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The Difference Between Topic, Main Idea

  • Date Submitted: 06/20/2010 08:13 PM
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Jessica Gold
Prof M. Green
Engli 0098
June 3, 2010

Some of the difference between topic, main idea, major supporting details, minor supporting details, and a summary is that topic is a word, name or phrase the labels the subject but doesn’t reveal on what the passage is about unlike main idea. The main idea is the central message that the author is conveying about the material. In other words, when you know the main idea of a passage, you comprehend on what the passage is about. Major supporting is different in its own way because it support, explain, and describes the main idea. The difference on minor details is that it support, explains, and describes the major details. Summary is a series of brief   words of the main idea and the significant supporting details of the passage.

Some of the strategies in finding the stated main idea is reading a novel. Readers can find stated ideas easier if the idea is written right in the story. Usually, the stated main idea is found at the beginning, middle, or end of a passage. Both the beginning and the concluding sentences of a passage can be combined to form a main idea statement.   Unstated idea is when the author has the main idea hidden to add drama or suspense to the story. Movies are one way to find unstated ideas. A lot of movies have twists to keep you guessing on what the main idea is of the story. Unstated ideas can also be found in photographs. There are no words that tell what the picture is about. A person would have to study the picture to figure out what the main idea is.
When you understand the main idea of a topic, it can aid the comprehension of reading because you know what the story you are reading is about. If the main idea is stated at the beginning of the passage, the reader will know what the rest is going to be about. As they are reading the passage, they will comprehend what they are reading therefore, they will know every detail of the story better.


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