How to Find Key Sentences: Definition, Characteristics, and Examples

How to Find Main Sentences – Have you ever read a long piece of writing containing some information conveyed by a writer with a specific purpose? An article usually consists of many sentences which are summarized in several paragraphs, each of which contains important information for the reader’s attention.

In a paragraph there are several important things that must be carefully examined by the reader. These things are related to the existence of a sentence that contains the main idea and several sentences which are a description of the continuation of that matter. The main idea as a main sentence is the core of a piece of writing.

Definition of Main Sentence

Judging from the origin of the word, the main sentence means a sentence that contains the essence of a story fragment or paragraph that contains all the contents. It contains the main idea, main idea, main idea, main idea, or main idea. The main sentence in a paragraph is usually only one sentence. Because it contains the entire contents of the story fragment, therefore it is general in nature. When someone knows where the main sentence is located, he will know exactly what he wants to review from the writing.

If a paragraph does not have a main sentence, then it can be said that the paragraph is not good and will cause confusion. With the main sentence, it will trigger the emergence of other sentences that contain a more detailed explanation of certain information. Its existence is important because it can be used as a basis for developing the next sentence which is an explanatory sentence or a special sentence. This material is usually found in Indonesian subjects and is quite important because it is usually also tested for certain tests. Some of the tests referred to are the national exam or the basic ability test in CASN (Prospective State Civil Apparatus) selection.

Main Sentence Features

Here are some characteristics of key sentences that you should understand in order to easily identify them.

1. Must Stand Alone

A sentence can be said to be the main sentence when it can be related to the sentence before or after it. In other words, there are no conjunctions like this, that, those, and so on. Conjunctions between sentences are also not as characteristic as on the other hand, besides, meanwhile, and so on. However, for some of the following conjunctions between sentences it can be found in a main sentence to show a conclusion, namely because of that and thus. So, not always conjunctions between sentences are not the characteristics of the main sentence.

It also contains clear main ideas or core issues without the need for further sentences. Precisely the main sentence is a bridge to develop a more detailed explanatory sentence to be explained. So that the existence of an explanatory sentence actually follows behind. The presence of an explanatory sentence is actually a complement to the main sentence, although if there is no explanatory sentence it is not a problem. However, an explanatory sentence cannot stand alone because it must be related to other sentences.

2. Is General

The core conveyed from the main sentence contains general information. It also contains problems or ideas that can be explained in more detail or in more detail in the following sections. Because it contains things that are general in nature, examples, facts, data, descriptions, or opinions are not points that are located in the main sentence.

3. Contains a Specific Problem or Idea

The main sentence is an introduction to a story that contains the problems or ideas put forward by the writer. With the problems that arise, then there is further development that explains these problems to be described in explanatory sentences. It is located elsewhere in the paragraph in question.

How to Find Key Sentences

Then how can we determine which main sentence is clearly in a writing that we read. Check out the following explanation.

1. Find the Primary Key

The key you should find when looking for a main sentence is in the sentence itself. If you find a phrase that contains instructions, then you can be sure that the sentence is not in the position of the main sentence. The phrase is an explanation of the core that has been discussed in the previous section. The most important technique you can use is to carefully read each section to make it easier to find.

2. Look for Explanatory Sentences

As the name implies, the main sentence contains the main idea or main idea which means it can stand alone. Pay attention to the presence after the first sentence and before the final sentence in paragraph fragments. If it turns out that after the initial sentence is an explanation, then it is likely that it is the main sentence. Conversely, if the beginning of the paragraph contains an explanation of some special things then the main sentence is at the end.

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3. Pay attention to references in explanatory sentences

The word reference is another way to find out where the core of a story is in a paragraph. If there are references, pay attention to the origin of the referred reference which may indicate the existence or location of the main sentence. The reference as intended is usually at the beginning or the end of the sentence.

Key Sentence Differences

Judging from the difference, main sentences are divided into three types, namely deductive paragraphs, inductive paragraphs, and mixed paragraphs.

1. Deductive Paragraph

A deductive paragraph is a paragraph whose main sentence is in the initial position or at the front. Because it is inductive, the pattern of information conveyed is from things that are general to things that are specific. At the beginning of the paragraph, the main sentence acts as a general element while the special element is in the explanatory sentence. Explanatory sentences here usually contain information about examples, evidence, facts, or details.

2. Inductive Paragraph

An inductive paragraph is the opposite of a deductive paragraph, namely the main sentence is at the end or at the back of the paragraph. The pattern of information conveyed is also reversed, namely from things that are specific to things that are general in nature.

The beginning of the paragraph does not act as a main sentence, but as an explanatory sentence because it contains special characteristics. At the end of the paragraph, the main sentence contains the general characteristics that were previously conveyed at the beginning. Because it is at the end, the main sentence in an inductive paragraph is usually a conclusion from a discussion at the beginning of the sentence.

The development of inductive paragraphs becomes varied because they can be divided into three, namely causal patterns, generalization patterns, and analogy patterns. The causal pattern means that the sentence contains information about the cause and effect of why something can happen. The pattern of generalization means a review that is explained in the discussion of paragraphs that contain certain information. While the analogy pattern is a pattern in which a paragraph contains information which is a parable of a thing.

