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Identifying the Supporting Points

  Once you have decided on your topic and your main controlling idea, you need to choose the two, three, or four supporting points about the topic. The topic is what the paragraph or essay is about; the supporting points are the most important things you have to say about your topic. You will have generated the supporting points in your pre-writing activities. The main points should be important, distinct, and relevant.


Each main point should be worth reading and writing about.

Example: One of these points is not important.


Main Points

Study skills

  • Summarizing
  • Time management
  • Buying notebooks (Not important)
  • Taking notes


Each of the main points must be different from all the others. None of the points should duplicate any of the other points.

Example: One of these points is not distinct.


Main Points

Advantages of exercise

  • Keep healthy
  • Lose weight
  • Stay in good shape (This is the same as the first one — it is not distinct)
  • Get more energy


All the main points should relate to the subject and help develop the reader’s knowledge about the subject.

Example: One of these points is not relevant.


Main Points

Benefits of gardening

  • Fresh air
  • Variety of colours (Not relevant)
  • Physical exercise
  • Intimacy with nature