Login

Ch 5: MTEL: Understanding Main Ideas & Supporting Details

About This Chapter

Work through the lessons and complete the assessments in this chapter to develop your skills in evaluating the main idea of a passage through textual analysis in preparation for the MTEL Communication and Literacy Skills exam.

MTEL: Understanding Main Ideas & Supporting Details - Chapter Summary

Here we help you find and articulate the main point of a text through various angles of analysis. Maximize your Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure (MTEL) Communication and Literacy Skills exam practice by viewing lessons and completing the quizzes and chapter test. The topics discussed here include:

  • What a thesis statement is and where to find it
  • Finding the main idea or theme
  • Using supporting information to describe the central idea
  • Extracting specific information from a passage

The lessons are designed to hold your attention through upbeat instruction and engaging graphics to maximize retention of key material. Every video is under 10 minutes long, helping you fit little bits of study into small gaps in your schedule. Taking the assessments will give you practice answering the kinds of questions you can expect to see on the MTEL test and measure your progress in your review.

MTEL: Understanding Main Ideas & Supporting Details - Chapter Objectives

You must take two subtests as part of the MTEL Communication and Literacy Skills exam: reading and writing. This chapter focuses on the requirements of Objective 0002 in the reading subtest (16.7% of the overall subtest content, 6-8 multiple-choice questions), but having a thorough understanding of these principles will also help in your extend-response items in the writing subtest (two items, combined weight of 50% in the writing subtest). You have four hours in each testing session to complete the test(s) for which you registered: you can either take both subtests in one session or take them in separate sessions. In order to receive your Massachusetts educator licensure for Pre-K through 12th Grade, you must score at least 240 of 100-300 in both subtests.

8 Lessons in Chapter 5: MTEL: Understanding Main Ideas & Supporting Details
Writing: Main Idea, Thesis Statement & Topic Sentences

1. Writing: Main Idea, Thesis Statement & Topic Sentences

What exactly is your essay about? Writing great thesis statements and topic sentences that align with your main idea will help readers to understand the theme, ideas, and central focus of your essay.

How to Find the Theme or Central Idea

2. How to Find the Theme or Central Idea

In this lesson, you'll learn how to identify the theme or central idea of a text, and you'll get some specific examples of themes from famous stories.

What is a Thesis Statement?

3. What is a Thesis Statement?

Before we can talk about how to write a great thesis statement, you need to be able to identify a great thesis when you see one. Contrary to what you may have been taught, a thesis is so much more than just the last sentence of the opening paragraph of an essay.

Developing the Essay Topic

4. Developing the Essay Topic

The backbone of any essay is a strong and engaging main idea. Learn how to turn an essay prompt into a well-developed topic by watching this video lesson.

Implied Main Idea: Definition & Examples

5. Implied Main Idea: Definition & Examples

What's the point? If you're having trouble answering this question, you might need to learn more about implied main ideas. This lesson gives a definition and examples, along with explanations on how to identify them!

How to Explain the Main Point through Supporting Details

6. How to Explain the Main Point through Supporting Details

In this lesson, you'll learn how to identify the supporting details that explain the main idea being presented in a piece of literature. You will also learn different strategies that can be applied to future questions about the main idea.

Supporting Details: Definition & Examples

7. Supporting Details: Definition & Examples

Find out what supporting details are and their role in essay writing. Learn the different ways to include supporting details, then take a quiz to test your new skills.

Finding Specific Details in a Reading Selection

8. Finding Specific Details in a Reading Selection

Ever have trouble finding a specific detail in a reading selection? Often knowing the structure of the selection will help. This video lesson will give some strategies for finding specific details depending on selection structure.

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 95 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 2,000 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Support