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What's it all about?
The answer to this question is the main idea. The Main idea refers to what a paragraph or an article is about. "Main" means what is important, or key, the heart of the matter. "Idea" means the thought, the thesis or the topic.
Finding the Main Idea
In English paragraphs, the Main Idea will most likely be found in one of these five places:
in the first sentence
in the last sentence
in the middle of the paragraph
in two sentences of the paragraph
not stated in the paragraph directly (implied)
Read the following paragraphs and tell where the main idea is located.
- A. Despite the hatred that most people feel toward cockroaches, they do help humans in several ways. For example, they are perfect experimental animals and are used for scientific research in the laboratory. Breeding them is easy, for they thrive under almost any conditions. In studies on nutrition and food, cockroaches are good subjects because they will eat any kind of food. They can be used to study heart disease, and cancer researchers work with roaches because they grow cancerous tumors like those that are found in humans.
- 1) in the first
- 2) in the last sentence
- 3) in the middle of the paragraph
- 4) in two sentences of the paragraph
- 5) not stated in the paragraph directly (implied)
Answer 1) In the first sentence