3. Mixed Paragraphs

Besides being deductive and inductive, a paragraph can be mixed. As for being mixed, namely a combination of deductive paragraphs and inductive paragraphs. Because of the mixture, there are two main sentences, the first is at the beginning of the paragraph and the second is at the end. The pattern that is formed is also a combination of the two, namely from general to specific and to general again.



The main sentence at the beginning is a statement that contains general things that the writer will discuss. While the final part is a conclusion from the information that has been conveyed earlier and in the middle. The existence of two main sentences should not contradict each other. Rather, the two must be related to one another. when it is at the end, then it is an affirmation of the main sentence conveyed at the beginning of the paragraph.

Main Sentence Examples

To better understand how to find the main sentence in a paragraph, here are some examples and explanations.

1. Example 1

Thorough preparation and strong mentality are the keys to achieving success, not only in one field but for all fields. This is something that must be owned and becomes the principle of an athlete in order to achieve the highest achievements in accordance with the events he participates in.

Including Eko Yuli Irawan, an Indonesian weightlifter who successfully presented a silver medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics some time ago. If it weren’t for good preparation, it would be impossible for him to present such a glorious achievement for the motherland. Even though he was hampered by the Covid-19 pandemic which attacked all corners of the world, he never gave up on preparing himself. He trained so hard while he was in the country even though he couldn’t test his abilities against several other athletes. Even if there is no pandemic, he can measure the extent of his abilities compared to his rivals from other countries.

Discussion :

If you listen to the paragraph above briefly, it is included in the deductive paragraph, because the main sentence is at the beginning of the paragraph. The initial sentence can stand alone and if it is not accompanied by an explanatory sentence it is not too problematic. The main sentence at the beginning contains an explanation that a person must have preparation and a strong mentality to be able to achieve success in all fields. Afterwards it contains an explanation about an athlete must also have such principles in order to obtain the highest achievement that can be presented. It was also explained that Eko Yuli Irawan, a weightlifter from Indonesia, was able to achieve success because of his unyielding spirit.

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2. Example 2

Football and money are two things that are interrelated like two sides of a coin that cannot be separated from one another. The football industry for some accomplished businessmen is a very valuable source of income in today’s modern era. Some conglomerates are willing to pour out quite a lot of funds to be able to invest in football clubs in several countries.

Starting from Roman Abramovich, who bought the English club, namely Chelsea, to Nasser El-Khelaifi, who acquired the French club PSG for a large sum. They are willing to spend a large amount of funds as a form of long-term investment to increase the coffers of wealth they already have. Therefore, in the future, this form of investment can penetrate all fields, including football.

Discussion :

The main sentence of the paragraph that has been presented is at the end of the sentence, namely investment in the future will penetrate into all fields, one of which is football. This is indicated by the word “therefore” which is a conclusion so that the paragraph is included in the inductive category. The first part contains an explanatory sentence which states that the relationship between football and money cannot be separated even though they are different.

The next sentence explains in more detail, it is stated that football for some investors is a profitable enough investment land to be willing to spend large amounts of money. All sentences from the beginning to before the last sentence are explanations and the last part concludes all the explanations that have been presented.

3. Example 3

Many activities that some people do not realize are included in sports activities that can improve health and fitness. There are many forms of exercise that can be done when you are busy and don’t have time to exercise, one of which is taking advantage of the stairs at work as a medium for exercise.

Reduce the use of the elevator so that you regularly go up and down the stairs so that the activity is indirectly counted as a form of exercise. In addition, walking to a place to eat outside the office when taking a break also includes other sports activities that can be done. Invite a few friends to walk together as your effort to invite them to exercise and reduce traveling by motorized vehicles. Therefore, there are many activities that some people are not aware of as part of sports that they can do to keep the body in a fit condition.

If you listen carefully, the paragraph fragment above is a mixed paragraph because there are two main sentences presented at the beginning and the end. In the initial paragraph it is explained that many activities that people are not aware of are part of sports that can improve health and fitness.

Then the final part emphasizes that by doing activities that some people are not aware of, that includes how to keep the body in a fit state. The middle section is an explanation that contains several activities that can be done by those who don’t have enough time to exercise. By taking advantage of activities at work, sports can still be done.



Writing for some people may be an easy job to do. However, putting ideas, ideas, and thoughts into written form is not as easy as what is in the minds of each individual. Many people are able to speak in public, but when it comes to putting what is being discussed in written form it is difficult to do. Even when you can write, you have to be able to master the principles of using main sentences in the writing, especially in scientific works. Its existence will be very important because it relates to important information that is useful for readers to understand so that they can increase their knowledge.

If you plan to become a writer, it is important to understand the existence of main sentences in the writing that you will produce later. The success of a writer lies in his readers, because his work will be enjoyed by them later. When the reader understands the intent of the writing, it can be said that the writer succeeded. Conversely, when the reader is confused about understanding the writing, the writer fails to produce good and quality work.

By studying the use of main sentences in writing, be it scientific or not, it will be easier for writers to develop their ideas. On the other hand, the flow of thought to be conveyed can be easily understood from one section to another. So that it will form a comprehensive and continuous story. Hope it is useful.

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