Main Idea

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Identifying the main idea

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Presentation Transcript

Main Ideas and Supporting Details : 

Main Ideas and Supporting Details Today we are going to: Distinguish between specific and general words Distinguish between specific and general sentences Identify the ‘topic sentence’ of a paragraph Identify the controlling thought in a paragraph Infer the main idea when a topic sentence is absent

Here are the important terms: : 

Here are the important terms: What is a TOPIC? The topic is the subject of the whole paragraph What is a TOPIC SENTENCE? The topic sentence is where the main idea is located What is a MAIN IDEA? The main idea is the point that the writer makes What are DETAILS? The details are the sentences that explain the main idea What are TRANSITIONS? Transitions are the words and phrases to connect the ideas

General vs. Specific : 

General vs. Specific The main idea in a paragraph is a general idea. In contrast, the supporting information in a paragraph is made up of specific ideas and details. To improve your skill at finding main ideas, you need to practice distinguishing between general and specific ideas. The general idea includes all the specific ideas.

Try this… : 

Try this… jealousy hatred emotions worry Identify the general word in each group Yes. The general idea is “emotions” because it includes all of the others as examples. Jealousy, hatred and worry are all specific kinds of emotions.

Try this… : 

Try this… spiders cockroaches mosquitoes insects Identify the general word in each group Yes! The general idea is "insects" because it includes all of the others as examples. Spiders, cockroaches and mosquitoes are all specific kinds of insects.

Try this… : 

Try this… chemistry science physics biology Identify the general word in each group Yes. The general idea is "science" because it includes all of the others as examples. Chemistry, physics and biology are all specific kinds of science.

Identifying main topics and ideas: : 

Identifying main topics and ideas: Like general words general ideas are broad ideas that apply to a large number of individual items. clothing pies Specific ideas or terms more detailed or particular; referring to an individual item these are all specific items there are various kinds of clothing there are many kinds of pies scarf , apple , cherry , chocolate , cream

Try these.Which are general? : 

Try these.Which are general? Soda, coffee, beverage, wine Soap operas, news, TV programs, sports special Pounds, ounces, kilograms, weights Sociology, social sciences, anthropology, psychology Soda, coffee, beverage, wine

Try these.Which are general? : 

Try these.Which are general? Pounds, ounces, kilograms, weights

Try these.Which are general? : 

Try these.Which are general? Soap operas, news, TV programs, sports special

Try these.Which are general? : 

Try these.Which are general? Sociology, social sciences, anthropology, psychology

Try these.Which are general? : 

Try these.Which are general? Soda, coffee, beverage, wine Soap operas, news, TV programs, sports special Pounds, ounces, kilograms, weights Sociology, social sciences, anthropology, psychology

Finding the Main Idea : 

Finding the Main Idea Where do we find the main idea? In the first sentence of the paragraph? We find it in the ‘topic sentence’ Where do we find the topic sentence? Is it… 1. 2. 3. Or 4. In the last sentence of the paragraph? In the middle of the paragraph? In the first and last sentence of the paragraph?

Finding the Main Idea : 

Finding the Main Idea It can be found… in all these sentences! In the first sentence of the paragraph usual In the last sentence of the paragraph for emphasis In the middle of the paragraph not common In the first and last sentence of the paragraph

Finding the Main Idea : 

Finding the Main Idea Topic sentences express the main idea of a paragraph. They are usually stated in the first sentence or last sentence of the paragraph, and sometimes they are stated in different ways in both. A topic sentence rarely ever appears in the middle of a paragraph but it is possible to do if there is a good reason for it, but it usually isn’t an effective place for it. In summary

Finding the Main Idea : 

This means that most paragraphs you read will begin with the topic sentence. However, some topic sentences come in the middle of the paragraph; others come at the end. Some paragraphs have no stated topic sentence at all; in those cases, the main idea is implied. Finding the Main Idea

The main idea is the most general statement about the topic. It’s located in what we call the ‘topic sentence’. : 

The main idea is the most general statement about the topic. It’s located in what we call the ‘topic sentence’. Tell me again, what is a main idea? Finding the Main Idea

Finding the Main Idea : 

Finding the Main Idea Let’s now try looking at a few paragraphs. See if we can find the topic sentences.

