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.
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______
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:
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.___