Some examples of an implied main idea are the damaging effects of alcohol on the brain or the advantages of a year-round school. An implied main idea is not clearly stated but, rather, is inferred by details throughout the entire selection.
An implied main idea can be difficult for some readers to ascertain. In order to determine the main idea, the reader should look for a common thread that runs throughout the reading selection. There are details that give hints to the main idea, rather than directly stating what it is.
Some of the different signals that will lead the reader to the implied main idea include the title of the selection, as well as the main topics and the subtopics. There are three main questions that one can ask oneself to help determine the main idea:
- What are the most important parts of the passage?
- What does the author want the reader to know?
- What is the single most important thing the author is trying to say?
Once the reader has determined what he or she believes to be the implied main idea, there is one question that can be used to test the theory. One can simply ask if all of the data in the selection supports that main idea. If so, then the answer is accurate.