Understanding Computers: Types, Functions and Development

A supporting idea is one of the contents found in a paragraph. Generally, supporting ideas are the result of the development of the main idea. In an essay, the writer sometimes not only attaches the main idea or main idea, but also attaches more detailed explanations related to the content of the essay.

Well, so that you don’t get confused, before making an essay or writing, make sure you know the difference between the main idea (main idea) and the supporting idea first. Let’s look at the following explanation.

What Are Supporting Ideas?

According to the writers Totok Suhardiyanto and Yunita T. Winarto in their book titled Social Science Writing , supporting ideas are detailed and detailed information about the entire content of the writing or essay. These details are called supporting ideas, that is, more specific information that is explained by the writer to express his main idea.

Characteristics of Supporting Ideas

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

  1. Deepening, clarifying, detailing, and detailing in each sentence that is being explained in accordance with the main sentence.
  2. Supporting ideas are generally more than one sentence.
  3. The written sentence describes the problem of the main idea being written.
  4. Generally, supporting ideas in supporting ideas usually contain an example, data, up to statements and explanations.
  5. Usually in one paragraph, the writer attaches several sentences.
  6. The explanatory sentence should be complete and clear. Because, if one of the sentences is omitted, then the writing will be difficult to understand.

From the explanation, we can understand that the supporting idea has an important nature to attach a detailed explanation of the main idea. Then, what is the difference with the main idea? Find the answer in the next discussion, Reader.

Difference between Main Idea and Supporting Idea

Before explaining the difference between the two, it is best to 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 it can be at the end of the sentence, or even at the beginning and end of the paragraph.


Main idea 

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

Supporting ideas

Supporting ideas are ideas to explain in detail and detail the ideas that are 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 explain in detail the next supporting idea, that is to make the explanation more detailed.
  3. The main idea is not always placed at the beginning of the paragraph, so it depends on the type of paragraph (whether it is 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 equipped with a conjunction.

Characteristics of supporting ideas

Here are the characteristics of supporting ideas:

  1. Supporting ideas usually contain specific sentences
  2. Supporting ideas are a form of detailed explanation of the main idea.
  3. Having a large number of sentences in one paragraph.
  4. The sentence is attached to the main idea or cannot stand alone
  5. The form of supporting ideas is for example in the form of descriptions, data, examples, statements, and chain of events.
  6. Supporting ideas usually use conjunctions.
  7. Supporting ideas are located anywhere, can be at the beginning or end of the paragraph, depending on the main idea.

How to Determine Main Ideas and Supporting Ideas

After knowing the difference between the main idea and the supporting idea, then how to determine the main idea and the supporting idea directly?

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It may seem difficult, but there are several ways or methods that can help you determine both. Here is an explanation of how to determine the main idea and supporting ideas.

1. Determine the Main Idea

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

2. Determining the Core of the Speech

Usually, the main sentence consists of a complex sentence or a simple 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 the Main Sentence

Further conclude the main sentence, so that it can then 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 as in the example below.

  • Benefits of papaya leaves
  • Various benefits of papaya leaves
  • Benefits of papaya leaves

4. Making Paragraphs

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

Functions of Main Ideas and Supporting Ideas

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

1. Make a Summary

The function of having a main idea and a supporting idea is to make a summary. The summary itself consists of various main points that are then combined into one. In finding the main ideas, then you must first know what the main idea is 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, usually we will make an essay outline first. In the framework of this essay, contain the main idea that will later be developed with supporting sentences, so as to produce a clear and easy-to-understand essay.

Effective Use of Sentences in an Essay or Other

For those of you who like to write, be it essays, articles, or others, you will usually use effective sentences in the sentences and paragraphs that are compiled, this is of course to be easily understood by the reader.

The sentences that are compiled must be in accordance with the applicable rules as well as good and correct Indonesian spelling. Then, how to use effective sentences?

  • Effective sentences usually have important elements that belong to each sentence (both subject and predicate), as well as pay attention to correct and perfect spelling, and how to choose the right diction or word in the sentence.
  • Effective sentences should be sentences that are easy for the reader to understand accurately. Even if the sentence is used in oral or written form.

Characteristics of Effective Sentences with Examples

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

1. Appropriateness

Appropriateness is the balance between the ideas and the language used in the sentence. 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 matching the structure of the language.

Examples of effective sentences:

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

Another example:

  • My sister has a fever so she can’t study in groups. (ineffective sentence)
  • My sister has a fever so she can’t study in groups. (effective sentence)

2. Parallelism

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

For example:

  • In the final stage of the building’s completion, it is to install lighting, wall painting activities, spatial arrangements, and testing the water distribution system.

The sentences are not parallel because the predicate words do not have the same form. In order for the sentence to be effective, the predicate must also be a noun, as follows:

  • The final stage of the building’s completion is the installation of lighting, wall painting activities, spatial arrangement, and testing of the water distribution system.

3. Thrift

Prudence is avoiding the use of unnecessary phrases or words. There are two possibilities that make the sentence wasteful and ineffective. The first, usually related to plural words, and the second, related to synonymous words.

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For example:

  • The students are working on semester test questions. (not effective)
  • Students are working on semester exam questions. (effective)

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

Relationship of Main Idea and Main Idea

If it has been previously discussed what the supporting idea is, you also need to know what the main idea is, and what is its relationship 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 reader’s attention, 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 become clearer. Therefore, for those of you who like to write, it is good to first understand what the main idea is.

Because, it is very important to master the main idea, so that the reader can easily understand the information or message contained in it. Because, if the main idea is wrong or inaccurate, it will be difficult for the reader to understand, even boring for the reader.

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

Understanding the 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 whole 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 ideas or supporting ideas, as we have explained their characteristics above. So, this supporting idea is the content of the main idea that is developed into a long sentence and includes the details of the discussion.

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

Characteristics of the Main Idea 

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

Here are the characteristics of the main idea, namely:

  • Having supporting sentences or expansion sentences, as a form of explanation.
  • Having support in the form of detailed explanations and reasons that strengthen it.
  • As the core of the writing or the center of the discussion
  • Can be located at the beginning of a paragraph or at the end of a paragraph.
  • Has a clear meaning or meaning

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

How Are Key Ideas Found?

Actually, an effective way to identify the main idea is very simple, it can even be directly poured into the text. Usually, the main idea can be found:

  • At the beginning of the paragraph, 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 explained in the previous paragraph.

How to Determine the Main Idea in a Paragraph

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 inferred (implicit).

However, the main idea can be found through other words in the paragraph. Namely in several ways:

  • In a paragraph, it must imply the main idea such as introducing the facts related to the topic to be discussed, before actually stating the topic.
  • The main idea can be taken from an implied paragraph, for example taken from facts, examples, or reasons that give advice or guidance related to the main idea. The clues will guide you to find the main idea.

How to Know the Selection of the Right Tree Ideas 

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

  • Write a summary or short summary in your own words, of what you have read.
  • Does the summary you made match the topic in the paragraph?
  • Does the summary you made contain the same ideas as the writer’s statement?
  • Can you write a title or sub-heading that will summarize you in less than five words?

If you can rearrange the sentence or topic into a question, then determine the content of the summary, has it answered your question? If so, then you have succeeded in choosing the main idea of ​​a paragraph correctly.