Implied Main Ideas

Learning Objective:

  • Identify the implied main idea in a reading.

Often when you read a textWords that make up a book, essay, article, poem, or speech., you can find the main ideaThe most important or central thought of a reading selection. It also includes what the author wants the reader to understand about the topic he or she has chosen to write about. clearly stated in the thesis statementA brief statement that identifies a writer's thoughts, opinions, or conclusions about a topic. Thesis statements bring unity to a piece of writing, giving it a focus and a purpose. You can use three questions to help form a thesis statement: What is my topic? What am I trying to say about that topic? Why is this important to me or my reader?; however, that is not always the case. Sometimes the main idea of a passageA short portion of a writing taken from a larger source, such as a book, article, speech, or poem. is not clearly stated, but rather it is "impliedAn idea that is expressed in an indirect way, not said outright.." An implied main ideaA main idea—the most important idea or central thought in a paragraph or reading—that is not stated directly, as opposed to an explicit main idea. is one where you have to read closely and use clues to understand what the authorA person who wrote a text. is trying to say.

You can determine the implied main idea of a readingA piece of writing to be read. A reading can either be a full work (i.e., a book) or partial (i.e., a passage). by asking four questions:

  1. Does the author repeat any words, phrasesA set of words that express an idea. A phrase may or may not form a complete sentence., or ideas throughout the text?
  2. Who or what is the passage about? (What is the topicThe subject of a reading. ?)
  3. What is the central pointThe main issue on which an author focuses a writing. the author is trying to make about that topic?
  4. Does the information in the passage support the answers to questions #2 and #3?