Main Idea Guided Notes

MAIN IDEA GUIDED NOTES

Name ____________________________________ Date _____________________ Period _____

 

What is MAIN IDEA?  _____main idea_______  is the most important point a writer is trying to make in a __PARAGRAPH ____ or    whole text

How do I analyze what the main idea is? 

                You can start by determining what the ___TOPIC__ is.  The __TOPIC__ is the general subject the __PARAGRAPH____ or __WHOLE TEXT___ is about and can usually  be stated in one or two words.

For example:

A penny for your thoughts? If it’s a 1943 copper penny, it could be worth as much as fifty thousand dollars. In 1943, most pennies were made out of steel since copper was needed for World War II, so the 1943 copper penny is ultra-rare. Another rarity is the 1955 double die penny. These pennies were mistakenly double stamped, so they have overlapping dates and letters. If it’s uncirculated, it’d easily fetch $25,000 at an auction. Now that’s a pretty penny.



In one word, what is the subject of the paragraph above? __PENNIES_____

Yep, that’s the TOPIC.

Now , to find the ____MAIN IDEA_________, ask yourself what is the most important point the writer is making about this topic.  For the paragraph above, what is the most important point the writer is making about the topic?

____SOME PENNIES ARE RARE AND VALUABLE AND WORTH LOTS OF MONEY_____________

Yep, that’s the ___MAIN IDEA

Another way to find __MAIN IDEA_________ is to analyze the    SUPPORTING DETAILS

___SUPPORTING DETAILS _______ prove or back up the ____MAIN IDEA_______.

SUPPORTING DETAILS  can come in the form of :

____EXAMPLES        __   _____DEFINITIONS______   _DESCRIPTIONS________

____FACTS_______  ________OPINIONS_________  ____REASONS_____________

_____LISTS______________  ___STATISTICS_____  _______NUMBERS______

_____QUOTES________

Once you have found supporting details, see if they back  up or support any one individual sentence in the paragraph or whole text.  That one sentence is probably the TOPIC SENTENCE.

The TOPIC SENTENCE is the _____SENTENCE_________  ___THAT______   __STATES_____   __THE___  __MAIN_____   IDEA_____.

 

Sometimes, though, a paragraph or text does not have a stated main idea…..it has no topic sentence, and you have to rely on the supporting details to ____INFER________ the main idea.  That makes it tougher.

Look at our example again:

A penny for your thoughts? If it’s a 1943 copper penny, it could be worth as much as fifty thousand dollars. In 1943, most pennies were made out of steel since copper was needed for World War II, so the 1943 copper penny is ultra-rare. Another rarity is the 1955 double die penny. These pennies were mistakenly double stamped, so they have overlapping dates and letters. If it’s uncirculated, it’d easily fetch $25,000 at an auction. Now that’s a pretty penny.

There is no one sentence that states the main idea of the whole paragraph.  You have to infer that main idea.

Let’s write a main idea sentence for the paragraph  (A TOPIC SENTENCE):

_____SOME PENNIES ARE RARE AND VALUABLE, SUCH AS THE 1955 DOUBLE DIE PENNY OR THE 1943 COPPER PENNY.___

Laurel County Schools
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Laurel County Schools
718 North Main Street
London, KY 40741

Phone: (606) 862-4600
Fax: (606) 862-4601
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