Supporting Details

Major details are the sentences in a paragraph that directly support or illustrate the topic of the main idea in a very specific way.

The strategies explained in this section are:

  1. Turning the main idea sentence of a paragraph into a question.
  2. Looking for transition words.

1 Gas stations still provide gas, but often they no longer provide service. 2 For one thing, attendants at many stations no longer pump gas. 3 Motorists pull up to a combination of convenience store and gas islands where the attendants, with clean hands, are comfortably enclosed in a glass booth with an opening for taking money. 4 Drivers must get out of their cars to pay for and pump their own gas, which has the bonus of perfuming their hands and clothes with the hint of gas. 5 In addition, even at stations with "pump jockeys," workers have completely forgotten other services that once went hand in hand with pumping gas. 6 They no longer know how to ask, "check your oil or water?" 7 Drivers must plead with attendants to wash their windshields. 8 And the last attendant who checked tire pressure must have died at least ten years ago. 9 Finally, many gas stations no longer have mechanics on the premises. 10 Limping down the highway in a backfiring car for emergency help at the friendly service station is a thing of the past. What is the main idea?

Chimpanzees, skillful tool-users, use several objects found in their environment as tools. First of all, they use sticks. They have been seen inserting carefully trimmed sticks into termite mounds and then withdrawing the sticks and eating the termites that cling to them; they also are known to use sticks to steal honey from beehives. In addition, chimps use leaves in a variety of ingenious ways. For example, they have been seen rolling leaves into cones to use as drinking cups, dampening them and using them to clean their bodies, and chewing them until they can serve as sponges. Finally, chimpanzees have been observed using stones to crack open nuts. How many major supports did you find?

Legal searches of premises include those authorized by search warrants, consent, and urgent circumstances. The Supreme Court has given considerable latitude to police in the areas of person and vehicle searches, but has been reluctant to relax the search of premises. One of the rules of the legal search of premises is that only the person in legal control can give consent. If the property is held in common by more than one holder, then any owner can give consent. If police deceive a person by telling him or her they have a search warrant when they do not, then the search is illegal because it was done by trickery rather than by consent. Perhaps the Supreme Court has been reluctant to give police total authority to search premises because of the traditional belief that "a person's home is his or her castle." (Bartollas & Hahn, p.149)According to this passage, police may not conduct searches of premises when

The spleen is a fist-shaped organ located on the left side of the body just under the diaphragm. You might think that the spleen, like the appendix, was relatively useless since we tend to remove it whenever it is ruptured. While it is true that an individual can live quite well without a spleen, s/he tends to be much more susceptible to blood infections. It would appear that the spleen is a filtering site for bacteria and other invading cells. There is a high concentration of both T-cells and B-lymphocytes in the spleen that detect any non-resident cells, match them against known invaders, and produce antibodies if appropriate. The spleen also will remove dead cells and other debris from the blood. If the spleen is removed, the individual is up to 50 times more susceptible to infection, particularly diseases such as pneumonia and malaria. (Atkinson, p. 27)According to the passage, the spleen

There are millions of people who are in love and in pain because their love is not returned. Chances are, several people you know are going through the painful process of falling out of love. Falling out of love is usually a natural, although painful, process. Most people can and do fall out of love without help. Time heals, they meet other people, and their lives go on. On the other hand, for some of us the loss of a love can be almost an overwhelming obsession, or an intense, enduring, immobilizing pain. In order to "fall out of love," first and foremost, we need to realize that "falling in love" is not a rational process. It's not planned or reasoned. It is an intense emotional and intuitive experience. A lot of it is magic and chemistry. Because falling in love is emotionally learned, it has to be emotionally unlearned if you are going to fall out of love. That is why insights, rational thinking, and exploring the reasons you fell in love are all inefficient and ineffective. The whys of your love can be intriguing, but it is unlikely that knowing them will help you stop the pain of being in love with someone who does not love you. You need to ask yourself if you want to stop the pain, and the way you stop that pain is not by talking about it or by looking for insights. It is by dealing with that pain in a direct, systematic way. (Phillips, pp.19; 24)According to the passage, falling out of love