Have you ever been reading an article or a book and found yourself struggling to understand what the author is trying to say? Or maybe you’ve had to take an exam where you’re asked, ‘What is the central idea of this excerpt’ and you’re not sure where to start.
Well, don’t worry; you’re not alone. Identifying the central idea is a crucial skill for reading comprehension, and it’s something that many people struggle with.
So, we have written this article to help you have a hang of that. We’ll explain what the central idea is, why it’s important, and how to find it.
So, if you’re ready to become a better reader, let’s get started – we will start by answering the question, ‘What is the central idea of this excerpt?’ Don’t worry; we will provide the excerpt too.
“Despite the beauty and precision of the Japanese art of boat building, there is concern that it may be lost forever. The traditional methods used to teach this skill are highly unconventional and rely heavily on apprenticeship-style learning.
However, with the decline in interest among younger generations and the lack of formal training programs, there are fears that this art may not survive. Without efforts to preserve and adapt the teaching methods, the Japanese art of boat building may be lost to future generations.”
Now, let’s consider what the central idea in the excerpt is.
What Is the Central Idea of This Excerpt
- Americans are surprised that the Japanese art of boat building is taught using unconventional methods
- The Japanese art of boat building is a difficult skill to learn
- The Japanese art of boat building may be lost because it is taught using unconventional methods
- Americans are unfamiliar with the Japanese art of boat building
The correct answer is option D: “Americans are unfamiliar with the Japanese art of boat building.”
The reason why this is the correct answer is that none of the other options are supported by the information given. Option A suggests that Americans are surprised by the unconventional teaching methods, but there’s no mention of that in the question.
Option B states that the Japanese art of boat building is difficult to learn, but the excerpt doesn’t provide any information about the level of difficulty. Option C is also wrong because the excerpt doesn’t explicitly say that the art may be lost due to unconventional teaching methods.
On the other hand, the question does state that Americans are involved in some way and that they are lacking in knowledge. Option D directly addresses this by stating that Americans are unfamiliar with the Japanese art of boat building. Therefore, option D is the correct answer according to the excerpt.
Now that you know what the answer is in this excerpt. But what if you come across another excerpt and you are also asked, ‘What is the central idea of this excerpt?’ will you still be able to answer the question?
So, let’s take this article a step further to help you know how to identify the central idea of any given text.
Why is Identifying the Central Idea of a Text so important?
Identifying the central idea of a text is important for several reasons. First and foremost, it helps you understand the main message or point that the author is trying to convey. This, in turn, helps you make sense of the smaller details and connect them to the bigger picture.
It also helps you remember the information better because you can organize it in your mind and see how it all fits together. Also, it is a key skill for academic and professional success.
In many exams and assignments, you may be asked to identify the central idea of a given text. Being able to do so accurately and efficiently can help you earn higher grades or perform better in your job.
Moreover, identifying the central idea of a text can help you evaluate the author’s perspective and biases. It helps you better analyze the author’s arguments and determine whether they are valid and supported by evidence.
Tips to Effectively Identify the Central Idea of a Text
- Read the text carefully: The first step in identifying the central idea of a text is to read the text carefully, preferably more than once. Pay attention to the details and the overall tone of the text.
- Look for key words or phrases: Look for words or phrases that are repeated throughout the text. These may be indicators of the central idea.
- Identify the main points: Identify the main points of the text and think about how they relate to each other. The central idea should tie together all of the main points.
- Determine the author’s purpose: Consider why the author wrote the text and what they are trying to achieve. This can help you identify the central idea.
- Consider the audience: Think about the intended audience for the text and how the central idea would be relevant to them.
- Summarize the text: Summarize the text in one or two sentences. It can help you condense the information and identify the main message.
- Ask yourself questions: Ask yourself questions about the text, such as “What is the author trying to say?” or “What is the main point of this passage?” This can help you focus on the central idea.
Remember, identifying the central idea of a text takes practice, so don’t get discouraged if it’s challenging at first. With time and effort, you’ll become more skilled at identifying the central idea and enhancing your reading comprehension skills.
Is It Possible to Figure Out the Central Idea In a News Article?
Of course, it is possible. In fact, identifying the central idea of a news article can be particularly important for understanding the key takeaways of the story and its implications.
When reading a news article, start by reading the headline and subhead, as they often provide clues about the central idea. Next, read the first paragraph, which is typically known as the lead. This is where the writer will provide a brief summary of the most important aspects of the story, including the who, what, where, when, why, and how.
After reading the lead, continue reading the article while paying attention to the most important facts and details presented. Look for repeated themes, arguments, or perspectives to help identify the central idea.
Now consider the overall tone of the article and its implications to determine the author’s main message or point of view.
Remember that news articles are often structured in an inverted pyramid style, with the most important information presented first, followed by additional details and context. This means that the central idea of the article will usually be presented early on, and you can use this information to guide your reading and understanding of the article.
What Is the Central Idea of This Excerpt: Final Note
Identifying the central idea of an excerpt is an essential skill for readers of all levels. When you understand the main message or argument that an author is trying to convey, you can have a deeper appreciation for the text.
We already showed you how to figure out the central idea of any type of text. So, the next time you come across the question, ‘What is the central idea of this excerpt?’ you should be able to ace the question!