How do you find main ideas and supporting ideas in paragraphs? – Hello, Sinaumed’s!
In this article, we will discuss one of the Indonesian sub- subjects .
Are you ready to explore knowledge together again in sentences and paragraphs?
Etymologically, language is defined as the form of sound that people use to interact. This
interaction or conversation is intended to convey ‘something’ so that it is easy for others to understand
and of course in delivering it we will provide additional or complementary information so that it can be
more easily captured and illustrated by others.
So, if we conclude every interaction and many sentences that we issue contain 2 important ideas or commonly
called main ideas and supporting ideas.
Definition of Main Idea / Main Idea / Main
The main idea is the main idea or thought in a paragraph. Because paragraphs are a collection
of many sentences, each paragraph must have a main idea and supporting ideas. Both main ideas
and supporting ideas are presented in the form of sentences. Sentences that contain the main
idea are called main sentences while sentences that contain supporting ideas are called explanatory
sentences. It should be noted that in 1 paragraph there is only 1 main idea.
In making a good main idea in a paragraph, it is very important to be able to focus on the message you want
to convey in that paragraph. Through this book Easy Ways to Write Scientific Papers from
Nathanael, M.pd, you will be taught how to easily write the main ideas in scientific papers.
Now let’s get to know other names that are usually used to refer to the main idea:
- Main idea
- Main Idea or Main Idea
- Main Thoughts or Main Thoughts
- Core Paragraphs or Core Problems
- Main Topic
How to Find Main / Main Ideas
1. Read and examine each sentence in the
To find the main idea, the first step you need to do is read and look at every sentence in a paragraph.
This is necessary because the main idea must be in the form of a sentence. In
addition, when reading a paragraph, you should read it carefully so that it is easy to find the main idea or
the idea or noun or subject that dominates the paragraph
After reading each sentence in the paragraph carefully, then you can identify every object or object in the
paragraph. So to do that, you need to identify ideas, subjects, and subjects. That
way, the main paragraph can be found easily. When doing this method, do it carefully so that
the noun or subject identification results can be maximized.
3. Determine which 1
sentence is the most suitable as the main sentence
As previously explained that the main idea consists of sentences that can represent the whole when telling
a story. Therefore, if you want to find the main idea, you should find 1 sentence in the
paragraph that you feel really represents all the paragraphs. Therefore, when reading a
paragraph, don’t be too hasty. In fact, even better, if read more than once.
4. Find the main idea in the main
Now, after doing all of the methods above, we come to the last method, which is to determine the main idea.
At this step, it looks easy, but in reality it is very difficult to do, especially for someone who
is not used to determining the main idea. Even so, as long as the steps above are carried out
carefully, thoroughly, and checked several times, determining the main idea will be easy.
In a literary work, it is important to compose good paragraphs so that the message to be conveyed to the
reader will be well understood. The book entitled Fostering Paragraph Writing Skills and Their
Development by Dr. Djago Tarigan will assist Sinaumed’s in compiling a paragraph and determining
the main ideas.
Characteristics of the Main Idea
Of the many names commonly used to refer to the main idea, we also need to know what are the
characteristics of the main idea. Because by knowing the characteristics we can easily find the
main idea that we are looking for. The following are the characteristics of the main
- Dominate the discussion in paragraphs
- The main topic can be explained in detail through explanatory sentences
- If it stands alone in one sentence, then the sentence still has a clear meaning
- If it is located at the end of the paragraph (inductive paragraph), then it is usually emphasized with
keywords such as ‘in conclusion’, ‘therefore’, ‘most importantly’, ‘so’.
Main Paragraph Types
Main ideas are divided into three types, namely inductive ideas, deductive ideas, and mixed main ideas.
1. Inductive Ideas
The inductive idea is the main sentence which is located at the beginning of the paragraph and usually starts
with something general, then the next sentence is in the form of specific things.
