Skip to Main Content

The Roadrunner's Guide to English: Examples/Supporting Ideas

Including Examples and Supporting Details in Your Paragraphs

One of the most important things you can do to bring your writing to life for your readers is to make sure that you provide plenty of examples or supporting details to explain the big ideas in each of your paragraphs. For example, let's say you wanted to write a paragraph supporting that thesis statement we discussed earlier about owning dogs. Remember, the thesis statement read "Everyone should own a dog because dogs provide companionship, provide protection, and provide great entertainment."

Let's work on the first body paragraph, the one about companionship. You know that you want to say that dogs are great companions. But what does that mean, exactly? You need to add details to make your point clear. So, take a minute and brainstorm some details or examples of ways in which dogs make great companions. Maybe your list would look like this:

  • Greet you when you get home
  • Wag tails
  • Lie at your feet when you're sitting around the house
  • Go for walks with you
  • Keep you company when you're sick

That's a good list of some of the ways dogs provide companionship. Now, your job is to pick two or, better, three of the best to write about in that paragraph. You want to explain a little bit about each of them.

Say you think you can write something good about dogs greeting you when you get home. You could add a couple of sub-details to that detail. You could say that dogs wag their tails, jump up and down, and try to lick your hands or face when you get home. You could explain that no one other than a dog is that excited to see you every single time you get back, even if you've only been gone for five minutes.


What could you add more detail about? Choose one of the other items from our list, and jot down a couple of things that you could say about that.

Author: Jenny Crisp