Support the Thesis with Specific Evidence
The Importance of Specific Details
Example: Vague support vs. specific support
•Many people in the theater show themselves to be inconsiderate. They make noise and create disturbances at their seats. Included are people in every age group, from the young to the old. Some act as if they were at home in their own living room watching the TV set.
•Little kids race up and down the aisles, usually in giggling packs. Teenagers try to impress their friends by talking back to the screen whistling, and making what they consider to be hilarious noises. Adults act as if they were at home in their living room and comment loudly on the ages of stars or why movies aren’t as good anymore.
Write S in front of the paragraphs that provide specific evidence to support the point and X in front of the paragraphs that have vague, general, or wordy sentences. __________ 1. My mother was a harsh disciplinarian.
When I did something wrong, no matter how small, She would inflict serious punishment,. She had expectations that I was to live up to, and she never changed her attitude. When I did not behave as I should, I was dealt with severely. There were no exceptions as far as my mother concerned.
____________ 2. Some things are worse when they’re “improved”.
A good cheesecake, for one thing, is perfect. It doesn’t need pineapple,
cherries, blueberries, or whipped cream smeared all over it. Plain old American blue jeans, the ones with five pockets and copper rivets, are perfect too. Manufactures only made them worse when they added flared legs, took away the pockets, tighten the fit, and plastered white logos and designers names all over them.
_____________3. Pets can be more trouble than children.
My dog, unlike my children, has never been completely housebroken. When he’s excited or nervous, he still has an occasional problem. My dog, unlike my children, has never learned how to take care of himself when we’re away, despite the
fact that we’ve given him plenty of time to do so. We don’t have to worry about our
grown children anymore. However, we still have to hire a dog-sitter.
Both of the following body paragraphs were written on the same topic and have a clear opening point. Which paragraph is adequately developed? Which one has only several particulars and uses mostly vague, general, wordy sentences to conceal the
fact that it is starved for specific details?
Eternal Youth?—No, Thanks
I wouldn’t want to be a teenager again, first of all, because I wouldn’t want to
worry about talking to girls. I still remember how scary it was to call up a girl and ask her out. My heart would race, my pulse would pound, and perspiration would trickle down my face. I never knew whether my voice would come out deep and masculine, like a television anchorman’s, or squeaky, like a little boy’s. Then there were the
question: Would she be home ? If she was, would she want to talk to me? And if she did, what would I say? The one time I did get up the nerve to take a girl in my homeroom to a movie, I was so tongue-tied that I stared silently at the box of popcorn in my lap until the feature finally started. Needless to say, I wasn’t a very interesting
Terrors of My Teenage Years
I wouldn’t want to be a teenager again, first of all, because I wouldn’t want to
worry about talking to girls. Calling up a girl to as ask her out was something that I completely dreaded. I didn’t know what words to express or how to express them. I
would have all the symptoms of nervousness when I got on the phone. I worried a great deal about how I would sound, and I had a lot of doubts about the girl’s reaction.
Once, I managed to call up a girl to go out, but the evening turned out to be a disaster. I was too unsure of myself to act in a confident way. I couldn’t think of anything to
say and just keep quiet. Now that I look back on it, I really made a fool of myself. Agonizing over my attempts at relationships with the opposite sex made adolescence a very uncomfortable time.
The following essay needs specific details to back up the ideas in the supporting paragraphs. Using the spaces provided, add a sentence or two of clear, convincing details for each supporting idea. This activity will give you practice at supplying specific details and an initial feeling for writing and essay.
Life without Television
When my family’s only television set went to the repair shop the other day, my parents, my sister, and I thought we would have a terrible week. How could we get through the long evening in such a quiet house? What would it be like without all the shows to keep us company? We soon realized, though, that living without television for a while was a stroke of good fortune. It became easy for each of us to enjoy some activities alone, to complete some postponed chores, and to spend rewarding time with each other and friends.
First of all, with no television to compete for our time, we found plenty of hours for personal interests. We all read more that week than we had read during the six month before. _________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ WE each also enjoyed some hobbies we had ignored for ages.
In addition, my sister and I both stopped procrastinating with our homework. _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.
Second, we did chores that had been hanging over our heads for too long. There were many jobs around the house that had needed attention for some time. ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ We also had a chance to so some long-postponed shopping. ____________________ ____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ And each of us also did some letter writing or other paper work that was long overdue. ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________
Finally, and probably the most important, we spend time with each other. Instead of just being in the same room together while we stared at a screen, we actually talked for many pleasant hours.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________. Moreover, for the first time in years my family played some games together. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________. And because we didn’t have to worry about missing this or that show, we had some family friends over on a couple of evening and spent an enjoyable time with them._________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.
Once our television set returned, we were not prepared to put it in the attic. But we had a sense of how it can take our lives if we are not careful. WE are now more selective. We turn on the set for our favorite shows, certain sports events, and the news, but we don’t leave it running all night. As a result, we find we can enjoy television and still have time left over for other activities and interests.