By DR KOH SOO LING
Main idea, topic sentence and supporting details
What is the main idea?
The main idea is the most important piece of information the author wants the reader to know.
The main idea is the “key concept” of the text. Supporting details are essential because they tell you how, what, when, where, why, how much, or how many things are related to the main idea.
When you find the topic, main idea and supporting details, you will then be able to understand the point(s) the writer is attempting to express. When a student can identify the relationship between topics, main ideas and details, he is able to comprehend better.
In narrative text, the main idea is the overall theme of the story. Characters’ actions, motives, problems and personalities all contribute to the overall theme(s) of the story. If the reader has a similar experience as that expressed in the text, he will be able to have a richer reading experience.
What is the topic sentence?
The topic sentence with explicit information on the main idea can be found:
- at the beginning of the paragraph
- in the middle or
- at the end
What are supporting details?
- These are details or sentences that work together to communicate the main idea.
- Supporting details can be descriptions, definitions, examples, elaboration or
exploration of the main idea.
There are two key reasons why Germany cannot allow the euro to collapse. Germany
is the second-largest exporting nation on Earth and a major downturn in this market would spell disaster for many leading German firms. However, the larger concern is what would happen if the eurozone itself broke up and Germany returns to its national currency — the Deutschmark — which would rise in value against other currencies, leaving German exporters at a critical disadvantage. Germany has no choice but to bear the brunt of the rescue packages to its neighbours.
1. Topic Sentence: ___________________________________________________
2. Main Idea: _______________________________________________________
3. Supporting Sentences:
NEXT WEEK: Writing skills I
1. Topic Sentence: There are two key reasons why Germany cannot allow the euro to collapse.
2. Main Idea: Germany has no choice but to bear the brunt of the rescue packages to its neighbours.
3. Supporting details: Germany is the second-largest exporting nation on Earth and a major downturn in this market would spell disaster for many leading German firms.
However, the larger concern is what would happen if the eurozone itself broke up and Germany returns to its national currency — the Deutschmark — which would rise in value against other currencies leaving German exporters at a critical disadvantage.
Source: Learning Curve - New Straits Times
Monday, July 02, 2012
By DR KOH SOO LING
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