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Main Idea Strategies

Main Idea/ Primary Purpose Questions

What do main idea questions ask you to identify? You are asked to identify the core topic of the passage.
What do primary purpose questions ask you to identfy? You are asked to identify the author's intention.
Where should you look , primarily, for the main idea of a passage? Look in the first and last paragraphs of the passage.
What types of words most likely introduce the main idea? Conclusion words such as "therefore", "thus", "so", "hence", etc.
Is the main idea always stated explicitly in the passage? More likely than not, it is not stated explicitly.
Why is it important to re-read the first line of every paragraph, and the last line of the first and last paragraphs? This should give you a general structure or outline of the arguement, with which you can answer the main idea question.
When should you eliminate answer choices that are too broad or too specific? After determining the general structure or content of the arguement.
Why should you "tag' your text while regarding the main idea on the test booklet? Notetaking , while reading, helps you to recall specific details.
What do Primary Purpose questions ask ? What the author trying to do or what the author's intentions are.
If the primary purpose is to criticize 2 new books, then what is his intention? His primary purpose might be to "critique" new studies.
Created by: msmarcoccio