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Elements of Nonfiction

Elements of Nonfiction

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Elements of Nonfiction

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  1. Elements of Nonfiction MAIN IDEA!!! MAIN IDEA—the main idea is the central idea in a piece of writing. It is the point that author wants you to remember most. Some writers will state the main idea directly. Others will expect you to make inferences about the main idea.

  2. Main Idea The MAIN IDEA is the “big idea” of a WHOLE work or a single paragraph. It is the point the author is trying to get across. Identifying the main idea or thesis, helps you to understand what the writing is all about. Sometimes the author will state the main idea directly. More often, the writer will imply the main idea and expect you, as a reader to make inferences, or reasonable guess, about it!

  3. Example from Volcano: The Eruption and Healing of Mt. St. Helens by Patricia Lauber For well over a hundred years the volcano slept. Each spring, as winter snows melted, its slopes seemed to come alive. Wildflowers bloomed in meadows. Bee gathered pollen and nectar. Birds fed, found mates, and built nests. Bears lumbered out of their dens. Herds of elk and deer feasted on fresh green shoots. Thousands of people came to hike, picnic, camp, fish, paint, bird-watch, or just enjoy the scenery. Logging crews felled tall trees and planted seedlings

  4. MAIN IDEA The Main Idea is different from the subject or topic. The subject is what the writing is about: the volcano. The main idea is the point the writer wants to make about the subject: for many years before the volcano erupted, it was beautiful, peaceful place. The main idea of a piece of writing is a full sentence, not just a word or phrase.

  5. Main Idea • To find the Main Idea in a piece of writing use this formula: SUBJECT Volcano What the author says (+)about the subject It was a beautiful peaceful place ------------------------------------------------------------------------ =the main idea  The volcano was for many years a beautiful, peaceful place

  6. Main Idea • In the paragraph about the volcano, the writer never states the main idea. You need to infer the main idea, using information from the sentences in the paragraph • As a reader, remember that the main idea of a piece of writing can be in three places: • 1. in the beginning, perhaps the first sentence • 2. in the end, perhaps the last sentence. • 3. not stated but implied through all the sentences.