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Identifying Main Idea – 3 Important Steps for Better Understanding

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Identifying Main Idea - 3 Important Steps for Better Understanding

Name : Ahmad Khalidy
NIM : 20.03.52.3008 
Subject : Basic Reading (Main Idea)
Lecture : Dr. Agnes Widyaningrum, S.E., S.Pd., M.Pd

Today, I would like to explain about main idea / topic which is the assignment from my lecture in basic reading class.

To make this explanation becomes easier and convincing, allow me using an external source that I take from nationalgeographic.com.

Selected Article

Does Canada need to conserve it’s water?

From snow-dusted glaciers to thundering rivers to vast expanses of mirror-surfaced lakes, Canada is a country with abundant freshwater. But, with the world facing a freshwater crisis, Canadians have the increased responsibility of being the guardians of 20 percent of the planet’s precious freshwater resources. By knowing where our water comes from in Canada and where it goes, we can use it even more responsibly—setting an example for the rest of the world in the process.

Here is the complete text.

Identifying Main Idea

Form the selected article above, I only take the first paragraph from national geographic site. It is enough to identify the main idea and know what the whole text is talking about.

1. The Topic

The topic of the text is usually on the tittle and in the first paragraph. The tittle talks about the water in Canada. In short, the article talks about the water but we still don’t know what kind of water and on what motive.

If we see the text, we can easily get the topic of what kind of water is the text talking about. There are several repeating word and also as the sentence’s keyword; it is “freshwater

Let’s move on the main idea.

2. Main Idea

The main Idea of the text is on the first paragraph on the text above. We already have the topic sentence which can guide us to find main idea.

In first sentence we found specific ideas. It is “abundant freshwater“.

If we combine it with the tittle, it will sound more or less like this: “Canada with their abundant freshwater still need to conserve them”.

We still need to get the supporting details to make sure the main idea.

3. Supporting Detail

Supporting detail of every main idea is always in the same paragraph. As expected, the affirmation, Canada is a country with abundant freshwater, in the first sentence is not final, because there is a conjunction “but” which is used to connect two statements that contrast or contradict each other in some way.

In this case, we use the outline to get the supporting detail. the supporting details come up in the next sentence.

  1. Canadians have the increased responsibility of being the guardians of 20 percent of the planet’s precious freshwater resources.
  2. By knowing where our water comes from in Canada and where it goes, we can use it even more responsibly—setting an example for the rest of the world in the process.

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