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Key Details That Support the Topic

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Basics on the topic Key Details That Support the Topic

Have you ever wanted to make your writing more interesting and easier for the reader to understand? Adding key details to your writing can make it clearer and more fun to read. Learn about the main topic and key details that support the topic through the interactive video!

Main Idea and Key Details – Introduction

The majority of texts have a topic – a subject that the text is focused on. Usually, the first sentence of a text or a paragraph is a topic sentence. A topic sentence includes the main idea of the topic of writing.

After you identify the topic and the topic sentence, you can start adding key details.

Key Details – Definition

Key details are words or sentences that provide important information about an event. Key details can give information about who, what, when, where, why and how.

Key details can also help to answer a question about the topic or help make sense of what is being read. They can also be reasons, facts, or examples. You can use this key details chart to remember the functions of key details:

25835_01.svg

Take a look at the example:

The sculpture of a fairy in Green Park is one of the main sights of our town. It was designed by a famous sculptor more than 100 years ago as a birthday present for his daughter.

The topic of the passage above is a famous sight of the town – a fairy sculpture in Green Park. The second sentence adds key details to the topic:

Key detail Example from the text
who designed the sculpture a famous sculptor
why was the sculpture designed as a birthday present for his daughter
when more than 100 years ago

All the key details above support the topic sentence.

Key Details – Strategy

When you plan your writing, the first thing you need to think about is your topic. After you write a topic sentence, you need to think about adding key details. Three key details is a good number to include in your paragraph. To make your planning easier, you can use this key details graphic organiser:

25835_02.svg

Let’s add two more sentences with key details to our passage! It already has a topic sentence – The sculpture of a fairy in Green Park is one of the main sights of our town- and one sentence that adds details about the statue – It was designed by a famous sculptor more than 100 years ago as a birthday present for his daughter. We know who created the statue, when and why. Now let’s add key details about what the statue looks like. Here is how:

The fairy statue is made of bronze and stands on a plinth covered in colourful tiles.

This sentence adds a key detail about the looks of the statue and answers the questions readers might have: “Is the statue beautiful? What does it look like?”

Another key detail we can add to the paragraph, is information about the reason the fairy statue is so popular:

Many people visit the park and take photos with the fairy statue, but it is especially popular among children – even though it was created 120 years ago, it looks exactly like the character in the new cartoon about fairies!

Now, after we added the key details to the text, it is more interesting to read. It also helps readers to better understand the topic and imagine the beautiful fairy statue!

Main Idea and Key Details – Summary

Let’s review what we learned about key details in texts:

Key details are sentences that give important information about an event. When you plan your writing, choose a topic and write a topic sentence. Then add the key details. These key details usually answer questions that begin with who, what, when, where, why and how. Key details can also help to answer a question about the topic or help make sense of what is being read. They can also be reasons, facts, or examples.

Now you know how to identify key details in a text and add them to your writing. Use this article to complete your key details worksheets or create a key details poster . Don’t forget to use our main idea and key details graphic organiser to make your writing even better!

If you want to learn more about how to find the main idea in the informational text using key details, check out our video on this topic.

Frequently Asked Questions about Key Details That Support the Topic

What are key details?
How to find key details in a text?
What is a key difference in the use of details in the texts?

