Supporting Ideas Are: Definition, Characteristics, and Differences with the Main Idea

Supporting ideas are one of the contents contained in a paragraph. Generally, supporting ideas are the result of developing the main idea. In an essay, the writer sometimes not only attaches the main ideas or main ideas, but also attaches more detailed explanations related to the contents of the essay made.

So, so you don’t get confused, before composing or writing, make sure you know the difference between the main idea (main idea) and the supporting ideas first. Let’s look at the following explanation.

What Are Supporting Ideas?

According to the authors Totok Suhardiyanto and Yunita T. Winarto in their book entitled Social Scientific Writing , supporting ideas are detailed and detailed information about the entire contents of the writing or essay. These details are called supporting ideas, which are more specific information elaborated by the author to express his main ideas.

Characteristics of Supporting Ideas

Supporting ideas are usually referred to as explanatory sentences related to the main idea being discussed. So, it can be concluded that supporting ideas are part of a detailed explanation of the main idea. The following are the characteristics of supporting ideas.

  1. Deepen, clarify, detail, and detail in each sentence that is being described according to the main sentence.
  2. Supporting ideas are generally more than one sentence.
  3. Sentences that are written describe the problem of the main idea being written.
  4. Generally, supporting ideas in supporting ideas usually contain an example, data, to statements and explanations.
  5. Usually in one paragraph, the author attaches several sentences.
  6. Explanatory sentences must be complete and clear. Because, if one sentence is omitted, then the writing will be difficult to understand.

From this explanation, we can understand that supporting ideas have important properties to attach a detailed description of the main idea. Then, how is it different from the main idea? Find the answer in the next discussion, Sinaumed’s.

Differences between Main Ideas and Supporting Ideas

Before explaining the difference between the two, you should first understand what is the main idea? The main idea or main idea is the main idea that is usually used as an introductory sentence for a paragraph. And the introductory sentence is not only at the beginning of the sentence, but can be at the end of the sentence, or even at the beginning and at the end of the paragraph.


Main idea 

As the name implies, the main idea can be interpreted as the main idea of ​​a paragraph that will be made. Although the main idea is the core of a paragraph, its existence cannot be separated from the supporting ideas.

Supporting ideas

Supporting ideas are ideas to explain in detail and in detail the ideas that exist in the main idea.


Characteristics of the main idea

Here are the characteristics of the main idea:

  1. Main ideas usually use general sentences.
  2. The purpose of the main idea is to be explained in detail in the next supporting idea, that is, so that the explanation is more detailed.
  3. The location of the main idea is not always at the beginning of the paragraph, so it depends on the type of paragraph (whether inductive, deductive, deductive-inductive, or interactive).
  4. Tree ideas usually stand alone.
  5. Generally, if the paragraph is not too long, usually the main idea is not accompanied by a conjunction.

Characteristics of supporting ideas

The following are the characteristics of supporting ideas:

  1. Supporting ideas usually contain special sentences
  2. Supporting ideas are a form of detailed explanation of the main ideas.
  3. Have a large number of sentences in one paragraph.
  4. Sentences are attached to the main idea or cannot stand alone
  5. The forms of supporting ideas include descriptions, data, examples, statements, and series of events.
  6. Supporting ideas usually use conjunctions.
  7. Supporting ideas are located anywhere, either at the beginning or at the end of the paragraph, depending on the main idea.

How to Determine Main Ideas and Supporting Ideas

After knowing what is the difference between main ideas and supporting ideas, then how do you determine the main ideas and supporting ideas directly?

It may seem difficult, but there are several ways or methods that can help you determine both. The following explains how to determine the main ideas and supporting ideas.

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1. Determine Main Idea

The first is that you have to weave the main idea first. Generally, the main idea can be quoted directly from the main sentence. However, we also have to know that not all main sentences can be used as main ideas.

2. Determining the Core of the Discussion

Usually, the main sentence consists of a complex sentence or a concise sentence unit. So, determining the gist of the discussion usually refers to the gist of the sentence to be discussed, usually containing the subject and predicate, or SPOK (subject, predicate, object, description).

3. Concluding Main Sentences

Next, concluding the main sentence, so that later it can be used as the main idea, you can also reverse the sentence to determine the main idea. For example, in the main sentence containing ‘Papaya leaves have many benefits’ , then you can determine the main idea like the example below.

  • Benefits of Papaya Leaves
  • Various Benefits of Papaya Leaves
  • Benefits of Papaya Leaves

4. Make Paragraphs

Then, after you have concluded the main sentence, then you can start writing the contents of the paragraph. However, if it is difficult to conclude the main sentence, then the main idea can be determined by concluding the contents of the paragraph.

Main Idea Functions and Supporting Ideas

After knowing how to determine the main ideas and supporting ideas, you also need to know what are the uses or functions of the main ideas and supporting ideas. Here are some of its functions:

1. Create a Summary

The function of the main idea and supporting ideas is to make a summary. The summary itself consists of various main ideas which are then combined into one. In finding the main ideas, you must first know what the main ideas are contained in the paragraph.

2. Composing an Essay

The next function is to be able to compose an essay. If we are going to write an essay, we usually make an outline first. Within the framework of this essay, it contains the main ideas which will later be developed with supporting sentences, so as to produce clear and easy-to-understand essays.


Use of Effective Sentences in an Essay or Other

For those of you who like to write, whether essays, articles, or others, you will usually use effective sentences in the sentences and paragraphs that are arranged, this is of course so that it is easy for readers to understand.

