Guide Main Idea # 3

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It is used to sum up a discussion, to emphasize a point, or to restate all or part of the topic sentence so as to bring the paragraph to a close. The last sentence may also be a transitional sentence leading to the next paragraph. Besides expository paragraphs, in which new information is presented and discussed, these longer writings contain three types of paragraphs: introductory , transitional , and summarizing. Introductory paragraphs tell you, in advance, such things as 1 the main ideas of the chapter or section; 2 the extent or limits of the coverage; 3 how the topic is developed; and 4 the writer's attitude toward the topic.

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Summarizing paragraphs are used to restate briefly the main ideas of the chapter or section. All three types should alert you: the introductory paragraph of things to come; the transitional paragraph of a new topic; and the summarizing paragraph of main ideas that you should have gotten. Read the following paragraph and underline the stated main idea. Write down in your own words what you are able to conclude from the information. The rules of conduct during an examination are clear.

No books, calculators or papers are allowed in the test room. Proctors will not allow anyone with such items to take the test. Anyone caught cheating will be asked to leave the room. His or her test sheet will be taken.

Teaching Main Idea of Nonfiction Strategies

The incident will be reported to the proper authority. At the end of the test period, all materials will be returned to the proctor. Failure to abide by these rules will result in a failing grade for this test. What can be concluded from the information is: If you do not follow the rules, you will automatically fail the test. This concluding information is found in the last sentence. You can't comprehend the subject matter if you haven't identified the topic, the main idea, and the supporting details.

Click the link to find your class today. Toggle navigation Study Guides. Critical Thinking. Snorkeling is another thing that can be enjoyed. Playing beach volleyball can be a lot of fun. It is also fun to look for shells. Some people simply like to sunbathe. A There are many fun things to do at the beach. B It is also fun to look for shells. C Some people simply like to sunbathe. Super job! Now, go back to your desk and do one of the following activities. Get a book of your choice.

Teaching Main Idea So Students Actually Understand - Teaching Made Practical

Read the book. Choose a paragraph and then find the main idea of that paragraph. Next, copy the paragraph on a sheet of paper. The sentence in which the main idea is stated is the topic sentence of that paragraph. The topic sentence announces the general theme or portion of the theme to be dealt with in the paragraph. This sentence provides the focus for the writer while writing and for the reader while reading.

When you find the topic sentence, be sure to underline it so that it will stand out not only now, but also later when you review. Identifying the Topic:. Your strategy for topic identification is simply to ask yourself the question, "What is this about? Sometimes you can spot the topic by looking for a word or two that repeat. Usually you can state the topic in a few words.


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Let us try this topic-finding strategy. Reread the first paragraph under the heading Grasping the Main Idea.

Teaching Main Idea So Students Actually Understand

Ask yourself the question, "What is this paragraph about? Ask yourself, "What is this paragraph about?

Main Idea and Details

That is the topic. Next, reread the third paragraph and see if you can find the topic of the paragraph. Write the topic in the margin next to this paragraph. Remember, getting the main idea of a paragraph is crucial to reading. The bulk of an expository paragraph is made up of supporting sentences major and minor details , which help to explain or prove the main idea. These sentences present facts, reasons, examples, definitions, comparison, contrasts, and other pertinent details.

They are most important because they sell the main idea. The last sentence of a paragraph is likely to be a concluding sentence. It is used to sum up a discussion, to emphasize a point, or to restate all or part of the topic sentence so as to bring the paragraph to a close. The last sentence may also be a transitional sentence leading to the next paragraph.


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