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© 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., Publishing as Longman Publishers Chapter 4: Main Idea Bridging the Gap, 9/e Brenda Smith.

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Presentation on theme: "© 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., Publishing as Longman Publishers Chapter 4: Main Idea Bridging the Gap, 9/e Brenda Smith."— Presentation transcript:

1 © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., Publishing as Longman Publishers Chapter 4: Main Idea Bridging the Gap, 9/e Brenda Smith

2 © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., Publishing as Longman Publishers In This Chapter You Answer the Questions:  What is the difference between a topic and a main idea?  What are the strategies for finding stated and unstated main ideas?  What are the functions of major and minor supporting details?  What is a summary?

3 © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., Publishing as Longman Publishers What is a Topic?  Similar to a title  General term, rather than specific  Unifies details

4 © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., Publishing as Longman Publishers Example of a Topic Carrots Vegetables Lettuce (topic) Onions (details) Potatoes

5 © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., Publishing as Longman Publishers What is a Main Idea?  Central message  Condenses thoughts & details into a general statement  All inclusive

6 © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., Publishing as Longman Publishers Labels for Main Idea  Main point  Central point  Gist  Controlling idea  Central thought  Thesis

7 © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., Publishing as Longman Publishers What are Supporting Details?  Support, develop, & explain a main idea  Details can include: –Reasons –Incidents –Facts –Examples –Steps –Definitions

8 © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., Publishing as Longman Publishers Major & Minor Details Major Main Support ideas Explain Describe [supports the main idea] Minor MajorSupport DetailsExplain Describe [supports the major details]

9 © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., Publishing as Longman Publishers Reader’s Tip: Signals for Significance  Key words for major details: –One –First –Another –Furthermore –Also –Finally  Key words for minor details: –For example –To be specific –That is –This means

10 © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., Publishing as Longman Publishers Prior Knowledge and Constructing the Main Idea Familiar with Subject  Main idea is effortless  Main idea is automatic  No information overload Unfamiliar with Subject  Unfamiliar words  Confusing  Unable to make predictions

11 © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., Publishing as Longman Publishers “Informed” Expert Readers  Strategy 1 –Preview before reading –Predict or guess main idea –Read for corroboration  Strategy 2 –Pause to summarize or reduce information –Stop at natural breaks in the material to reflect

12 © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., Publishing as Longman Publishers “Uninformed” Expert Readers  Strategy 1 –Read the material –Determine the topic –Create a main idea statement  Strategy 2  Read the material  Review for key terms & concepts  Create main idea statement  Strategy 3 –Read the material –Propose a main idea statement –Double-check and revise the main idea statement

13 © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., Publishing as Longman Publishers Main Idea in Longer Passages  For Familiar Material –Determine the topic. –Identify key terms. –Find the main idea.  For Unfamiliar Material –Identify key terms. –Determine the topic. –Find the main idea.

14 © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., Publishing as Longman Publishers Reader’s Tip: Using Questions to Find the Main Idea 1. Determine the topic. Who or what is this reading about? 2. Identify details. What are the major supporting details? 3. Find the main idea. What is the message the author is trying to convey about the topic?

15 © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., Publishing as Longman Publishers Stated Main Ideas  The main point is directly stated.  It provides overview of material.  It is called a topic sentence or thesis statement.

16 © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., Publishing as Longman Publishers Location of Stated Main Ideas 1. An introductory statement of the main idea is given at the beginning of the paragraph. 2. A concluding statement of the main idea appears at the end of the paragraph. 3. Details are placed at the beginning to arouse interest, followed by a statement of main idea in the middle of the paragraph. 4. Both the introductory & concluding sentences state the main idea. 5. Details combine to make a point, but the main idea is not directly stated.

17 © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., Publishing as Longman Publishers Unstated Main Ideas  Details combine to make a point, but the main idea is not directly stated.  The main idea is hinted at or implied.  This happens often in narrative, media, movies, and photographs. What is implied by this image?

18 © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., Publishing as Longman Publishers Reader’s Tip: Getting the Main Idea of a Longer Selection  Think about the title.  Read the first paragraph or two to find a statement of the topic of thesis.  Read the subheadings and glance at the first sentences of some of the paragraphs.  Look for clues that indicate how the material is organized.  As you read, organize the paragraphs into subsections.  Determine how the overall organization and subsections relate to the whole.

19 © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., Publishing as Longman Publishers Summary Writing: A Main Idea Skill  A summary is a series of brief, concise statements, in your own words, of the main idea and the significant supporting details.  The first sentence should state the main idea or thesis.  Minor details should be omitted.  It should be in a paragraph form.

20 © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., Publishing as Longman Publishers Why Summarize?  For textbook study  Useful in anticipating answers for essay exam questions  For writing research papers

21 © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., Publishing as Longman Publishers Reader’s Tip: How to Summarize  Keep in mind the purpose of your summary.  Decide on the main idea the author is trying to convey.  Decide on the major ideas and details that support the author’s point.  Do not include irrelevant or repeated information.  Use appropriate transitional words and phrases.  Use paragraph form.  Do not add your personal opinion.

22 © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., Publishing as Longman Publishers Summary Points  What is the difference between a topic and a main idea?  What are the strategies for finding stated and unstated main ideas?  What are the functions of major and minor supporting details?  What is a summary?

23 © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., Publishing as Longman Publishers Concept Prep for Psychology  What is classical conditioning?  What is behaviorism?  What is operant conditioning?  Who was B.F. Skinner? Read about these concepts in psychology on page 206 of your textbook.

24 © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., Publishing as Longman Publishers Concept Prep for Literature  Literature is the art form of language.  Its purpose is to entertain, explore the human condition, and reveal universal truths through shared experiences.  Its genres include: essays, fiction, poetry, and drama.

25 © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., Publishing as Longman Publishers What are the literary elements?  Plot.  Characters.  Point of View.  Tone.  Setting.  Figures of Speech and Symbolism.  Theme.

26 © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., Publishing as Longman Publishers Search the Net For suggested Web sites and other research activities, go to

27 © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc., Publishing as Longman Publishers Vocabulary Booster Complete the Vocabulary Booster for suffixes entitled, “Who’s Who in Medicine.”


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