Reading for Results - Online Practice
Recognizing Supporting Details

Copyright 2006 © Laraine Flemming.
The right to copy this material is granted exclusively to instructors and students using textbooks written by Laraine Flemming. General distribution and redistribution are strictly prohibited.

Directions: Identify the supporting detail that does not support the main idea expressed in the topic sentence.
Then hit the Submit button. You will receive a score and find explanations in boxes to the right of the choices.

Note: Read each sentence and check to see if it further clarifies or proves any word, phrase, or claim in the topic sentence. The sentence that does not fulfill any of these functions is the correct answer.

1. Topic Sentence: Belief in traditional religion, along with church attendance, has been declining in the United States, but spirituality is alive and well and taking many different forms.
Which sentence does not support this topic sentence?
a. In Memphis, an Episcopal church added a special and very untraditional service that blends ancient Irish music with communion.

b. One of the results of the immigration reform of 1965 was that immigration brought with it new religious practices that took hold in the U.S.
c. Out of 1,004 Americans polled by Newsweek and, 57 percent said that spirituality was an important part of their lives.
d. In the same poll, 70 percent said that their spouses shared their beliefs.

2. Topic Sentence: According to a 1999 Texas law, judges have a right to impose a public punishment for certain crimes.
Which sentence does not support this topic sentence?
a. Those convicted of drunk driving can be made to stand at busy intersections with a sign identifying their crime.

b. All 50 states have laws requiring sex offenders to alert communities to their presence.
c. One Texas judge has ordered registered sex offenders to display signs in front of their homes; the signs say "Registered Sex Offender Lives Here."
d. Probation officers say that the Texas law seems to be successful at stopping crime because those on probation are saying they will do anything to avoid public punishment.

3. Topic Sentence: Some athletes are only interested in the pursuit of extreme sports, where the risks include not just injury but death.
Which sentence does not support this topic sentence?
a. Despite the high fatality rate, BASE jumpers leap from buildings, cliffs, and bridges, relying solely on a parachute to save them.

b. Paraglider pilots use nylon wings to take off from mountaintops and float away on wind currents that they hope will carry them safely to a landing place, but there is no guarantee.
c. Not all scientists are convinced that a love of risk-taking (or not) is part of our genetic makeup.
d. Despite the high rate of injuries common to the sport, snowboarding’s popularity continues to grow.

4. Topic Sentence: Although it won’t be big news to pet owners, scientists are now realizing that animals of all kinds, not just chimps, have distinct personalities.
Which sentence does not support this topic sentence?
a. When it comes to escaping from zoos, orangutans are the all-time masters.

b. According to marine biologists at the Seattle Aquarium, the Giant Pacific Octopuses (GPOs) they study tend to vary greatly in behavior; some are consistently shy, others just as consistently aggressive.
c. Sam Gosling, a British psychologist, did a study of hyenas that suggested individual animals have distinctly different personality traits.
d. Researchers have even noticed temperamental differences among spiders and fish, with some given to pronounced risk-taking, whereas others are timid and cautious; the theory is that both personality types develop based on the presence or absence of danger in the environment.

Last change made to this page: 07/15/06

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