2. Deductive Ideas
The deductive idea is the main idea which is located at the end of the paragraph. Therefore,
in general, paragraphs on this deductive main idea will begin with specific matters first, then general
3. Mixed Ideas (Inductive and Deductive)
Mixed ideas are ideas that come from a combination of inductive and deductive ideas.
Therefore, this mixed idea is located at the beginning and end of the paragraph.
Next, we go into supporting ideas, supporting ideas are additional ideas, descriptions, or complementary
information conveyed to describe the main idea. If the main idea is only conveyed in 1 main
sentence, then supporting ideas can be conveyed in many sentences.
Definition of Supporting Ideas
In writing a good literary work, you also have to be able to develop the existing main ideas into a single
unit. Through this collection of Writing Tips by Rasibook, there are several tips that you can
use to find the right supporting ideas. Not only do main ideas have other names, supporting
ideas also have other names, such as the following:
- Additional Ideas
- Supporting Ideas or Additional Ideas
- Supporting Thoughts or Additional Thoughts
- Explanatory Paragraph
- Topic Description
Characteristics of Supporting Ideas
Still regarding supporting ideas, what characteristics or characteristics are usually attached to sentences that
contain supporting ideas, including:
- Be in sentences that explain the main idea
- The sentence can be in the form of examples, data, chronology of events, or other descriptions
- Because of its detailed and specific nature, if the supporting idea stands alone in one sentence, the
sentence cannot reflect the entire contents of the paragraph
Examples of Main and Supporting Ideas in
The Agustine Phinisi cruise ship, which was launched at Putri Duyung Ancol, North Jakarta, on March 23
2021, is expected to become a new attraction for Seribu Islands tourism. The ship, which was
completed in 2020 in Bulukumba, South Sulawesi, has a length of 30 meters and uses teak and ironwood as its
This ship, which carries the live on board concept, has a series of cruise tour packages for 4 hours from Jakarta
Bay, the cruise can be done at brunch or sunset time . Apart from that,
there are also one day trip packages and 1 or 2 night stay on the boat.
This tour ship allows tourists to hold their tours privately .
The ship’s management also implements health protocols based on CHSE
(Cleanliness, Health, Safety and Environment Sustainability ) in accordance
with the implementation of standards and guidelines set by the Ministry of Tourism and Creative
From the snippet of the paragraph above, can you find where the main sentence and the explanatory sentence
are located? And what is the main idea of the paragraph above?
Let’s share it together, shall we!
- The main sentence is located in the first sentence and the following sentences are explanatory
sentences. The paragraph above is a type of deductive paragraph.
- The main idea in the paragraph above is that the Agustine Phinisi Cruise Ship is a new attraction for
Thousand Islands tourism.
- The supporting idea above is about ship details, tour packages offered by cruise ships, and the CHSE
protocol they have.
Paragraph Development in Writing
After discussing the details of the main ideas and supporting ideas, let’s move on to a broader realm,
shall we! What’s that? Of course, paragraphs. Because to be able to
develop an idea or idea into a complex article or look for ideas or ideas in an article, we must first know
what is meant by a paragraph.
In developing an existing idea into a paragraph, you must master and understand how to write well.
The book entitled Writing is Fun – 25 Tips and Motivation for Writing for Beginners by Himam
Miladi, will teach you tips and motivation in writing so that it feels fun.
1. Know What Paragraphs Are
According to the Big Indonesian Dictionary (KBBI), a paragraph is a chapter in an essay (usually containing one
main idea and writing begins with a new line) or also known as a paragraph.
According to Nurhadi in his book entitled Handbook of Writing (Complete Writing Guide),
being able to develop paragraphs well means that we have mastered 90% of writing skills.
Why? Because if someone is able to develop a collection of words into ideas, a collection of
ideas into sentences, a collection of sentences into paragraphs and finally into a complete discourse or
article, it means that he is already at one level before becoming a full-fledged writer.
Another thing that writers need to know is that not all articles consist of many paragraphs, for example, a
humorous text may only consist of 1 paragraph.
