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What's the Point?

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Anna McWhirter

on 13 September 2014

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Transcript of What's the Point?

Steps to Finding and Explaining the Main Idea
1. Determine general versus specific.
4. Consider the components of the
Main Idea.
What's in a Main Idea?
topic +
what it says about the topic +
author's purpose =
Main Idea
What is it?
Explain main ideas and central points in paragraphs, short readings, and essays.

Relate major and minor details to the main idea(s) they support.
Identify stated and implied main ideas, central points and supporting details
Mac vs PC
Mac is #1 in:
Customer Satisfaction
Customer Support
To persuade
To entertain
Buy a MAC: it's reliable and customers like it
Topic + What it says + Author's = Main Idea
about the topic purpose
(1) Klk woijm tthi donuts. (2) Ekj, oirn ciopoimn fsiemc poomm potato chips. (3) Poin, junk food thho poinnrok poi. (4) Plliem woien cookies. (5) Tqpoiiiun, zxpp qw french fries poiurrnea.
a. Benefits of yoga.

b. Yoga releases tension and helps the body to align properly.

c. Practicing yoga helps increase strength and balance.

d. Practicing yoga benefits the body in various ways.
a. The lion trainer enters the ring first, in full sight of the cats, to establish the ring as his territory.

b. Lion trainers working in circuses use basic principles of authority in training big cats.

c. By barking orders, stomping, and snapping a whip, the trainer shows his power.

d. Training lions.
The process for so and so is simple. First, such and such takes place. Then, hoity toity influences cutie patootie. In the third step, yada yada yada happens. Finally, yakity yak occurs.
Thesis Statement
Central Point
3. Use the clue words.
It's the POINT!
single paragraph = Main Idea

a passage with multiple paragraphs =
Central Point or
Thesis statement
Here they are in a formula:
3 components
What are the components of a Main Idea?
What are some other terms that could be used for "Main Idea"?
What is the difference between a Main Idea and a Central Point?
What are the steps to finding and explaining the Main Idea?
initially, first, after, second, next, then, later, finally, thus, in conclusion, thereafter, consequently, therefore...
A main idea will be supported by most sentences in the paragraph.
one, first, additionally, second, next, also, moreover, in addition, furthermore, ...
Main Idea = General
Details = Specifics
2. Use the topic
Topic + What it says + Author's = Main Idea
about the topic purpose
Main Idea Formula Grid
Main Idea:
Details: support the Main Idea
How to identify the Main Idea
the TOPIC is the broad, general theme of the message.
the subject
It's the key concept
It's what the passage is mostly about.
a. I eat spaghetti whenever I can.
b. I had rigatoni last night.
c. Eating noodles.
d. I stuffed myself with fettucine at lunch today.
It's the controlling idea.
science fiction
historical narrative
informative essays
The topic is generally not stated as a sentence. It is usually a word or a phrase.
There are three types of hooey. The first is called blabity-blah-blah. Many celebrities use this. An example of the second kind is waa waa waa. Finally, most of us use yikity-yike-yikes because it is the most affordable.
(1) There are a number of important steps to follow before trying to sell your car. (2) First, remove the floor mats and give them a vigorous shaking. (3) Next, vacuum the floor, using a crevice tool to get in those little spaces under the seats. (4) Then, attack the carpet, seats, door panels, and dash with a spray cleaner that’s made for auto interiors. (5) Spray it on any spots, scrub with a stiff-bristled brush, and wipe the area with a clean towel. (6) Finally, dampen a clean cloth with auto protectant lotion and wipe it on all non-carpeted surfaces. (7) When that lotion is dry, use a clean towel to buff surfaces to a shine.
(1) Morgan Spurlock, a 33-year-old filmmaker, conducted an experiment by eating all his meals at McDonald’s for 30 days. (2) After a month of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners at the fast food restaurant, Spurlock’s body showed some remarkable changes. (3) First of all, he gained 25 pounds. (4) The weight gain was so rapid that his knees and joints ached. (5) In addition, blood tests determined that his liver was being overwhelmed by fats. (6) Moreover, his blood sugar and cholesterol levels rose dramatically. (7) Spurlock’s blood pressure, which had been normal, rose so much that doctors asked him to stop the experiment.
Find the clue words in these paragraphs:
(1) Several products are available to help people stop smoking. (2) For one thing, audiotapes and DVDs use suggestion to encourage people to quit. (3) Also, gum containing nicotine allows quitters to gradually cut down on the nicotine they get from cigarettes. (4) There are also special cigarette filters that reduce the amount of smoke and nicotine that get to the smoker’s mouth. (5) And a popular patch now on the market releases nicotine gradually that allows people to continue to get nicotine while eliminating cigarettes.
(1) If you were looking for land to build your dream house on, what would you look for? (2) When people were asked about their dream property recently, they gave a variety of responses. (3) Some people look for land that has a great view. (4) Others want flat land that can be used for planting gardens and raising horses. (5) And still others would like to be surrounded by trees, with a stream flowing nearby.
Guess this means you're sorry
You're standing at my door
Guess this means you take back
All you said before
Like how much you wanted
Anyone but me
Said you'd never come back
But here you are again

'Cause we belong together now, yeah
Forever united here somehow, yeah
You got a piece of me
And honestly,
My life would suck without you
Baby I was stupid for telling you goodbye
Maybe I was wrong for tryin' to pick a fight
I know that I've got issues
But you're pretty messed up too
Either way, I found out I'm nothing without you

Being with you
Is so dysfunctional
I really shouldn't miss you
But I can't let you go
The Times They Are A-Changin'

Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who that it’s namin’
For the loser now will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside and it is ragin’
It’ll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is rapidly agin’
Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is rapidly fadin’
And the first one now will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’

Copyright © 1963, 1964 by Warner Bros. Inc.; renewed 1991, 1992 by Special Rider Music
Which sentence has the main idea?
It's the gist.
It's the main focus.
They explain the main idea.
They develop the main idea.
They help fill out the major details.
They help clarify the major details.
There are two types of Supporting Details:
Major Details

Minor Details
Topic + What it says + Author's
about the topic purpose
The main idea of this song is
a. ice cream rocks
b. life would suck without you
c. we belong together
d. we are dysfunctional
What does "topic" refer to?
Explain the different types of details.

You can be amazing
You can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug
You can be the outcast
Or be the backlash of somebody’s lack of love
Or you can start speaking up
Nothing’s gonna hurt you the way that words do
When they settle ‘neath your skin
Kept on the inside and no sunlight
Sometimes a shadow wins
But I wonder what would happen if you

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

Everybody’s been there,
Everybody’s been stared down by the enemy
Fallen for the fear
And done some disappearing,
Bow down to the mighty
Don’t run, stop holding your tongue
Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

And since your history of silence
Won’t do you any good,
Did you think it would?
Let your words be anything but empty
Why don’t you tell them the truth?

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
See you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you

Write down the main idea of these lyrics.
Full transcript