ParaPro Reading Study Guide: Identify Supporting Ideas

Every main idea has to have supporting details or ideas. These are specific areas of evidence within a passage that help indicate what the topic is about.

Many times with this section, the author will give you the main idea and ask you what the supporting idea is. For example, they will ask, “What details support the idea that x led to y?

When figuring out supporting ideas:

  • Read the question thoroughly
  • Decipher the passage’s Who, What, Where, When, and Why.
  • Focus on the main idea. What evidence is given to get you to that main idea?

Example 1

Many schools have implemented school uniforms as a way to improve student behavior and improve focus in the classroom. Studies have illustrated that schools that have implemented uniforms have fewer disciplinary referrals. Teachers also believe that students are more focused on their work and are less distracted by what other students are wearing in class. Teachers get more out of their students who are more concentrated on taking notes and doing what they are supposed to do. It also helps school officials identify intruders, helping law enforcement identify any problems entering campus

What detail supports the idea that uniforms help student conduct in the classroom?

  1. There have been fewer disciplinary referrals
  2. Students are less distracted by what students wear in class
  3. Students increasingly do their work in class
  4. It helps administrators and the school police identify anyone trespassing

Look at the question and then ask yourself which option refers most to the idea of student conduct? The key word in option A is “disciplinary referrals” since this deals directly with a student’s behavior. The other options all support the main idea that school uniforms have more positive influences than negative ones, but they focus on other areas of the question, not necessarily student conduct.

Supporting Ideas Review Test

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