Research Paper: Ideas

Contributor: Delaine Thomas. Lesson ID: 12332

What if you tried to follow map directions that took you on crazy detours, or tried to follow road signs that point in different directions? Don't do that with your writing! Make it easy to follow!



English / Language Arts
learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Look at the card tower above.

  • Will the base of the cards support the tower built on top of it? Why or why not?
  • What does this have to do with writing, especially if you're not writing about card towers?

The boy in the above picture appears to have built a strong base for his tower of cards.

He is concentrating and taking his time when adding each card to the tower so it will be supported by the cards under it. If he does not have a strong base and does not make sure each level is supported by the level below, the cards will all fall down.

Your writing is the same way.

If you have a great main idea but your supporting details are weak, then your writing will not come across as a strong piece of writing. You need to make sure your supporting details are strong and that they give more information about the main idea.

Before you continue, if you missed or would like to review the previous Related Lessons in our Research Paper series, find them in the right-hand sidebar.

As you watch the video below, take notes on a piece of paper. You want to write a definition for main idea and supporting details.

Main Idea | Award Winning Main Idea and Supporting Details Teaching Video | What is Main Idea? from GrammarSongs by Melissa:

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The main idea is the big point or the most important idea the writer is communicating to the reader. Often, the main idea is in the first sentence of the paragraph.

Remember, when you are trying to find the main idea, ask yourself, "Who or what is this passage about?"

The supporting details are the things that describe the main idea and tell us more about it. Remember to stick to your main idea and don't add information that does not support it.

Before you continue to the next section, explain out loud what you learned about main ideas and supporting details from the video.

Then you may continue to the Got It? section, where you will get practice in selecting strong supporting details.

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