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Stated main idea

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  • 1. Identifying the Stated Main IdeaSentenceand theSupporting Detailsof a Paragraph
  • 2. The SkillEvery paragraph has a topic.Every paragraph has a main idea.When an author includes a sentence in aparagraph that tells his or her most importantpoint about the topic, that sentence is calledthe stated main idea sentence.
  • 3. Main IdeaThe main idea answers the question,“What is the author’s one most important pointabout the topic?”
  • 4. Characteristics of aMain Idea Sentence Must always contain the topic (the word, name, orphrase that tells who or what the paragraph is about) Must always make complete sense by itself (even ifyou couldn’t read the rest of the paragraph) Must be a general sentence that sums up the detailsin the paragraph
  • 5. Location of theStated Main Idea SentenceCan appear anywhere in a paragraph: Most often it appears at the beginning. The next most likely location is at the end. The third possibility is somewhere else within theparagraph.Regardless of where it appears, it will have supporting details thatexplain more about it, give examples of it, or prove it.
  • 6. How to Test the Sentence You HaveIdentified as the Stated Main IdeaWhen you think you have located a statedmain idea sentence, see if it meets thesecriteria:1. The sentence contains the topic.2. The sentence tells the author’s most importantpoint about the topic.3. The sentence makes complete sense by itself.
  • 7. Main Idea CadenceIt’s important that you findThe point the author has in mind.The main idea is its name,But “topic sentence” is the same.The main idea is top-shelf;It makes sense all by itself.And never once should you doubt it:Details all tell more about it.This sentence has the topic, too.It gives a summary or overview.Stated main ideas you can find,So highlight them or underline.
  • 8. Supporting Details =Additional Information to Help YouUnderstand the Main Idea Details consists of specific information such asexamples, explanations, descriptions, proof,and statistics. Who, what, when, where, why, how?The answers will be in the details.
  • 9. The Edge:Pointers from Ms. Lowans Only ONE sentence can be the stated main idea in aparagraph. Avoid choosing a sentence just because it interestsyou or you think it sounds important. Be sure you understand the sentence. The main idea is NEVER a question. Examples are details that support the main idea, soexamples cannot be the main idea. Watch for words or phrases authors use to signal theirmain idea: The point is, It is important, Thus, etc.
  • 10. The Edge (continued) Read the entire paragraph before you decide ifthere is a stated main idea sentence. Longer selections (such as textbook sections,essays, articles, and editorials) can haveoverall stated main ideas. Locating the main idea is a skill that underliesseveral important study skills, such as markinga text, outlining, making concept maps, andwriting summaries.
  • 11. The Edge: Pointersabout the Stated Main Ideaand Supporting Details Main idea and details are not the same. The main idea is general. Details are specific. Examples are always details. Underline the main idea, but number the details in aparagraph. Details are often presented in a bulleted, numbered, orlettered list. Details are often introduced by In addition, also,moreover, another, next, then, last, finally, etc. The main idea may give a clue about the number oftypes of details: “There are four categories of galaxies.”
  • 12. Main Idea andSupporting Details “House”Main IdeaSupporting Details