Finding the Main Idea : 

Finding the Main Idea It is spoken throughout Latin America. Of course, it is the language of Spain. In some countries, like the Philippines, it is one the official languages. What is the topic sentence here? Spanish is spoken in many countries. Many people throughout the world use Spanish to communicate.

Finding the Main Idea : 

Finding the Main Idea Some people walk on a treadmill at home or ride a bicycle. Others like to go out dancing, do aerobics, or work out in a gym. Some people prefer to swim. What is the topic sentence here? Most people have a favorite way to exercise.

Finding the Main Idea : 

Finding the Main Idea Some children are serious and responsible. Many people mature during college or as they gain experience on their first job. Other folks take more time, and some people grow old but never seem to grow up. What is the topic sentence here? It seems that people mature at different rates.

Finding the Main Idea : 

Finding the Main Idea Some people leave too many lights on around the house. Some aren’t careful about how much water they use. Americans waste a lot of resources. Most people buy products with a lot of unnecessary packaging that isn’t good for the environment. What is the topic sentence here?

Finding the Main Idea : 

Finding the Main Idea People differ in numerous ways. They differ according to physical characteristics, such as height, weight, and hair color. They also differ in personality. Some people are friendly and easygoing. Others are more reserved and formal. What is the topic sentence here?

Finding the Main Idea : 

Nutrition is the process of taking in and using food for growth, repair, and maintenance of the body. The science of nutrition is the study of foods and how the body uses them. Many North Americans define nutrition as eating a healthful diet. But what is healthful? Our food choices may be influenced by fads, advertising, or convenience. We may reflect on the meaning of nutrition while pushing a cart down a supermarket aisle, or while making a selection from a restaurant menu. Finding the Main Idea What is the topic sentence here?

Slide 25: 

What?! You can’t find the topic sentence??

There is no topic sentence. We have to infer it. : 

There is no topic sentence. We have to infer it. Nutrition is the process of taking in and using food for growth, repair, and maintenance of the body. The science of nutrition is the study of foods and how the body uses them. Many North Americans define nutrition as eating a healthful diet. But what is healthful? Our food choices may be influenced by fads, advertising, or convenience. We may reflect on the meaning of nutrition while pushing a cart down a supermarket aisle, or while making a selection from a restaurant menu.

Inferring Unstated Main Ideas : 

Inferring Unstated Main Ideas Find the topic. Decide what the writer wants you to know about the topic. Express this idea in your own words. To infer the main idea we should:

Now Look at the article again : 

Now Look at the article again Nutrition is the process of taking in and using food for growth, repair, and maintenance of the body. The science of nutrition is the study of foods and how the body uses them. Many North Americans define nutrition as eating a healthful diet. But what is healthful? Our food choices may be influenced by fads, advertising, or convenience. We may reflect on the meaning of nutrition while pushing a cart down a supermarket aisle, or while making a selection from a restaurant menu. Now write the inferred main idea

Slide 29: 

The inferred topic sentence could be: Everyone has their own understanding of good nutrition. OR The idea of what is a good diet changes frequently.

Finding the Main Idea : 

Finding the Main Idea There’s a toaster oven, a blender, and a can opener on one counter. I have a microwave oven on another. In my cupboard, you can find a mixer and a hot air popcorn popper. On the far side of the kitchen, there is a coffee machine and coffee grinder. Try this one. What can you infer the main idea to be?

Finding the Main Idea : 

Perhaps it could be: Finding the Main Idea He has a lot of kitchen appliances Or… He just went shopping in Akihabara

It’s game time! : 

It’s game time! Now let’s play the ‘main idea’ game that Michael prepared. Please form groups of three and sit around a desk. And now… It’s game time!