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Main Ideas and Supporting Details

Main Ideas and Details
by

Melody Kowach

on 10 October 2013

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Transcript of Main Ideas and Supporting Details

Main Idea and Details
This is the key to comprehension! The main idea allows you to know what a paragraph is "about." Not
just
the topic, but what the writer is saying
about
the topic.
Why is it important to be able to find what the main idea of a paragraph or chapter is?
Topic - every paragraph has a topic.
Ask yourself: What point is the writer trying to make about the topic?
So how do we figure out
what the main idea is?
“Water is an amazing resource. Everything in the world depends on it. Every creature needs water to survive. Without water, we would not last long. Water helps make our world beautiful.”
EXAMPLE:
What is the topic?
What is the writer saying about the topic?
Be careful!
The main idea/topic sentence is not always the first sentence you see!
It can be:
At the beginning
In the Middle
At the end
Or implied
Supporting details are exactly what they're called. They are details that support what the writer is arguing or saying about the topic.
What about supporting Details?
Not all details are equal!
Major details:
These are the important details.
The primary points about the topic.
Minor details:
Support points
Examples and reasons
(1)

Some archaeological evidence indicates that women warriors called Amazons actually existed.

(2)
In his writings, the Roman historian Herodotus referred to fierce women warriors who swept down from the northeast and attacked Mediterranean settlements.
(3)
In 1997, on the border of Russia and Kazakhstan, archaeologists discovered fifty burial mounds containing women’s skeletons buried with swords, arrowheads, and other weapons.
(4)
One skeleton showed a deadly weapon-inflicted wound.
(5)
Several skeletons were bow-legged suggesting a life on horseback.
(1)
 The most expensive items in a grocery store usually are placed at eye level, making them the most noticeable items; the cheapest sit on the top or bottom shelves.
(2)
 So scan top and bottom shelves for the best bargains.
(3) This is just one of several tips to save you money at the grocery store.

(4)
 Here’s another: comparison shop on the items you buy most; then shop at the store with the lowest prices on those items.
(5)
 Another way to save money is to buy in bulk at “club” stores.
(1)
 Before a Civil War battle, a hundred men gathered into a company.
(2)
 Ten companies gathered into a regiment.
(3)
 Three regiments gathered into a brigade and were sent to battle.
(4)
 Under a general’s command, the soldiers formed double lines and advanced a thousand yards.
(5)
 Then junior officers led the army’s charge.
(6)
 Men who broke rank were shot by officers.
(7)
 When the soldiers neared the opposing forces, they scrambled through earth and timber fortifications. (8) Finally, soldiers would engage in hand-to-hand combat.
(9) In Civil War times, battles followed a fairly standard format.
There are three reasons to go to college.

One reason
is to learn new and better ways of thinking.
For example,
in psychology, Susana, at 18, is learning how to be more assertive and more confident.
Another reason
is to prepare for a career.
For Carlos,
this means, he’s taking biology and chemistry classes in order to go to medical school.
Finally,
Phil is interested in making more money. Because Phil makes only $7.50 an hour, he finds it hard to go to school and support himself.
Example:
Main Idea
Major Details
Minor Details
Signal Words:
Major Details:
First, Second, Third, etc.
Another
Furthermore
Moreover
Next
Also
Minor Details:
For example
For instance
To illustrate
This means
That is
What does the word "implied" mean?
Implied Main Idea
If there is no stated main idea, how do you figure out what the implied main idea is?
You must figure out the implied main idea through the details.
What are the details implying/ suggesting/ saying about the topic?
(1) In
ancient times
, people believed that
irrational behavior
was a result of demons and evil spirits inside a person. (2)
Later
, the Greeks explained
irrational behavior
as a physical problem caused by an imbalance of body fluids. (3) In the highly superstitious
Middle Ages,
the theory of possession by demons was revived. (4) The idea of possession reached a high point again in the witch-hunts of
18th century
Europe and America. (5) Only in the
last 100 years
did medical explanations of
mental illness
gain wide acceptance.
Implied Main Idea Example:
What is the topic?
What is the implied main idea?
Mental illness
(In your own words) People have explained mental illness in different ways over the years.
It's not that complicated. It’s really all about asking questions, “What’s this really about?”
Developing an awareness of new reading & learning strategies
Holy crap! How will I remember all of this information?! Why is it so complicated?
Another way to look at it:
A Stated main idea is usually a broad / general statement.
I.E. Water is a valuable resource.
I.E. In Civil War times, battles followed a fairly standard format.
I.E. This is just one of several tips to save your money at the grocery store.
I.E. Some archaeological evidence indicates that women warriors called Amazons actually existed.
A supporting detail is usually more specific.

I.E. Every creature needs water to survive.
I.E. Under a general's command, the soldiers formed double lines and advanced a thousand yards.
I.E. The most expensive items in a grocery store usually are placed at eye level, making them the most noticeable items; the cheapest sit on the top or bottom shelves.
I.E. In 1997, on the border of Russia and Kazakhstan, archaeologists discovered fifty burial mounds containing women's skeletons buried with swords, arrowheads, and other weapons.
...that you can do it!
The main idea of this workshop is ...
Full transcript