The Topic -Topic sentence-main idea

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Main Ideas

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To identify the main idea of a paragraph, first you have to identify the topic, the topic sentence, and supporting details. : 

To identify the main idea of a paragraph, first you have to identify the topic, the topic sentence, and supporting details.

THE TOPIC: 

THE TOPIC It is the subject under discussion. It’s the person, place, experience, or event most frequently mentioned or referred to in the paragraph. TOPIC cage, bars, ticket, lion, zebra, snake, bear ZOO Nurse, doctor, medicine, building, disease, needles. HOSPITAL To identify the main idea of a paragraph, you first need to identify the topic.

EXAMPLE: 

EXAMPLE A favorite place for free samples is the supermarket, where custumers are frequently given small amounts of a product to try. Many people find it difficult to accept free samples, return only the toothpicks or cups, and walk away. Instead, they buy some of the product, even if they might not have liked the free sample very much. Who or what is more frequently mentioned or referred to in this paragraph? Topic: free samples

THE TOPIC SENTENCE: 

THE TOPIC SENTENCE

What is the topic sentence?: 

What is the topic sentence? It is a general statement in the paragraph that expresses the author’s main idea. A topic sentence is usually the first sentence of a paragraph, but sometimes it can appear in the middle or at the end of it.

How can you identify the topic sentence?: 

How can you identify the topic sentence? Topic sentences are more general than most of the sentences in the paragraph. Topic sentences answer the question: What’s the point of this paragraph? Topic sentences are developed throughout most of the paragraph.

EXAMPLE: 

EXAMPLE As early as1908, Thomas Alva Edison made a movie about Frankenstein´s monster. A similar film about manmade monster ( The Golem) appeared just before World War I. Following the war, several German directors produced some classic horror films, among them Nosferatu, a brilliant film based on Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula. The movie was a box-office hit, and other horror films soon followed. It seems that the history of horror films is almost as long as the history of film itself. Topic Sentence

EXAMPLE: 

EXAMPLE During World War II, thirty-two men voluntered to be subjects in a study of hunger. Over a period of six months, each man lost approximately 25% of his body weight. During that time, all the men in the study became weak and irritable. They also lost all interest in sex. The subjects, however, didn’t lose interest in food. They studied cookbooks and spent hours daydreaming about their favorite foods and ideal meals. Topic Sentence

SUPPORTING DETAILS: 

SUPPORTING DETAILS

Supporting Details: 

Supporting Details These are the sentences in the paragraph that supply specific reasons, examples, dates, statistics, etc. that help readers understand the topic sentence Supporting details help readers anticipate and answer questions that they might have about the topic sentence.

Example: 

Example In the XVIII century, few American poets achieved any lasting fame; Phillis Wheatly, however, was an astonishing exception. How was her life like? What did she write? What part of theUS was she from?

Example: 

Example In the XVIII century, few American poets achieved any lasting fame; Phillis Wheatly, however, was an astonishing exception. A slave in a Massachusetts household, Wheatly was taught to read and write. By the age of thirteen, she was writing poems. When the Weatly family traveled to England, they took Phillis with them and encouraged her to read her poems at public gatherings. The response was enthusiastic, and word of the girl’s talent spread to the colonies. By the time she returned home, Phillis Wheatly was famous. Supporting details

Major Supporting Details: 

Major Supporting Details Major details answer questions readers might ask about the topic sentence. These sentences explain the topic sentence. Example : Unwanted noise, especially if it persists over time, can cause problems. Readers might ask: What are those problems?

Example: 

Example Unwanted noise, especially if it persists over time, can cause problems. Researchers suggests that continued exposure to noise in the workplace can contribute to heart disease and ulcers. In addition, people who live in noisy areas have been found to have higher blood pressure than those who live in quiter surroundings. Moreover, people continually exposed to high noise levels, whether at home or in a workplace, report a high degree of conflict in their lives.

Minor Supporting Details: 

Minor Supporting Details These are sentences that provide more specific details that further explain the major supporting details. They are the most specific sentences in the paragraph. Example Unwanted noise, especially if it persists over time, can cause problems. Researchers suggests that continued exposure to noise in the workplace can contribute to heart disease and ulcers. It is not surprising, then, that factory workers who spend eight hours a day surrounded by noisy machinery are likely to have heart and stomach problems.

Example: 

Example Unwanted noise, especially if it persists over time, can cause problems. Researchers suggests that continued exposure to noise in the workplace can contribute to heart disease and ulcers. It is not surprising, then, that factory workers who spend eight hours a day surrounded by noisy machinery are likely to have heart and stomach problems. In addition, people who live in noisy areas have been found to have higher blood pressure than those who live in quiter surroundings. It has been shown, for example, that among those living near airports, train tracks, or interstate highways, high blood pressure is a common problem. Moreover, people continually exposed to high noise levels, whether at home or in a workplace, report a high degree of conflict in their lives. They tend to argue more readily with family members and co-workers.

MAIN IDEAS: 

MAIN IDEAS

MAIN IDEAS: 

MAIN IDEAS The main idea is the central message or point of the paragraph. It’s the thought that unites, or ties together, all of the individual sentences. Without the main idea, the paragraph would be a collection of unrelated sentences, so it wouldn’t be a paragraph.

How can you find the main idea?: 

How can you find the main idea? Ask these two questions: What does the author want to say about the topic? What idea is developed in both general and specific sentences?

EXAMPLE: 

EXAMPLE From the beginning of the abolitionist movement, women played a key role. They circulated petitions requesting that slavery be abolished. They also organized social gatherings to spread the abolitionist word and to raise money for the movement. Some female abolitionists, at great risk to themselves, even hid runaway slaves in their homes. That’s how determined they were to end the practice of slavery. Topic: women in the abolitionist movement Topic sentence : From the beginning of the abolitionist movement, women played a key role. Main idea : the role of women in the abolitionist movement