Supporting Details

supporting sentences

Organizing Supporting Sentences

Writing effectively is critical for scoring high on writing tests. Paragraphs must be organized and they must say something about the topic.

After you have written your topic sentence, your paragraph must contain details in the form of examples, explanations, or facts to support the controlling idea. These details should be arranged in a logical order, either by time, or place, or order of importance.
Below is a list of transitions that writers often use to organize their paragraphs.


  • before + time (before ten o’clock)
  • before + verb (before leaving home)
  • before + noun (before lunch)
  • after + time (after one o’clock)
  • after + verb (after eating breakfast)
  • after + noun (after class)
  • after that
  • after a few minutes/days
  • during
  • next
  • in the morning/afternoon/evening
  • yesterday/today/tomorrow
  • at night
  • last week/month/year


  • in front of
  • next to
  • across from
  • behind
  • on the train/bus
  • in the car/taxi
  • on the sidewalk
  • at home/school/the mall

Order of Importance

  • first/second
  • the first/next/last thing you do
  • next
  • another
  • also
  • in addition
  • finally