Supporting Detail Practice 2


Determine the number of major details in the paragraphs below and make a list of these.  It is useful to identify the topic sentence and to look for transition words that suggest addition (such as first, second, third, moreover, also, in addition, furthermore).  Not all major details are introduced with transition words.


  1. “An apple, a pear, a plum, a cherry, any good thing to make us all merry” are words to an old English ballad praising, among other things, the joys of fresh fruit.  But delight has not been my experience owning fruit trees.  Fruit trees are simply more trouble than they are worth.  First of all, one has to contend with insects.  Regularly spraying is needed to guard against aphids, caterpillars, beetles, and fruit moths.   Disease is yet another problem.  During the blooming period, one has to spray to prevent fire blight, a bacterial disease that can be fatal to apple and pear trees.  Birds are an additional nuisance.  Crows can pick an apple tree clean, while bluebirds and cardinals make it difficult to enjoy even one cherry or blueberry from the whole crop. 


  1. Researchers use a number of techniques to increase the return rate of questionnaires.  Many will follow-up the original mailing.  This follow-up could include a postcard reminder or even a second questionnaire.  A few researchers offer inducements.  For example, some publishers offer respondents a gift certificate for for surveys that are returned quickly.  Another method involves the way respondents are selected.  Some researchers simply exclude nonreaders who are unlikely to return questionnaires or select professionals who are more likely to respond.


  1. Think validity is a simple concept?  Think again!  Statistic textbooks note that there are many kinds of validity. Content validity is the extent to which the measuring instrument covers the content that the researcher is trying to study.  Sampling validity addresses the adequacy of the population that is to be sampled.  Finally, construct validity relates the instrument to an appropriate theoretical framework.


  1. According to Melvin Seeman in his essay “On the Meaning of Alienation,” there are very different conceptual definitions of alienation.  For some, alienation is powerlessness.  Individuals who feel powerless believe that they cannot influence outcomes no matter what they do.  Another definition focuses on meaninglessness.  Here individuals do not seem to understand why others make the decisions that they do.  A third definition focuses on isolation.  Isolated individuals feel separated from society’s accepted values and norms.  


  1. In an article for WebMd, Barbara Sarnatoro argues that certain activities waste valuable time at the gym.  The first time-waster is socialization.  While exercising with a friend may be motivating, don’t let your routine become a social hour.  Another time-waster is resting too long.  Just because the machine you want to use isn’t available doesn’t mean that you should head for the juice bar.  Dressing at the gym itself is also a time-waster.  You may find yourself conversing with someone who has just finished working out, delaying your own routine.  Finally, failing to plan ahead is a common time-waster. 


  1. Most of us have trouble sticking to a regular exercise routine.  However, a few simple tips can help you stay motivated.  First, do a variety of activities you enjoy.  With variety on your side, you will be able to exercise no matter what the weather may bring.  Next, make exercise a priority.  It needs to be more important than watching reruns on television or surfing the Internet.  In addition, try logging your activities.  Write down the number of crunches you do each day or the miles you’re walked.  Finally, reward yourself at meaningful intervals.   (adapted from an article by Leanna Skarnulis for


  1. An effective film review addresses a number of elements.  Acting is one such element.  Do the actors bring the character to life?  Are they believable?  Cinematography is also important.  Is the lighting right?  Is the camera movement jerky?  In some films, the special effects are particularly important.  Does the killer tomato look real? In addition, the soundtrack is often worthy of discussion.  Has the director included music that overpowers the scene? Does the music evoke a sense of comedy when suspense is called for?  


  1. Piaget theorized that children go through distinct stages of intellectual development.  The first stage is the sensorimotor stage, which covers the period from birth to 2 years.  In this stage, the intellectual development of the child is primarily nonverbal.  The next stage is the preoperational stage, spanning 2 years to 7 years.  At this time, children begin to use language and think symbolically.  After the preoperational stage comes the concrete operational stage, spanning 7 years to 11 years.  In this stage, children begin to understand the ideas of time and space.  Finally, there is the formal operations stage, spanning 11 years on up.  In this stage, abstract principles are incorporated into the child’s thought processes.  (adapted from Dennis Coon’s Introduction to Psychology, 1992)


  1. Not all psychologists are the same.  There are a number of different specialties to choose from.  Counseling psychologists assist with emotional and behavioral problems.  Educational psychologists may assess school programs, conduct research on factors that affect learning, or perform standardized testing.    School psychologists may be charged with psychological testing or treating students with learning disabilities.  (adapted from Dennis Coon’s Introduction to Psychology, 1992)


  1. A number of techniques will improve your memory.  Recitation involves repeating what you intend to learn.  Spaced practice means that you alternate study with brief rest periods.  Another technique is overlearning.  Overlearning involves continuing your studies even after you think you have mastered the material.  You might also try using mnemonic devices.  These are memory tricks that help you retrieve information.  Acronyms, acrostics, rhymes, and jingles are a few of such devices. (adapted from Dennis Coon’s Introduction to Psychology, 1992)

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