Main idea

Reading and interpreting written text involves the gathering of information, key ideas and concepts. This requires students to understand that texts convey meaning, with a main idea being communicated.

To understand the main ideas of a text, students need to be able link information and relationships from sentence to sentence, across paragraphs or chapters. These relationships and ideas can be stated directly in the text, and are often found near causal words such as 'because', 'so' and 'therefore'. Identifying the main idea requires students to:

  • connect information
  • understand cohesive devices in texts which link ideas
  • understand vocabulary and complex word usage
  • infer and summarise facts and events to find overall ideas.
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