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Making Sense of Main Idea
Transcript of Making Sense of Main Idea
On the Florida Reading test, you will often be asked to identify the main idea and supporting details of a reading selection. You will also be asked to make inferences and draw conclusions about the ideas and details of a passage. To do so effectively, you should use the strategies covered in the text.
What is the Main Idea?
How can you identify the main idea in a paragraph or passage? The title or heading of a passage usually tells you.
The main idea is always supported by details. These details say more about the point that the author is making. Details are either
Making inferences means reaching an understanding about what you read when it's not printed in the text.
A writer's purpose for writing and his/her perspective determines not only what they write but also how they write about their topic. They must choose an organizational pattern that best supports their purposes and perspectives.
Paraphrasing and Summarizing
Two ways you may be asked to show that you understand an author's main idea are by paraphrasing and summarizing.
When you read, you are like a detective. You gather information (the "clues") from what the writer actually wrote.
Writer's use several techniques when communicating their messgaes. Knowing how to find the main idea of these messages will help you get the most out of what you read.
Main idea is the most important point a writer makes. It can be stated or implied.
Details support the main idea; they are usually factual or sensory.
Making Inferences and Drawing Conclusions
The reader must use their own knowledge and experience and what is stated in the text to understand what an author is suggesting.
What the writer hopes to accomplish by writing their story. Is the writer's intention to persuade, inform, explain, or entertain?
Recognizing an author's perspective is very important in becoming an informed reader. Every author has a perspective, or opinion, about the topic he/she is writing about. This perspective informed by his/her life experiences.
Author's use many different methods to organize information. When they organize their writing, authors choose the structure that best supports their purpose. If you know which organizational pattern the author is using, you will better undertstand the information you read.
When you paraphrase, you are saying essentially saying the same thing as your author, but in your own words.
When you summarize, you "sum up" what the author has said with a broad, general statement about his or her main idea.
There are more grizzly bears in Alaska than in other state.
: No other state has as many grizzly bears as Alaska.
of the main idea of an article about texting while driving might be: Texting while driving is dangerous because it creates a major distraction for the driver.
Ask the following questions:
What is the main point the writer makes?
What is the most important idea?
What idea summarizes the entire passage?
The signs of global warming are everywhere.
My older sister made my life miserable growing up.
There are more important things to life than making money.
Factual details answer questions such as who, what, when, where, and why, how, or which. These details can be proved or verified.
Sensory details give readers a vivid idea about how something looks, feels, sounds, smells, or tastes.
Christopher put on his sneakers and a jacket and then took a dog leash from a drawer.
He is going to take his dog for a walk.
Words surrounding the unknown word that help the reader understand the word's meaning.
Multiple Meaning Words
Context clues will help the reader figure out which meaning is being used.
Understand Author's Purpose
All writing has a purpose. Usually it is to persuade, inform, entertain, or explain.
Details are either factual or sensory.
Make Inferences/Draw Conclusions
"Read between the lines" to make an educated guess about a passage./text.
Based on Jim Harvey's speech structures