Reading Comprehension 18 - Topic and Main Idea
This Upper Primary quiz will help, not only your reading comprehension, but also your writing of English. Just as a building has its structure - with a foundation, walls, doors, windows, rooms and roof - so also a written passage has a structure. Here, the structure is determined by topic, main idea, topic sentence and supporting details. Obviously, the writer and reader must follow this structure for better communication. If there is variance between the two then there could be miscommunication!
Whenever anyone presents his point of view it is imperative that the structure be followed so that when a reader reads the passage he is able to decipher what the writer says by understanding the structure. This quiz is about the fundamentals of that structure.
When you write something you write to present an idea, or what can also be called a topic. For instance, Sachin Tendulkar’s greatness could be a topic.
Within the topic you need to present a main idea. For instance, Sachin Tendulkar’s technique could be the main idea. Here, the writer needs to talk about what he wants the reader to know about the topic and this would represent the main idea.
The main idea is explicitly stated in the form of a sentence and this sentence is termed the topic sentence. For instance, a topic sentence could be - 'Sachin Tendulkar’s sound batting technique is the hallmark of his greatness and has contributed immensely to his great batting exploits all around the world on any type of batting surface'.
In order to support the main idea the writer would need to furnish details that would add strength to the main idea. These supporting details could be in the form of specific details, such as data or quotes. For instance, Sachin Tendulkar’s technique for playing forward defence, back foot defence, leaving the balls outside the off stump, stepping out to smother the spin while playing the spinners and playing with soft hands to drop the ball down would qualify as supporting details. Additionally, you could give statistics of Sachin’s batting records. Thus, when a reader reads a properly structured passage on Sachin Tendulkar he would be able to understand the communication more easily.
In reading comprehension it is to the reader’s advantage if he can quickly break down the structure to its elements and the quiz that follows helps you to do just that. Read the three passages that follow and answer the questions posed to test your comprehension skills.