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Finding Main Ideas
 

Finding Main Ideas

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    Finding Main Ideas Finding Main Ideas Presentation Transcript

    • Finding Main Ideas Location of Topic Sentences
    • Finding Main Ideas in Passages
      • The main idea of a passage is the thought that is present from the beginning to the end .
      • In finding the main idea, ask yourself these:
        • What idea is common to most of the text?
        • What is the idea that relates the parts to the whole?
        • What opinion do all the parts support?
    • Finding Main Ideas
      • Paragraphs usually have 2 types of sentences:
      • ------ a topic sentence , which contains the main idea, and
      • ------ one or more detail sentences which support, prove, provide more information, explain, or give examples.
    • Look at this example paragraph:
      • There are many uses for this great product .
      • Some mix it with chocolate to make cake icing.
      • It is the main ingredient in some milkshake mixes.
      • It will also kill rats in small amounts.
      • The first sentence introduces the main idea and the other sentences support and give the many uses for the product.
    • Rules for Finding the Topic Sentence
      • 1. The topic sentence is usually first , but could be in any position in the paragraph.
      • 2. A topic is usually more "general" than the other sentences , that is, it talks about many things and looks at the big picture. Sometimes it refers to more that one thing. Plurals and the words "many", "numerous", or "several" often signal a topic sentence.
    • Rules for Finding the Topic Sentence
      • 3. Detail sentences are usually more "specific" than the topic , that is, they usually talk about one single or small part or side of an idea. Also, the words "for example", "i.e.", "that is", "first", "second", "third", etc., and "finally" often signal a detail.
      • 4. Most of the detail sentences support, give examples, prove, talk about, or point toward the topic in some way.
    • Where is the topic sentence in this paragraph?
      • Sleep problems can be avoided if you follow a few simple guidelines. First , don’t drink alcoholic beverages or drinks with caffeine before bedtime. Next, do not exercise within three hours of bedtime. Finally , plan a sleep routine. Every day, go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time. 
    • Where is the topic sentence in this paragraph?
      • Some people fall asleep easily. Others aren't so lucky. They toss and turn well into the night. Fortunately, there are solutions to sleeplessness. In many cases, one can avoid sleep problems by following a few simple guidelines.  First sleepless people should refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages or drinks with caffeine before bedtime. Next , they should not exercise within three hours of bedtime. Finally , they need plan a sleep routine.
    • A topic sentence can appear at the end of a paragraph (as a summary or a conclusion)
      • To avoid sleep problems, you should not drink alcoholic beverages or drinks with caffeine before bedtime. Another way to avoid sleep problems is to not exercise within three hours of bedtime. A final way to prevent sleep problems is to plan a sleep routine. Every day, go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time. As can be seen, sleep problems can be avoided by following the above simple guidelines
    • A topic sentence can sometimes be found as the first and the last sentences in a paragraph
      • One can avoid sleep problems by following a few simple guidelines . First, don’t drink alcoholic beverages or drinks with caffeine before bedtime. Next, do not exercise within three hours of bedtime. Finally, plan a sleep routine. Every day, go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time. If you follow these guidelines, you will be able to avoid problems with sleeping.
    • A question will never be a topic sentence .  
      • Do you know what to do if you have trouble sleeping? In many cases, one can avoid sleep problems by following a few simple guidelines.   First, don’t drink alcoholic ... Next, do not ..... Finally, ...........
      • *Look for the answer to the question -this will be the topic sentence of the paragraph
    • Topic Sentences: Exercise B
      • (1)The world's oldest known bound book is a prayer book. (2) The book is over 1,600 years old. (3) It was discovered in a child's grave in 1984. (4)The book's nearly 500 hand-written pages were stuck together. (5) Experts had to separate each page. (6)The book is now on display in the Coptic Museum in Cairo , Egypt .
    • Topic Sentences: Exercise C
      • (1) Black ice is an invisible coating of ice that forms on an asphalt road surface. (2) Black ice is very dangerous. (3) It is caused by drizzle falling on the frozen pavement. (4) Drivers don't know the roadway is icy. (5) When their cars hit the ice, they skid out of control. (6) Sometimes cars bounce off of each other like characters in an video game. (7) Sometimes they skid off the roadway into ditches. (8) Incidences of black ice have caused numerous collisions and deaths in the colder regions of the country.
    • Topic Sentences: Exercise D
      • (1) Albert Einstein was one. (2) So was artist Pablo Picasso. (3) American writer and humorist Mark Twain was one, as well. (4) Others include Babe Ruth, General Norman Schwartzkopf, Johann Sebastian Bach, and Joan of Arc. (5) What do all of these famous people have in common? (6) All of these people are left-handed.
    • Topic Sentences: Exercise E
      • (1) A low fat diet may prevent major illnesses, including cancer and heart disease. (2) Because of this, doctors and nutritionists have suggested many ways for people to lower the fat in their diets. (3) They recommend using non-fat milk instead of whole milk. (4) Also, they suggest that people eat little or no meat. (5) For people who eat meat, poultry is recommended. (6) It has less fat than beef or pork. (7) People should also cut down on the number of eggs they eat. (8) Additionally, eating non-fat yogurt for dessert instead of ice cream is also recommended.
      • It’s time to practice!
    • WHAT IS AN "IMPLIED MAIN IDEA?"
      • Some paragraphs have no topic sentence.
      • This does not mean that there is no main idea in the paragraph.
      • When a paragraph has no topic sentence, the supporting details suggest the main idea.
      • The main idea is implied, or unstated , which means that you have to figure it out by yourself.
    • An example of a paragraph with an implied main idea
      • (1) Area codes are numerical codes assigned by the telephone company to tell from which part of the country you are calling. (2) Area codes were first introduced in 1947. (3) At that time, there were 86 area codes. (4) Today there are over 150.
      • (5) California, the most populous state in the country, has the most area codes. (6) An area code can serve almost 800 three-digit prefixes. (7) Each prefix has almost 10,000 possible telephone numbers.
    • Come up with implied main idea
      • Every sentence in this paragraph is talking about "area codes," with each looking at a different aspect of area codes.
      • Thus, the implied main idea must reflect this fact. It might read: "There are various interesting facts about area codes."
    • HOW TO CREATE AN IMPLIED MAIN IDEA
      • What is the topic, or subject, of the paragraph? In other words, who or what is the entire paragraph about? --you must see what subject is constantly being referred to.
      • What is the author's main point about the topic? What is the author saying about the topic?
    • Your answer to those two questions
      • Your answer should not be too general nor too specific.
      • Try to make it broad enough to include all the supporting details in the paragraph,
      • and make sure you state it in a complete sentence .
    • What is the implied main idea of this paragraph?
      • (1)College and university sports teams have nicknames. (2)Most are common, such as the Bears, Lions, and Tigers. (3)However, some are unusual. (4)For instance, the University of California at Irvine is nicknamed "Anteaters." (5)The University of Washburn's sports teams are called the "Ichabods." (6)Richland College sports teams are called "Thunderducks." (7)And perhaps the strangest of all belongs to the University of California at Santa Cruz. (8)Their nickname is the "Banana Slugs.“
      • “ Some college and university sport teams have unusual college nicknames"