The more writing ideas, the more paragraphs that will be produced. Of course, all paragraphs
must be related to each other so that the author’s goals are achieved.
Groups of ideas that are distinguished in many paragraphs also help readers to more easily enjoy the flow
of reading information, imagine if all the ideas were contained in just 1 paragraph? Maybe the
reader will say ‘it feels like fainting!’ .
So, the important role of paragraphs is also the main function of paragraphs, huh! That makes
it easier for the reader to understand the text or article and the ideas contained therein.
Long text compositions will be very tiring for readers if we don’t use paragraphs as a
differentiator or delimiter.
2. Recognize the criteria for a good idea/topic
In a book called Popular Writing written by Dr. H. Dalman, M.Pd., discussed the steps for
writing a good popular work, starting from finding or recognizing main ideas, writing techniques, writing
structures, and much more.
The following are the criteria for ideas or topics that we should choose in order to make paragraphs or articles
easy to read:
- Topics should be useful for writers and readers
- Topics are able to attract readers’ interest and attention, for example we can choose topics that are
trending among the public
- Topics must be in accordance with the author’s field of knowledge so that the resulting writing is of high
- The topic must be in accordance with the purpose of writing
We can find these topics through actual events that are happening, through book reviews, through
reactions to other people’s writings, or also by request. Currently writing anthology
books is happening once among housewives. They write something
according to a topic that has been determined by their publisher or writing mentor.
After succeeding in choosing ideas or topics for writing, the next step is how do we put these ideas in a
paragraph? Sinaumed’s needs to know that it’s useless if Sinaumed’s has a good idea but can’t
place it properly in the paragraph. This can actually reduce the value of the idea because
it can not be conveyed properly to the reader.
3. Understand Deductive and Inductive Paragraphs
Main ideas can be at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of a paragraph. If the main
idea is at the beginning of the paragraph, then the paragraph is called a deductive paragraph.
If the main idea is at the end of the paragraph, then the paragraph is called an inductive paragraph.
And if the main idea is at the beginning and end of the paragraph, then the paragraph is referred
to as a deductive-inductive paragraph or a mixed paragraph.
4. Develop ideas into sentences and
The next stage which is also a crucial point is how to develop ideas into more effective sentences and
paragraphs. Back to the important role of the paragraph that this paragraph will help the
writer to group idea by idea.
Like the article I wrote, before starting to write, I will write out a paragraph framework or table of content or
a list of writing ideas that I will convey, then group them and develop them into many paragraphs.
The following are the steps that can be taken to create an outline paragraph:
- Determine the main topic of the article
- Create the main idea that will be raised
- Create supporting ideas that will be conveyed
- Decide which paragraph pattern to use
- Build cohesive paragraphs so that each paragraph is connected
In writing any article or text, every paragraph that we write must have relevance, so that the complete
article has a clear storyline and information for the reader. If, in a paragraph there are
sentences that are ‘disconnected’ , unrelated, or do not explain the main idea, then this
sentence is called a discordant sentence.
Sometimes the main ideas are also clarified using pictures, tables, graphs, curves, or other forms of
infographics. So, we must be able to make explanatory sentences to describe the main idea based
on the illustrations we see. Pay attention to whether there is an atmosphere, activity, or
other message that we can explore and relate to the main idea so that the paragraph has complete and
Well, that’s an explanation of the main idea, starting from the definition and how to determine it in
paragraphs. not hard right? Hopefully this article will provide a new
understanding and increase knowledge for Sinaumed’s! To further hone your skills in
finding and developing main ideas and supporting ideas , you can take fragments of
paragraphs from books, magazines, newspapers or other printed media for further study.
If Sinaumed’s wants to be even more proficient in mastering Indonesian language lessons, then you can visit
the sinaumedia book collection at https://www.sinaumedia.com to get lots of references. Basically
learning Indonesian is getting used to the language and the text, so Sinaumed’s can do it slowly, aka
understanding not memorizing. Have a good study. #Friends Without Limits.