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Main Ideas, Supporting Details, and Types of Organization
Transcript of Main Ideas, Supporting Details, and Types of Organization
How to FIND the main idea of a passage...
2. Identify the TOPIC (one or two words)
--the general subject
the main idea
is the one, overall, important point a paragraph makes.
what IS the main idea of a reading passage?
3. find the
--the one sentence that
encompasses all the information
in the paragraph
(usually the first or second sentence)
Ask yourself, "What does all this have in common?"
1. Pay attention to the Title
--the author has taken a long time to come up with it, so it must mean
The main idea is NOT a sentence in the passage.
Be wary of the
'distractor' sentence (s).
put in the passage to
confuse you. They don't
'go' with all the other
4. Check the closing sentence.
often recaps the passage.
5. Look for words or phrases that are used over and over.
Clue to part of the main idea.
When given multiple choice options, always do the elimination process to make sure you have the right answer.
1. Compare or Contrast
Comparisons = similarities
Contrasts = differences
For comparison, look for words like:
similarly, just as, likewise, in common
For contrast, look for words like:
on the other hand, in contrast, however, difference
The differences between 1940s music and today's music go beyond the overall sound or the beat. Because no amplification existed then, the loudest jazz band was much quieter than today's groups. In those days, too, singers still crooned ballads in the manner of Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. Lyrics were meant to be understood and the singer's voice was regarded as another fine instrument to be used with precision to produce pleasant, melodious sounds. Singers wore hair styles no different from those of business people. All that has changed.
What KEY words let you know the type of organization?
What does "crooned" mean?
used to explain why something caused something else
Look for words like:
because, since, consequently, therefore, as a result
2. Cause and Effect
1 cause = many effects
Many causes = 1 effect
certain foods migraine
There are good reasons why the average American should care about global warming. Our cities will get hotter, and heat-stress mortality among the elderly is likely to rise. Higher temperatures will lead to higher sea levels, which means that many coastal areas such as New Orleans' French Quarter and lower Manhattan will be at risk of flooding. Another likely outcome of a warmer world is the spread of water-borne diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, and dengue. Other potential effects of global warming include more hurricanes, windstorms, and droughts, reduced water quality, greater air pollution, and the demise of large numbers of plant and animal species.
What is the CAUSE?
What are the effects? (there are 10 of them)
What does "demise" mean?
When you divide a topic into different parts
Look for words like:
another, types of, another kind, include, categories
are self-interruptions in the flow of speech. They include the minor stutters, corrections, slips of the tongue, and so forth that sneak into virtually everybody's spoken messages from time to time. Nonfluencies also take the form of verbal fillers, as in "I was going to say that,
, my only complaint about our relationship is,
, the fact that,
, you seem to get upset when..."
What KEY word tells you this is classification?
What are three examples of "verbal fillers"?
when you use the whole passage
to define one or more terms
Words to look for:
mean, define, explain, in fact, in other words, clearly, obviously
In this company, we prefer people who are self-starters. What I mean by a "self-starter" is someone who thinks ahead and begins acting on a project even before he or she is instructed to do so by a manager. A self-starter is always on the lookout for ways to improve our operations and is always ready with suggestions to help us keep ahead of the competition. A self-starter sees the need for a correction in our procedures that will benefit the company or its employees and writes up a memo to his or her manager explaining why the correction is a good idea and how best to implement it.
What KEY word lets you know this is a definition?
What does "implement" mean?