Implied Main Ideas
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:
Writers use implied main ideas to engage the reader, making the discovery of the main point or purposeThe reason the writer is writing about a topic. It is what the writer wants the reader to know, feel, or do after reading the work. of the reading part of the experience. Knowing how to find implied main ideas gives you the key to unlocking what it is an author is trying to say, allowing you to be better informed. Authors also use implied main ideas to help them structure their writing in the same way they do with a stated main ideaA main idea that has been explicitly written in an article, essay, or other reading.. It keeps the writing focused and ensures that all of the supporting detailsStatements within a reading that tie directly to major details that support the main idea. These can be provided in examples, statistics, anecdotes, definitions, descriptions, or comparisons within the work. relate to one another since they all support the same implied main idea.
Read the following passage and notice how answering the questions can help you find the implied main idea. Pay special attention to the words in bold.
Movies have often been a source of relaxation for people. At a theater, one may lose himself in fantastic car chases, mystical journeys in foreign lands, relationships challenged through difficult times, or by laughing at the comedic antics of some cartoon cat. But the days of attending a movie to while away a carefree afternoon have changed. No longer can a movie-goer enjoy a movie, popcorn, and soda for a reasonable price. Today’s movie-goers will find the cost of attending a movie may have exceeded their entertainment budget. Many viewers have noted and complained of the ever-increasing price of a trip to the theater. A trip that once meant a couple of dollars has since spiraled into a minimum twenty dollar investment – per person – for a few hours of entertainment. What has happened to our joy of finding relaxation and release at the theater? How can one be relaxed at the thought of spending so much money?
See the words in bold that emphasize movies, theater, entertainment, and cost.
Going to a movie.
The price of seeing movies has gone up and that is affecting the people who want to see them.
Yes, the information in the passage supports the point about the cost of attending a movie.
Finally, to identify the implied main idea, look over the answers to all of the questions and then refine the answer to question #3.
Implied main idea: Attending a movie is less relaxing and entertaining for viewers because of the rising cost of going to the theater.
Read the following passage and answer the questions to identify the implied main idea.
Are all teachers alike when it comes to assignments? In high school, all of my teachers seemed the same because we did the same types of work in every class: homework, quizzes, tests, then more homework, quizzes, tests. Every day the same thing. In addition, it always seemed like it was the teacher's job to make sure we learned the material. They would do this by giving us many small assignments that they would collect, grade, and return to us almost every day.
When I went to college, however, I discovered that the rules changed and that teachers could be different. We did complete many of the same types of assignments, including homework, quizzes, and tests, but we also had bigger projects like essays, comprehensive exams, speeches, reports, and semester-long projects. I noticed that one thing was surprisingly different when it came to these types of assignments: how the teachers worked (or did not work) with students.
In college, the teachers assigned work in the same ways my high school teachers did, but it was all up to the student to complete it. They didn't regularly check in with students about their progress, and they didn't collect versions or drafts throughout the semester. Instead, they gave a writing assignment at the beginning of the semester along with a due date. When that due date arrived, students were supposed to turn in a final version. It took me a full semester to get used to this system. I understood the teachers were just doing their job and helping us become independent thinkers and workers, but sometimes it made me miss the monotony of high school.
teachers, same, assignments, different, homework
High school and college teachers are different when it comes to the amount of help and follow-up they give students on assignments.
Yes, the information supports the point made about high school and college teachers.
Identify the implied main idea.
High school and college teachers are different in how they follow up with students about the assigned work.
Why might a writer choose to write with an implied main idea rather than a clearly stated main idea?
The writer may want to draw readers into the piece more slowly to capture their attention. In addition, a writer may be trying to write more stylistically by building up to the main idea instead of stating it outright.
What techniques can a writer use when trying to imply his or her main idea?
The writer can use repetition of words and ideas. The writer can also use pronouns in place of saying the same word many times. These will provide clues for the reader when trying to identify the main idea.
Developed by The NROC Project. Copyright ©2019 Monterey Institute for Technology and Education