Main Idea: Definition, Characteristics, Functions and How to Find It

Definition of Main Idea – An article must have a main idea or main idea in it. It is useful to determine which direction the sentence will take place.

The main idea is something that must be in an article. However, it turns out to know the main idea is not easy. This article will explain the main idea. Starting from the definition, characteristics, functions and how to find the main idea.

Definition of Main Idea

Ideas are designs that are arranged inside, thoughts, can also be referred to as ideas. The main idea is an idea conveyed by the author in a subject in the paragraph. The main idea also has another name. Among them are main ideas, main ideas or main thoughts.

The main idea is the most important thing in a paragraph. The main idea will provide important information for the reader. In addition, the main idea will also help the writer to develop a writing flow. Main ideas will be supported by explanatory ideas.

In a sentence, usually only found one main idea. The main idea is located at the beginning of the sentence. But there is something the reader needs to remember, namely the first sentence is not the same as the main sentence. The first sentence can be at the beginning of the paragraph, this is referred to as a deductive paragraph. If it is located at the end of the paragraph, it is called an inductive paragraph. When it is at the beginning or at the end of a paragraph it is called a mixed paragraph.

Main Idea Characteristics

A work by Marchella Praserda Katika, in the journal “The Ability to Determine Main Ideas by Using an Inquiry Learning Model for Class VIII Students of SMP Negeri 1 Bone-Bone North Luwu Regency” which was made in 2018, explains that the main idea has several characteristics. The following are the characteristics of the main idea:

1. The existence of the main idea is not complicated

The existence of the main idea in a paragraph should not be convoluted. That is, the meaning of the main idea should not be narrow. However, not too broad. This serves so that the reader can easily catch what the main idea is. In addition, this will also help readers to easily understand it.

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2. The main idea is stated clearly

Apart from being simple, a main idea must also be clearly written or described by the author. This is related to the location. In addition, what will be conveyed or the essence of the idea must also be stated clearly.

3. Is general

A main idea must contain something that is general in nature. This will later be pursed again. This means that a main idea can then be explained and further elaborated. The description will be more specific in the following sentences.

4. Have supporting sentences

A main idea does not necessarily stand alone in a paragraph. The main idea must have a supporting sentence, or a clear idea. These supporting sentences are useful for providing further explanation regarding the previous main idea. So that the paragraph will be coherent and easy to understand.

5. Main Idea function

The main idea in a paragraph also has a function. Like to make it easier for the reader to know the essence or subject matter in a paragraph that is read. This is useful so that the essence of what is conveyed in the paragraph can be conveyed. Through identifying the main idea, the reader can find out the main idea of ​​a paragraph that is read.

How to Find Main Ideas

Even if you just read, finding the main idea is not as easy as it looks. The first easy thing to do to determine the main idea is to look at the type of paragraph you are reading. Determining a main idea in a paragraph is something that requires precision.

Here are some ways to find the main idea in a paragraph:

1. Read the entire paragraph

The first way you can do is to read the entire paragraph. You do this by concentrating carefully when reading. Read at the same time certi word for word in the paragraph. In addition, carefully read any available information. This step can help you determine the main idea. So you can distinguish which is the main idea or which is the explanatory sentence in the paragraph.

2. Read each sentence

The second way that can be done to determine the main idea is to read and understand the sentence. Every sentence in a writing or reading needs to be understood. This is done because each paragraph consists of several main ideas. In addition, each main idea can be located anywhere. It can be located at the beginning, the end or both. So it is important to read and understand each sentence.

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3. Separate main sentences

The next way is to separate the main sentence from the explanatory sentence. Distinguish between main sentences and explanatory sentences in a paragraph. The main sentence in a paragraph will usually be followed or preceded by explanatory sentences.

In this case, you should be able to distinguish between the supporting sentence and the main sentence. The trick is to look at the characteristics between the two. An explanatory sentence is a sentence that contains evidence, an example or a special detail. If you can already distinguish between the two, you will get the main idea in the paragraph easily.

4. Mark important information

The fourth way that can be done is to give signs to important information. Such important information can be in every sentence or paragraph. You can mark a few words that you suspect are important and interesting information.

When important information is in two sentences or more, try to select it. Then reconsider the sentences. Through these four ways, you can find the main idea easily and correctly.

5. Explanatory sentences are supports

The next way is the fifth way. This method is done by recognizing explanatory sentences in a paragraph that are as supporters. In this stage, when you are still having difficulties, you can pay attention to the use of repeated words.

That’s because generally the use of repeated words has a function as an explanatory. Repeated words will explain the sentence before or after it. You can choose these explanatory sentences and try them out when they stand alone.

When the explanatory sentence stands alone, it cannot be used as the main idea. Therefore, you can use this method to distinguish explanatory sentences. So that will find the main idea of ​​the paragraph.

6. Conclude the contents of the paragraph

The sixth way that can be done is to draw conclusions. Summarize the contents of a paragraph. It will be useful to help find and determine a main idea. So this will give you convenience.

7. Mark the main idea

The way to determine the seventh main idea is to mark it. Mark the main idea in each paragraph of an essay as a whole. You can do this by combining the beginning and end of sentences in the paragraph. This main idea is generally called a mixed main idea.

You can determine the main idea of ​​the mixture seen from the initial sentence which could be the main sentence. while at the end of the sentence, try to conclude the paragraph. You can immediately give special signs. This will come in handy when reading the next paragraph.

Source: from various sources