

Articles, a-an, the

Adjectives and Adverbs

Appositives in Complete Sentence

Complete Sentence

Complex Sentence



Parts of Speech

Passive Voice


Parallel Structure


Present Perfect Tense

Present Perfect Continuous Tense


Irregular Verbs

Advertise with us


Online Writing Tutorials 25 USD!

English Tutors Directory

English Tutor Plans

Spoken English Tutor, FAQ

English Writing Tutor, FAQ

Spoken English, Writing Program Online


English Grammar

English Conversation Lessons

English Writing Lessons

Business English

TOEFL Preparation

SAT English

Author Articles


We answer English Language Questions