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What is Main Idea?

Identifying Main Idea and Relevant Details

Brittany Forbes

on 13 January 2014

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Transcript of What is Main Idea?

How can I identify the main idea of a text?
The main idea can be stated or implied.
What does it mean to make an inference?
An inference is a conclusion that you reach based on evidence in the text.
The main idea in a text is what the text is "mostly about."
What is main idea?
How can I summarize the main idea?
When you summarize, you give a brief explanation of the main idea and one or two important details.
What are the most important (relevant) details?
The most important details are the ones that explain the main idea (and sometimes theme).
In a stated main idea, the author will come right out and tell you what the reading is about. (Nonfiction)
If you are reading an implied main idea, the author will give you a lot of details that work together to create a main idea. But, the author will never come out and say it. (Usually Fiction)
Hint: (To imply means to suggest something.)
What is the implied main idea of this video?
So, tell me some important details, and let's see if we can identify a main idea.
Tip: When you summarize the main idea,
think about how you would describe the article to a friend!
A good summary includes three things.
1. The main idea
2. Some of the most important details
3. Presents the information in the same order as the text
In order to identify the most important details, it helps to first identify the main idea.
Then, focus on the details that help support the main idea or theme.
How can I make an inference?
You make an inference when you use clues in the story to figure out something that the author doesn't tell you.
Full transcript