[ Main IdeaExamples ] The main idea contains the general message of the text that an author wants to convey to the audience. However, the main idea in the literature is not limited to a sentence or paragraph; Instead, it evolves and grows throughout the text.
It acts as the central and connecting element of the story, connecting all the other elements together. In this sense, it can best be defined as the dominant impression or the generic truth contained in the literary work.
Etymologically, the central idea is to formulate the two words “main” and “idea.” Meaning is clear, which is the most important thought of any text that enables readers to understand the layered meanings of the text in question.
Questions about the “main idea” of a passage are popular on reading comprehension tests, but these questions are sometimes quite difficult to answer, especially for students who are not entirely.
Here are some techniques for understanding what exactly a “main idea” is and identifying it in a passage accurately.
Examples of the main idea in paragraphs
Here are five short paragraphs. The main idea or thematic phrase is in bold. The other sentences are sentences of support. The other sentences contain details.
Ahmed loves fruit. He eats fruit every day. He especially loves apples and oranges. He has never tasted fruits that he did not like.
Bananas are healthy. They contain vitamins and minerals. There is no fat in a banana. He eats a banana every day to keep you healthy.
Reading more will improve your English. It will improve your reading skills, vocabulary, and grammar. Read simple texts that are at your level. Read interesting stories and articles. Read for fun. By doing this, your English will be strengthened.
Exercise is good for your heart. Jogging, swimming, and other similar activities are good for your heart. It also lowers blood pressure, burns body fat, and lowers blood sugar levels, all of which are beneficial for heart health.
This is how the main idea is defined.
The main idea of a paragraph is the main point or concept that the author wants to convey to readers about the topic. So if the main idea is stated directly in a paragraph, it will be expressed in what is known as a subject sentence.
It gives a general idea of what the paragraph is about and is supported by the details of the following sentences in the paragraph. In a multi-paragraph article, the main idea is expressed in the thesis, which is then supported by smaller individual points.
Think of the main idea as a short but comprehensive summary. It covers everything the paragraph talks about in general but does not give the details. These details will appear in subsequent sentences or paragraphs, adding nuance and context. The main idea needs these details to support its reasoning.
For example, imagine an article that discusses the causes of the First World War. A paragraph could be dedicated to the role of imperialism in the conflict. The main idea of this paragraph could be something like: “The constant competition for massive empires led to increasing tensions in Europe, which finally erupted in World War I.”
The remainder of the paragraph could explore what these specific tensions were, who was involved, and why countries sought empires. Still, the main idea only presents the general argument of the section.
If an author does not directly state the main idea, it must still be implicit and is known as the main implicit idea. This requires the reader to look closely at the content (specific words, phrases, and images used and repeated) to infer what the author is communicating.
How to find the main idea
It helps the details make sense and relevance and provides a framework to remember the content. Try these specific tips to help determine the main idea of a passage.
Identify the topic
Read the passage in its entirety, then try to identify the topic. Who or what is the paragraph about? This part deals only with a topic like “Cause of World War I” or “New hearing aids.” Don’t worry about the argument the passage makes on this topic just yet.
Summarize the passage
After reading the passage carefully, summarize it in a sentence in your own words. Imagine if you only had ten to twelve words to tell someone what the passage is about; what would you say?
Look at the first and last sentence of the passage.
Therefore, isolate these sentences to see if they make sense as the main theme of the passage. Be careful: sometimes, the author uses words like, but in contrast, etc., which suggests that the second sentence is the main idea. If you see any of these words that deny or qualify the first sentence, it is an indication that the second sentence is the main idea.
Look for repetition of ideas.
If you are reading a paragraph and have no idea how to summarize it because there is a lot of information, look for repeated related words, phrases, or ideas. Read this sample paragraph:
This creates a clearer sound. The new device will not help everyone with a hearing impairment, only those with hearing loss caused by an infection or other problem in the middle ear. It probably won’t help more than 20 percent of all hearing-impaired people. However, people with persistent ear infections should find relief with the new device and restore their hearing.
What is this paragraph constantly talking about? A new hearing aid. What are you trying to convey? A new hearing aid is now available for some, but not all, hearing-impaired people. That is the main idea!
Avoid mistakes in the main idea examples.
Choosing a main idea from a variety of possible answers is different than creating a main idea yourself. Multiple choice test writers are often difficult and give you distracting questions that are very similar to the actual answer.
By reading the passage carefully, using your skills, and identifying the main idea for yourself, you can avoid these three common mistakes: choosing an answer that is too narrow in scope; Choose an answer that is too broad or choose an answer that is complex but contradicts the main idea.
This is one of the famous poems by Robert Burns, a well-known Scottish poet, and lyricist. The poem shows the speaker’s intense love for his beloved. The central idea of the poem is the love that the author declared in the first lines. However, he continues to support this idea by comparing his mistress to a red rose.
He has also used literary elements to help readers understand his version of love. For him, beauty is fleeting, but his love is sacred and eternal. Therefore, the central idea plays an important role in the further development of this poem.
The poem, which has an artistic expression, was written to illustrate the courageous attitude of a person in unfortunate circumstances. The poem’s main idea is the resistance of the human mind to the misery and challenges of life. Despite difficulties and adverse circumstances, the speaker keeps his spirit high from him and bravely faces the difficult period of his life.
His optimism and ability to overcome adversity make him stronger, as he describes himself as the master of his destiny. He is not afraid of problems, and this belief allows him to overcome any obstacle that comes his way. Courage is, therefore, the main idea of the poem.
This excerpt is from one of Shakespeare’s famous plays, Macbeth. This is the opening scene of Macbeth in which three witches discuss their next meeting point where they want to see Macbeth. This opening scene sets the tone for the piece and highlights the recurring motif of supernatural creatures. The audience immediately has an idea that the text is about evil and bad play.
Meaning and function of the main idea while giving examples
The main idea serves as a break for the audience. It allows them to understand the writer’s intention or reason for writing. It also enables them to recognize and appreciate the deeper meanings of the lyrics. Writers also use it as a tool to project their inner thoughts and convince readers.
Besides, some of the academic writing unconsciously transmits the main ideas to the reader’s subconscious with ulterior motives that can be good or bad. To find out the main idea, ask yourself the following question: what is said about the person, thing, or idea.
The author can invention the main idea in diverse places within a paragraph. The main idea is usually a sentence and is usually the first sentence.
Here are some examples of subject sentences
Technology like an intelligent whiteboard is an integral part of the modern classroom. Technology can help a student learn. Not everyone likes to exercise, but we all need to exercise. London is the capital of England. It’s a big city. Riyadh transportation system needs to be updated.
The city will soon have a world-class public transportation system. One of my favorite vacation spots in Mexico. It is a fascinating country.
Do you know the dangers of smoking? Did you know that smoking causes dangerous genetic mutations (changes) in the lungs? It causes cancer and other diseases.