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Supporting Sentences

Answer "Who", "What", "Where", "Why" Questions

by Sue Gench


A good paragraph consists of an introductory topic sentence, supporting sentences, and a conclusion statement. Supporting sentences answer the questions of Who, What, Why, How, When. After we write the introductory topic sentence, we ask the Who, What, Why, How, When questions to ourselves. These questions help to evoke ideas supporting the main idea in the introductory topic sentence.

For example, let me suppose, you are against war. What would you say to express your opposition against war? I imagine you would state negative aspects of it because you are against it. You would perhaps state that "I am against the war. Wars are violent. Innocent people get killed in wars. Wars breed hate and in turn more violence because other people kill us for revenge if we kill them. Each sentence in this statement are supporting sentences that answer the questions: "Why are wars violent?" "How are wars violent?" In this example, WHY and HOW questions seem to be appropriate ones to ask.

Another example of supporting questions for the main topic I like to eat healthy could be: "Why do you like to eat healthy?"; "Which foods are healthy?"; "Which foods are not healthy?". These questions trigger good answers to explain the main topic, I like to healthy.

How to ask supporting questions

Supporting questions and paragraph answers





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