Sentences that are composed must also be in accordance with the applicable rules and spelling of the Indonesian language that is good and right. Then, how to use effective sentences?

  • Effective sentences usually have the important elements that each sentence has (both subject and predicate), as well as pay attention to correct and perfected spelling, and how to choose the right diction or word in a sentence.
  • Effective sentences must be sentences that are easily understood by the reader precisely. Even if the sentence is used in spoken or written form.

Characteristics of Effective Sentences with Examples

Then effective sentences have characteristics that we can learn, the following are the characteristics and examples of effective sentences:

1. Appropriateness

Equivalence is the balance between ideas and the language used in sentences. The first thing you should pay attention to is the completeness of the language structure and its use. So, this is what is meant by equivalence in language structure.

Examples of effective sentences:

  • All students are expected to attend on time. (ineffective sentence)
  • All students are expected to attend on time. (effective sentence)

Another example:

  • You have a fever so you can’t study in groups. (ineffective sentence)
  • My brother has a fever so he can’t study in groups. (effective sentence)

2. Parallelism

Parallelism is the similarity of the forms of language used in sentences. Effective sentences must have a parallel form. For example, if the form of the first sentence uses a noun, then the next sentence must also be related to a noun. If the first sentence uses a verb, then the next sentence must also be related to a verb.

For example :

  • The last stage of building completion is installing lighting, wall painting, spatial planning, and testing of the water distribution system.

The sentences are not parallel because the predicate words do not have the same form. For the sentence to be effective, the predicate must also be a noun, something like this:

  • The last stage of building completion is the installation of lighting, wall painting activities, spatial arrangements, and testing of the water distribution system.

3. Thrift

Frugality is avoiding the use of unnecessary phrases or words. There are two possibilities that make sentences wasteful so they are not effective. The first is usually related to plural words, and the second is related to synonymous words.

For example :

  • The students are working on semester exam questions. (ineffective)
  • Students are working on semester exam questions. (effective)

The ineffectiveness of the sentence above is because the word para refers to the plural word, while the word students also refers to a large number of students or more than one. So, to be effective, remove one of the words that lead to the same word or the plural.

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Relationship of Main Idea and Main Idea

If you have previously discussed what supporting ideas are, you also need to know what the main idea is, and what it has to do with the main idea. Determining the main idea is a very important thing for a writer to do. Because, the main idea serves to attract the attention of readers, generally in the form of entertainment, information, and others.

Through this main idea, you can also develop it into a long paragraph or sentence, this is of course so that the information conveyed can be understood and becomes clearer. Therefore, for those of you who like to write, it’s better to first understand what the main idea is.

Because, it is very important in mastering the main idea, so that readers can easily understand the information or messages contained therein. Because, if the main idea is wrong or inappropriate, it will be difficult for the reader to understand, even boring for the reader.

However, there are still many people who are confused about determining the main idea in an article or text. Generally, determining the main idea is to find the main idea in a sentence or writing.

Definition of Main Idea 

Quoting from various sources, the main idea is the main idea or a core of the paragraph. The main idea is then developed in detail into a complete paragraph. The main idea can be located at the beginning or end of the paragraph.

In addition to this main idea, there are also explanatory or supporting ideas, as we have explained the characteristics above. So, this supporting idea is the content of the main idea which is developed into a long sentence and attaches details of the discussion.

The combination of main ideas and supporting ideas is what produces the paragraph as a whole. Usually, in one whole paragraph there is only one main idea.

Characteristics of the Main Idea 

After an explanation of the meaning of the main idea, now it is also important to know its characteristics. What are the characteristics?

Following are the characteristics of the main ideas, namely:

  • Have supporting sentences or development sentences, as a form of explanation.
  • Has support in the form of detailed explanations and reasons that support it.
  • As the core of the article or the center of the discussion
  • It can be located at the beginning of the paragraph or at the end of the paragraph.
  • Has a clear meaning or significance

So based on the explanation above, we can conclude that the main idea is the core of the paragraph .

How is the Main Idea Found?

Actually, an effective way to identify the main idea is very easy, it can even be stated directly in the text. Usually, the main idea can be found:

  • At the beginning of a paragraph, i.e. the first sentence of a paragraph usually explains the subject being discussed.
  • In the closing sentence or paragraph, which is usually at the end of the paragraph, it will be discussed again regarding the main idea stated in the summary or information described in the previous paragraph.

How to Determine Main Idea in Paragraphs

The main idea is usually not always stated clearly or clearly, so it will be more difficult to identify the main idea when it is concluded (implied).

Even so, we can find the main idea through other words in the paragraph. That is in several ways:

  • In a paragraph, it must imply the main idea, such as introducing facts related to the topic to be discussed, before actually stating the topic.
  • The main idea can be taken from the implied paragraph, for example taken from facts, examples, or reasons that provide suggestions or instructions related to the main idea. These clues will lead you to find the main idea.

How to Know the Selection of the Right Main Idea 

If you can summarize reading information in your own words, it means that you have absorbed and understood the main idea in that paragraph. So, to achieve that goal, try to follow the steps below:

  • Write a short summary or summary in your own words, about what you have read.
  • Does the summary you make match the topic in the paragraph?
  • Does your summary contain the same ideas as the author’s statement?
  • Can you write a title or subtitle that will state your summary in less than five words?

If you could rearrange sentences or topics into a question, then determine the content of the summary, would that answer your question? If yes, then you have succeeded in choosing the main idea of ​​a paragraph correctly.

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Thus the information about the supporting ideas, along with their characteristics and differences from the main idea. Hopefully this information is useful.

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