How to use examples to support written statements


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How to use examples to support written statements


In most kinds of academic writing, it is important to support the statements that you make by providing detail and information. This may be done in a number of ways, for example, opinions can be supported by evidence (giving facts) and general statements can be illustrated by using examples.

If a piece of academic writing includes too many unsupported general statements it will lack authority and tend to create a negative effect on the reader. It is also likely to lead to poor grades because it will look as if the writer does not have a deep knowledge of the topic and has not done any research.

In these activities you will focus on the use of examples to support general statements. You will choose some appropriate examples to support written statements, and you will identify the key words and phrases commonly used to add examples to statements and practise using them appropriately.


Be Able to Use Examples to Support Written Statement

Activity 1: Identifying specific examples


Reading the following topic sentences. Then put a check next to the examples that support the topic sentence in the most specific way.

1 To become a good writer, a student should write often.

2 Living in the city is challenging in many ways.

3 This school offers a lot of opportunities to students.  

Activity 2: Writing spectific examples


Write two examples as supporting details for each of the following topic sentences. Make sure the examples are specific.

1 My friend loves animals.

2 There are many things to see in my city.  

3 Cell phones are useful for many different situations.  

Additional Resources

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1) Alice Savage & Patricia Mayer (2005). Effective Academic Writing 1: The Paragraph, New York: Oxford University Press.


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