Transcript Key Details That Support the Topic

Ernie seems a bit down in the dumps today. Hopefully, Jane knows how to cheer him up! "Ernie, write in my special wish book, whatever you write, happens! The more details to support the topic, the better!" "Is that so, Jane? Let me see!" Today, Ernie will be writing using key details that support the topic. In writing, there is usually a topic or subject that is being focused on. A topic sentence includes the main idea of the topic of writing. After a topic and topic sentence are identified, key details can be included! Key details are sentences that give important information about an event. This could be who, what, when, where, why and how! Key details can also help to answer a question about the topic or help to make sense of what is being read. They can be reasons, facts or examples. As you can probably tell, key details are very important in writing! So, what is the best way to plan your writing to include key details? A graphic organiser like this can help plan key details to support a topic. Three key details is a good number to aim for because it adds just the right amount of information to the topic you are writing about! Now we know all about key details and how to plan the writing, let's see what Ernie decides for his topic! Ernie decides that he will write about his perfect day at the beach. Ernie begins with his topic sentence, ‘There is nothing that would cheer me up more than being at the beach.' Now Ernie has his topic sentence he can start to think about key details that support his topic. He is writing about how the beach can cheer him up so all of his key details must support this claim! Ernie thinks to himself, 'Well, I love the feeling of the sea at my feet as I lounge in a chair at the water's edge.' Since Ernie has given a key detail here to support his topic, he writes: I love the feeling of the sea at my feet as I lounge in a chair at the water's edge. Watch carefully for Ernie's second key detail! Ernie thinks to himself, 'I especially love a delicious ice cream at the beach, that always makes me feel good!' What was Ernie's second key detail? It was: I especially love a delicious ice cream at the beach, that always makes me feel good. Both of Ernie's key details support his topic: the perfect beach day! Can you think of a third key detail that he could use to support the topic? Share your key detail in the comments below! While Ernie finishes up, let's review! Remember, Key details are sentences that give important information about an event. You can use a graphic organiser to help you plan your writing. First, you need to think of a topic, then write a topic sentence. Then, you can start planning your key details. This could be who, what, when, where, why and how! Key details can also help to answer a question about the topic or help to make sense of what is being read! They can be reasons, facts or examples! "Wow Jane, you were right about the book!" "I told you! But I think I should put the book away now.”

Key Details That Support the Topic exercise

Would you like to apply the knowledge you’ve learnt? You can review and practice it with the tasks for the video Key Details That Support the Topic.
  • What do these words mean?

    Hints

    Key details give us important information about the topic.

    The topic reflects what the writing is about.

    The main idea is written before the key details.

    Solution
    • Key details - sentences that give important information about an event.
    • A graphic organiser - helps plan the writing.
    • Topic - the subject that is being focused on.
    • The topic sentence - the main idea of the topic is included.
  • Sort the steps in writing using key details.

    Hints

    We first think about what to write about.

    Using a graphic organiser is helpful in planning.

    The topic sentence includes the main idea.

    Solution
    1. Think of a topic or subject to write about.
    2. Use a graphic organiser to plan your writing.
    3. Write a topic sentence.
    4. Write the key details that support the topic sentence.
  • Can you help Jane start her writing project?

    Hints

    The topic sentence is already started for you, can you complete it?

    Think about key details that support the idea that Jane enjoys baking. Look for sentences that are positive.

    Solution

    Topic sentence: There's nothing I love more than an afternoon baking in the kitchen.

    Key details:

    • I love experimenting with new flavours.
    • It relaxes me as I focus on what I am baking.
    • The end results are always great to try!
  • Can you help Dee choose the key details to include for his letter?

    Hints

    Key details answer a question. The question is, why do cats make brilliant pets?

    Key details should support the topic sentence.

    Look for positive things about cats that Dee can use to persuade Kala.

    Solution

    Cats make brilliant pets.

    • Cats are cuddly and cute.
    • Cats know how to keep themselves clean.
    • Cats are fun to play with.
    These answers are incorrect as they don't support the topic sentence:

    • We can buy food from the supermarket. - this is not relevant to the topic.
    • Cats sometimes scratch with their sharp claws - while this may be true, it's not a reason to want a cat as a pet.
    • A cat's litter box can smell really bad - this may also be true but it's not a good reason to want a cat.
  • What are key details?

    Hints

    Key details tell us something important.

    Key details are sentences.

    Solution

    Key details are sentences that give important information about an event.

  • Which of the below choices describe the purpose of key details in writing?

    Hints

    Key details should always be related to the topic that it's written about.

    Key details can be reasons that support the claim in the topic.

    There are four correct options.

    Solution

    Key details are all of the following:

    • Key details are sentences that give important information about an event.
    • Key details help answer a question.
    • Thinking about questions like, who, what, when, how, where and why can help you plan key details.
    • Key details can also include examples.