Main Thought is the essence of a paragraph or passage. The main idea is a sentence in a paragraph that contains general information that is clarified in detail by other sentences.
You could say that the main idea is the most important thing of a paragraph or reading. If it is in a paragraph, the main idea is a sentence which is a general description of the conversation in a paragraph.
Knowing the main idea is very important to get information from a reading. Knowing the main idea is something that can make it easier for us to know the essence of a reading in a shorter time.
In other words, by only knowing the main idea, the reader will easily know the general picture of a text without taking a long time. This is because the main idea is a complete sentence and its meaning can be known even without being clarified in other sentences.
The existence of other sentences besides the main sentence is an attempt to provide a more detailed picture of what is in the main idea. To know more about the main idea, it is important to know its meaning first.
The following is a further review of the main idea, from its meaning to its characteristics, as summarized from various sources.
Understanding Main Thoughts
Launching ThoughtCo, the main idea is the essence or main concept that the author wants to convey to the reader about the topic. The main idea contains the overall idea about a paragraph, which is supported by details in other sentences in the paragraph.
The main idea is the most important statement, in a paragraph. The main idea will provide the purpose and set the direction of the paragraph. Novels, essays, short stories, poems, and news articles all have a main idea.
Main ideas can be stated explicitly or implicitly. When the main idea is stated explicitly, the main idea can be a complete main sentence. However, it can also be found in any sentence of the paragraph.
The main idea is the most important thing in a paragraph or reading. So it is not surprising that the placement will distinguish a type of paragraph and the author's frame of mind.
There are three types of paragraphs based on the location of the main idea, namely deductive paragraphs, inductive paragraphs, and mixed paragraphs.
A deductive paragraph is a type of paragraph whose main idea is at the beginning of the paragraph. This paragraph begins by stating the main problem or topic sentence that is more general in nature, then followed by explanatory sentences that are more detailed in nature.
An inductive paragraph is the opposite of a deductive paragraph. This paragraph has the main idea at the end of the paragraph. An inductive paragraph begins by presenting explanations and then ends with a topic sentence. Inductive paragraphs can be divided into three types, namely generalization, analogy, and causality.
A mixed paragraph is a type of paragraph that has the main idea at the beginning and end of the paragraph. This type of paragraph begins by stating the main problem followed by explanatory sentences and ends with the main sentence again as an explanation.
This paragraph is preceded by pouring the main idea sentence at the beginning of the paragraph. Then the main idea sentence is developed into several explanatory sentences. After that, at the end of the paragraph, conclusions are drawn in the form of supporting sentences to emphasize the main idea at the beginning of the paragraph.
How to Find the Main Thought
After knowing the three types of paragraphs based on the location of the main idea, it is hoped that it will make it easier to find the main idea. But to determine whether a paragraph is called a deductive, inductive, or mixed paragraph, is also not easy.
However, there are at least a number of ways to find and determine which is the main idea in a paragraph.
Read the text thoroughly, then try to identify the topic. Who or what is the paragraph about?
After reading the text carefully, summarize the text in one sentence. Suppose you only have ten to twelve words to tell someone about the text.
See the first and last sentence
Authors often put the main idea in or near the first or last sentence of a paragraph or article. So break up the sentences to see if they make sense as the theme of the entire paragraph.
Look for repetition of ideas
If you're reading a paragraph and don't know how to put it together because there's so much information, start looking for a word, phrase, or related idea that repeats itself. What does this paragraph consistently talk about? What are you trying to convey?
Review facts or statistics
Usually, if an author cites a particular story or statistic, it is meant to improve their overall point, or main idea. If the first or last few lines don't give you any indication, revisit the small snippet or story shared throughout the text, as well as any facts or statistics.
Main Sentence Features
The main idea is usually contained in the main sentence of a paragraph. The main sentence clearly has its own characteristics that distinguish it from other sentences. Knowing the characteristics of the main sentence will make finding the main idea easier. The following are the characteristics of the main sentence:
- In the form of a complete and complete sentence that stands alone.
- Has a clear meaning without being connected with other sentences.
- Contains the topic of the problem.
- Formed without conjunctions or transitions.
- In an inductive paragraph, the main idea is marked with key words such as, as a conclusion, which is important, therefore, thus, and so on.
Guava (Psidium guajava) or often also called guava stone, guava siki and guava klutuk is a tropical plant originating from Brazil, spread to Indonesia via Thailand. Guava has green fruit with white or red flesh and tastes sweet and sour. Guava fruit is known to contain lots of vitamin C.
From the paragraph above, the guava phrase is more often repeated and mentioned. So, the main idea of the paragraph above is about guava.
The benefits of mustard greens are very good for the body. Just like all green vegetables, mustard greens contain antioxidants that protect the body from free radical damage. They are also a great source of fiber, which helps regulate the digestive tract and lowers high cholesterol levels. Mustard has historically been linked to the prevention of arthritis, osteoporosis, asthma, lung disease and more.
In this paragraph, the main or main sentence is located at the beginning of the paragraph. The main sentence is the main idea in the paragraph. The paragraph above has the main idea of the benefits of mustard greens. The supporting sentences are placed after the main sentence in this paragraph.
General Khalid bin Walid is a commander who has never lost in his history leading soldiers on the battlefield. He holds the title "Sword of God drawn". In one war he had defeated the Byzantine army with a total of 240,000 troops. Even though the Muslim troops he led at that time only numbered 46,000 people. But with his foresight to set the strategy, the battle can be won easily. The enemy troops ran away.
From the paragraph above, including the type of inductive paragraph. It can be concluded that the main idea is at the beginning of the sentence. That means the main idea is General Khalid bin Walid.