Reading for Results - Online Practice
Topic Sentences and Supporting Details

Copyright 2008 © 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: Read each set of three supporting details. Then look at the three topic sentences that follow. Click on the topic sentence that is explained by the three supporting details.

Note: If you let the cursor rest on a pink word, a brief definition will pop up.


Supporting Details:

a. At one time many therapists believed that anorexia nervosa, also called the starvation disease, was a form of rebellion.

b. However, other therapists have argued that anorexia was a way of avoiding adulthood.

c. Researchers are now suggesting that the disease may be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain.

Topic Sentence:

1. Some victims of anorexia nervosa--excessive or irrational dieting--seek out psychiatric treatment, but, more frequently, they try to hide their disease.

2. Although no one really knows what causes anorexia nervosa--excessive or irrational dieting--several theories have been put forward.

3. In some cases, antidepressants have helped in the treatment of anorexia.


Supporting Details:

a. Some people worry that friends will envy them if they become successful.

b. Others are afraid that success will make them stand out in a crowd.

c. Then there are those who simply fear the hard work necessary to maintain a high level of achievement.

Topic Sentence:

1. Many of those people wishing to be successful don't work hard enough to achieve their goal.

2. A surprising number of men and women are afraid of being successful.

3. In our society, far too many people are successful but unhappy workaholics.


Supporting Details:

a. People with claustrophobia, or fear of closed spaces, get anxious on elevators.

b. Agoraphobia is the fear of open spaces, and those suffering from this phobia are unlikely to leave home.

c. People with zoophobia, or fear of animals, are unlikely to own pets.

Topic Sentence:

1. Phobias are irrational fears that persist even when there is no real danger.

2. Social phobia is the fear of situations in which one might be observed, judged, or embarrassed.

3. Phobias are not as common a psychological disorder as some people think.


Supporting Details:

a. About 95 percent of all adults use the left side of the brain for speaking and writing.

b. The left side of the brain is also superior at doing math.

c. The right side, however, has talents of its own: It excels at recognizing patterns, faces, and melodies.

Topic Sentence:

1. The left side of the brain controls the right side of the body.

2. Different sides of the brain control different activities.

3. Scientists are highly critical of educational programs that claim to be based on hemispheric differences.


Supporting Details:

a. People interested in dating often ask their friends if they know anyone who is available.

b. Some people advertise for dates on the Internet.

c. Others prefer to use dating services that, for a fee, guarantee a perfect match.

Topic Sentence:

1. Nowadays, there are a number of ways for people to get a date.

2. American-style dating is all but unknown in Europe.

3. Today's teenagers don't date anymore.

Last change made to this page: 11/07/08

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