About This Chapter
Themes and Main Ideas - Chapter Summary
Developing critical reading skills can be helpful in academics, test-taking, and other areas of life. The theme or main idea of a text is at the core of the author's purpose for writing a selection. With the lessons in the chapter, instructors will show you how to read critically and uncover the themes and central ideas in a text.
Finding the theme or main idea of a text is all about the details. Performing a critical reading of a text can help you put details together as clues to the theme or main idea. The lessons in this chapter will highlight the following skills:
- Finding the theme in a text
- Using supporting details to help explain the central idea
- Understanding universal themes
- Recognizing the problem and solution in a passage
- Examining the sequence of events
- Investigating cause and effect
- Finding specific details in a text
In these video lessons, you'll be taught by professional instructors who share their expertise with you. Most lessons are less than eight minutes long, and the style of instruction will help you connect to the material and remember what you learn. Lessons are also transcribed, so you can read along as you watch the video, or you can use the transcription as built-in notes. After you watch a video, you can take a brief quiz over the lesson's most important concepts to make sure you've achieved your goals.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Universal Theme: Definition & Examples
This lesson will define universal theme and give you examples you can refer to in order to identify universal themes in other pieces of literature. At the end, you'll be able to test your understanding through a quiz.
Earning College Credit
Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 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.
Other chapters within the Praxis English Language Arts - Content Knowledge (5038): Practice & Study Guide course
- Literary Theories & Research
- Literary Genres & Forms
- Periods of American Literature
- British Literature
- World Literature Overview
- Young Adult Literature Overview
- Literary Skills & Strategies
- Praxis English: Analyzing Literature
- Forms of Poetry
- Figurative Language in Literature
- Technical Writing & Informational Texts
- Argument & Rhetorical Strategies
- Evaluating Arguments and Reasoning
- Language and Word Choice
- Language Development & Acquisition
- Strategic Approaches to Reading Instruction
- Types of Essays
- Essay Organization, Development & Presentation
- Sentence Types, Parts & Structure
- Overview of English Grammar & Usage
- Capitalization & Punctuation in English
- Types of Writing Sources & Citations
- Methods for Writing Instruction
- Strategies for Speech Organization
- Elements of Speech Delivery
- Strategies for Classroom Discussion
- Differentiated Instruction Basics
- Language Arts Assessments
- Praxis English Language Arts: Content Knowledge Flashcards