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Chapter 3: Locating Main Ideas

Chapter 3: Locating Main Ideas

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Chapter 3: Locating Main Ideas

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  1. Chapter 3:Locating Main Ideas Active Reading Skills, 2/eKathleen McWhorter Brett McWhorter SemberPowerPoint by Gretchen Starks-Martin

  2. What is a Main Idea? • Topic = the one general subject a whole paragraph is about • Main Idea = the most important point a whole paragraph makes

  3. General:Cakes Specific: chocolate spice angel food General: Continents Specific: Asia Africa Australia Understanding General vs. Specific Ideas

  4. Identifying the Topic Ask yourself: What is the one idea the author is discussing throughout the paragraph?

  5. Tips for Finding the Main Idea • Identify the topic. • Locate the most general sentence (the topic sentence). • Study the rest of the paragraph for the one idea that ties all of the other details together.

  6. Tips for Locating the Topic Sentence • Topic Sentence First • Topic Sentence Last • Topic Sentence in the Middle • Topic Sentence First and Last

  7. Topic Sentence First The author states his or her main point and then explains it. Topic Sentence Detail Detail Detail

  8. Topic Sentence Last The author leads up to the main point and then states it in the end. Detail Detail Detail Topic Sentence

  9. Topic Sentence in the Middle The sentences before the topic sentence lead up to or introduce the main idea. The sentences following the main idea explain or describe it. Detail Detail Topic Sentence Detail Detail

  10. Topic Sentence First and Last Writers put the main idea at the beginning of a paragraph and again at the end to emphasize the main point or to clarify it. Topic Sentence Detail Detail Detail Topic Sentence

  11. Finding the Central Thought • The main point of a group of paragraphs appearing together as a unit is called the central thought or thesis statement. • It often appears in the first or second paragraph of a piece of writing. Ask yourself: What big, general idea is discussed throughout the selection?

  12. Details are sentences that explain the main idea. Writers use transitions (first, however, finally) to connect sentences. Learning More About Paragraphs

  13. Evaluating Your Progress Use the “Main Idea-Main Woods” module in the Reading Skills section on the MyReadingLab Web site at .

  14. For more practice visit the Companion Web site.