Chapter 7: Drafting and Writing a Paper

Good vs. Weak Support

What questions will your readers have? What will they need to know? What makes for good supporting details? Why might readers consider some evidence to be weak?

If you’re already developing paragraphs, it’s likely that you already have a plan for your writing, at least at the most basic level. You know what your topic is, you probably have a main idea or working thesis, and you might have at least a couple of supporting ideas in mind that will further develop and support your thesis.

When you’re developing a paragraph on a supporting idea, you need to make sure that the support that you develop for this idea is solid. See Table 7.2 for examples of good and weak support.

Table 7.2: Good and weak support

Good support Weak support

Is relevant and focused (sticks to the point).

Is well developed.

Provides sufficient detail.

Is vivid and descriptive.

Is well organized.

Is coherent and consistent.

Highlights key terms and ideas.

Lacks a clear connection to the point that it’s meant to support.

Lacks development.

Lacks detail or gives too much detail.

Is vague and imprecise.

Lacks organization.

Seems disjointed (ideas don’t clearly relate to each other).

Lacks emphasis of key terms and ideas.


Student Tip


Good support requires evidence. You need to avoid stating something that appears as a fact or a claim in your writing without evidence to support it. It is important to support your writing with evidence and reference high-quality and credible sources. The evidence should be smoothly threaded into your writing so that it flows with what you are trying to say. It is your responsibility to help the reader understand the significance of the evidence and its function in supporting your writing. For example, how is the evidence incorporated in your paper connected with what you are trying to say?


Activity: Check Your Understanding


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Other than the activity, content from this page was adapted, with editorial changes, from:

The Word on College Reading and Writing by Carol Burnell, Jaime Wood, Monique Babin, Susan Pesznecker, and Nicole Rosevear, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.Download for free at:



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The Scholarship of Writing in Nursing Education: 1st Canadian Edition Copyright © 2019 by Jennifer Lapum; Oona St-Amant; Michelle Hughes; Andy Tan; Arina Bogdan; Frances Dimaranan; Rachel Frantzke; and Nada Savicevic is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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