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What is A Central Idea of The Text?


    What is a central idea of the text? Do you about the main idea? If not, we are here with the solution. We have all been there though it often feels as pointless as looking for that proverbial needle in a rick.

    Finding the central idea of ​​a piece of writing can be challenging, but it is an essential reading comprehension skill that our students need to develop. Students familiar with this art will benefit far beyond the confines of the school gates.

    From the fine print on an insurance document to writing a book review, the ability to filter the text and identify its central idea is a vital life skill and an important literacy-based learning goal. Fortunately, while it is not always easy, we can do a lot to help our students improve their skills in this area.

    what is a central idea of the text

    What is the central idea?

    Regardless of whether it is the central idea of ​​a paragraph, a poem, a chapter, or a long text, to find the central idea, the reader must identify the topic of writing and then find out what the author should know about that topic.

    As is often the case, it is best to start small. As you work with students to identify the central idea, ask them to locate the central idea in a sentence before locating it in a longer paragraph. As students gradually grow their sureness to classify the central idea in paragraphs, they will soon be ready to move on to longer texts in the form of chapters and, eventually, whole books.


    The central idea about the paragraph

    The central idea of ​​a sentence is usually relatively easy to identify. Many times, it is as easy as identifying the subject of the sentence. On the other hand, entire chapters or books are rarely easily expressed as a single central idea.

    For these reasons, the paragraph provides the most appropriate format for the student to practice their key idea identification skills.


    If the writer knows what he is doing, we can usually identify only one central idea in each paragraph. We can think of this as the key point usually expressed in terms of a thematic phrase. It is often found in the first sentence of the paragraph, with subsequent sentences providing the supporting details.

    However, it can be distributed in the middle at the end or even throughout the paragraph. It may not even be there at all, at least not explicitly.

    Writers are a creative bunch, so students will need more sophisticated means of identifying the central idea either way. This is precisely what this article will help your students do.


    It may seem like a fairly straightforward task to define the central idea. Why is it often so difficult for students to identify them? The truth is it doesnt to be that way.

    The central idea is not always spoken explicitly. Students must study to identify whether it is expressed directly or only implicitly if they understand what they are reading fully.

    Where are the central ideas?

    It is easy to identify a central idea that is expressed directly in the text.

    1. Central ideas often begin at the beginning of paragraphs. The first sentence often explains the topic discussed in the passage.
    2. Central ideas can also be found in the closing sentences of a paragraph. The central idea can be expressed as a summary of the information in the paragraph and a link to the information in the next paragraph.
    3. The central idea is not always clearly formulated. It is more difficult to identify a central idea when it is inferred or implied. Other words in the paragraph may imply it. An implicit central idea can be found in several ways.
    4. Multiple sentences in a paragraph can imply the central idea by presenting facts about the topic before giving the topic.
    5. Implicit ideas can be derived from facts, reasons, or examples that provide clues or suggestions about the central idea. These clues are clues that will lead you to discover the central idea in the selected text.
    6. Try the following passage to see if you can figure out the central idea.

    For many parents, the child crying can be primarily an irritation, especially if it persists for long periods of time. However, crying has important functions for both the child and the parents. Lung capacity and lung capacity Perhaps most importantly, crying serves as a sign of distress.

    Use the following pointers to help determine the correct central idea for this paragraph.

    After reading a paragraph, ask. What are the authors’ points in this passage?

    Questions in the central idea? 

    1. Who? -Is this passage about a person or a group of people?
    2. When? Does the information contain a time reference?
    3. Where? Does the text name a place?
    4. Because? Can you find a reason or explanation for something that happened?
    5. How? Does this information indicate a method or theory?

    How can I tell if I chose the correct central idea for a paragraph?

    If you can summarize the information in the passage in your own words, you will have gotten the correct central idea. To achieve this goal, after reading a small section of your textbook, follow the steps below.

    1. In your own words, write a brief summary of what you have read.
    2. Does your summary match this general theme?
    3. Does your executive summary contain the same ideas as the author?
    4. Could you write a heading (or the heading of a textbook) that expresses your summary in less than five words?

    If you can turn your selection of a topic phrase into a question and then see if the passage answers your question, you have succeeded in choosing a central idea.

    The central idea is the central and unitary element of the story that ties together all the other fictional elements that the author uses to tell the story. The main idea should be to avoid the use of character names.

    Central ideas reflect the discoveries, emotions, conflicts, and experiences of the main character in a story. They are comments on how the world works and how the author sees human existence. Central ideas can be supported. Try to find the interpretation that is easiest to support and that covers the highest percentage of the story.

    The central idea or melody of a story is an author’s usually implicit remark on the theme of his story. It is not enough to say that the central idea of ​​a story is loyalty or motherhood. For example, a misspelled central idea for the Cinderella story would say Cinderella is the story of a poor maiden who overcomes her family’s cruelty and lives happily with Prince Charming at all times.

    Read Also: The Central Idea Vs Main Idea | Don’t Miss To Know The Facts Behind It

    On the other hand, a well-written central idea would read something like: The Cinderella story shows that people who are kind and patient are often rewarded for their good deeds. For the Wizard of Oz, instead of saying This is about a girl named Dorothy who is learning to appreciate the life she has, you could say The Wizard of Oz shows that when people forget, sometimes lose sight of the reality beauty of your daily life.

    Examples of poorly worded key ideas:

    1. The central idea is love. (not a complete statement)
    2. Jackson’s story suggests that Tessie was treated unfairly. (not generic or universal)
    • The central idea shows that we are cruel and do not see ourselves as others. (omit the first person in the central idea)
    • The central idea shows that we are cruel and do not see ourselves as others. (omit the first person in the central idea)
    • The central idea shows that we are cruel and do not see ourselves as others. (omit the first person in the central idea)
    • The central idea shows that we are cruel and do not see ourselves as others. (omit the first person in the central idea)

    Examples of well-written key ideas:

    1. History shows that the overwhelming desire to be one-sidedly in love can blindly lead people to seek intimacy in the name of love.
    2. The central idea is that a person who has difficulty dealing with reality sometimes escapes into a fantasy world.

    To identify the central idea or theme, it is also necessary to look at the other elements of the fiction (plot, characters setting, conflict, etc.) to explain how the author linked all these elements. To comprehend the central idea or melody of the story, ask yourself the subsequent questions:

    1. How is the central idea or theme expressed through the characters’ attitude point of view, tone language, or conflict?
    2. Are symbols, metaphors, or similes used to represent the central idea or theme?
    3. What are the image words or phrases repeated in the story?
    4. What is the meaning of the title in relation to the story? Is it important?
    5. What does the story reveal about society, people in general, the roles of men and women during the period in which the story unfolds?
    6. Considering the story and the title, does the central idea make sense?

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