Exercise 1. Main ideas and supporting evidence exercise!


When looking at Xiao’s essays, Anne introduced the concept of main ideas and supporting evidence.

In academic writing, it is good practice to provide supporting evidence for the ideas that you present. The supporting evidence gives the reader more detail and helps them to understand your ideas.

This exercise will test your understanding of main ideas and supporting evidence. Read the sentences below, which were written by Xiao for his essay. Try to identify the main idea and the supporting evidence in each sentence.

Please note: these sentences were written by Xiao and as such may contain some mistakes.

  1. People’s lives very bad after the Second World War. People were poor because the country was poor. There was no food, no electricity and it was hard to buy anything in shops.
  2. Since those days, China has industrialised. It has created jobs and opportunities for people in cities such as Shanghai and Beijing and increased building work, exports and profits.
  3. Other improvements happen in education and everyday behaviour. In school, students are now learning English and modern ideas which come from other countries whereas in the past they spend time learning how to speak the old Chinese language.
  4. There are new customs too. For example, in the past, couples usually got married at home and wore red clothes but now they can marry in church and wear western clothes.
  5. There are some negative changes, such as the number of cigarette smokers has increased and children do not work as hard as before because their live are easy.

In the next step, Anne will go through the answers to the exercise.


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