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Types Of Supporting Statements For Your Essay

In essays, the body typically consists of a series of supporting statements that are designed to explain “why” you’re expressing a particular opinion.  This “why” can take the form of many different things.  Generally, though, it will fall under one (or more) of these five general types of supporting statements.

1. Specific examples

Examples are among the most popular supporting statements for essays, as they provide a tangible account that the reader can imagine, making your assertions more “real” in their minds.  If you argue that a particular politician is corrupt, for instance, you can state instances that depict that person in such a manner, making your claim more believable.

2. Facts

A fact is something that has been derived objectively – it’s something proven and undeniable.  As such, facts that support your assertions  – from statistics to scientific truths – make for some very compelling evidence.

3. Reasons

When you provide supporting statements that aren’t completely “facts,” they generally fall under this category.  Reasons are typically drawn from both facts and opinions tied together by sound logic.  As such, they make sense as an argument, despite not owning full immunity to being challenged.  Want an example?  Read how many times we’ve promoted the use of a grammar checking software using pure “reasoning” in these pages.

4. Descriptions and anecdotes

Describing a particular situation or relaying an anecdotal event can sometimes prove to be a good method of illustrating a point.  Like reasons, they are often subject to interpretation.  When done well, however, they can illuminate unclear points.

5. Expert opinion

People may discount your opinion, but few will do the same for an expert in the field.  If you chance upon an authority on the subject that agrees with you, exploiting their words as a way to support your point can be very powerful.


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