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Finding the main idea eng 81


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Finding the main idea eng 81

  1. 1. Topic & Main Idea English 81 Mrs. Buchanan
  2. 2. The Main Idea
  3. 3. • 1) Our trip to New York consisted of trips to museums and parks, along with going to fabulous shows, shopping and eating at some wonderful restaurants. 2) When my daughter graduated from college, my brother and sister-in-law, invited us to the island of Manhattan to celebrate. From the moment we arrived, we were going nonstop. 3) We went to Times Square, Central Park, saw three plays: “Chicago,” “Guys and Dolls,” and my favorite “In the Heights.” 4) We ate at the best restaurants ever, including an excellent outdoor restaurant in Little Italy. We took a solemn visit to the area where the Twin Towers once stood. 5) Of course I had to visit the courthouse where my favorite t.v. show “Law and Order” takes place. 6) We shopped in SoHo, went to the Metropolitan Museum, the Empire State Building, Top of the Rock, and took a boat ride to the Statue of Liberty. 7) We even got to see President Obama on our last night in New York. Which sentence in this paragraph best summarizes our trip? • Sentence #1 •
  4. 4. Main Idea • In college you will have reading that requires you to identify and understand key ideas that that author is making. • You will do this without being concerned about all the details. • You will do this whether you are reading a paragraph, essay, article or a textbook chapter.
  5. 5. The Topic • In order to identify the main idea, you will first need to identify the topic of the selection. • In looking for the topic, you will ask yourself, “Who or what is this about?” • Let’s think back to the paragraph I just read. What was it about? • New York. Trip to New York.
  6. 6. The Topic • The topic… – Can be a single word, few words, phrase – Is not a sentence – Often repeated several times within a paragraph – May be seen in the title or heading – May appear in bold face or italic type
  7. 7. Topic • In order to be a successful student, it is important that the student is organized. Being organized includes using a planner and/or a calendar. Next, a successful student needs to attend all classes and arrive at least 5 minutes early. Thirdly, a successful student must complete all homework assignments. Finally, a successful student must participate in class. • What is the topic of this paragraph? • Successful students
  8. 8. Topics • • • • • Enchiladas Mexican food Tacos Nachos Burritos • • • • • Dogs Cats Fish Pets Turtles
  9. 9. Topics • • • • • English Geography College courses History Math • • • • • Football Baseball Basketball Soccer Sports
  10. 10. Topic • Experts say that exercise is one of the best ways to reduce stress, relax muscles, and promote a sense of well-being. Most people find that they have more energy when they exercise regularly. Make exercise a daily habit and top priority in your life. • • • • • The topic of this sentence is a. reducing stress b. exercise c. prioritizing your life d. energy
  11. 11. The Main Idea • Okay, now that we know what a topic is, let’s get back to the main idea: – Must be a complete sentence – May be stated directly in the text. – May not be stated directly but implied. – It may be in the first sentence, the middle of the paragraph, or the last sentence.
  12. 12. Main Idea • The main idea of a paragraph may be referred as … – The gist (means “the essential point”) – Key point – Central idea – Main point
  13. 13. Main Idea • A good way to think of the topic of a paragraph is to think of it as an umbrella that covers everything in the paragraph.
  14. 14. • Did anyone watch a good movie this past weekend? Who was in it? What was the plot? What was the genre (type of movie)? SciFi, Romantic Comedy, Adventure? • Any of you ladies go on a date this weekend? Did you call your best friend afterwards to tell her about it? Did you go out to eat? Watch a movie? Go dancing?
  15. 15. Main Idea • As you read through a passage, you must think as you read. • You must actively engage your mind, and, as you read, keep asking yourself, “What’s the point?”
  16. 16. Let’s Practice • Take a minute to think of something that you would like to write about. Just write a word or phrase. – You have just selected a topic • Now write a sentence that tells the most important thing you want to say about your topic. You have just created a main idea sentence.
  17. 17. • Now write down three other things that explain or tell more about your main idea sentence. – You have just written three details. • Now write your main idea sentence and the sentences that give the details about it.