Finding The Implied Main Idea Help (page 2)

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Updated on Sep 21, 2011

Practice Passage 2

Now examine the following statement that a neighbor wrote about Mr. Miller, who owned one of the cars that was vandalized in the parking garage:

Well, Mr. Miller's a pretty carefree person. I've borrowed his car on several occasions, and a few times, I've found the doors unlocked when I arrived at the garage. He often forgets things, too, like exactly where he parked the car on a particular day or where he put his keys. One time, I found him wandering around the garage looking for his keys, which he thought he had dropped on the way to the car, and it turned out the car door was unlocked anyway. Sometimes, I wonder how he remembers his address, let alone to take care of his car.
  1. What is Mr. Miller's neighbor suggesting?
    1. Mr. Miller forgets everything.
    2. Mr. Miller may have left his car door unlocked the day the radio was stolen.
    3. Mr. Miller is too carefree for his own good.,/li>


You can attack the question this way: Which of these three statements do the sentences in the neighbor's statement support? Try a process of elimination. Do all of the sentences support choice a? If not, cross a out. Do all of the sentences support choice b? Choice c?

The correct answer is b, "Mr. Miller may have left his car door unlocked the day the radio was stolen." How can you tell? Because this is the only idea that all of the sentences in the neighbor's statement support. You know that Mr. Miller often doesn't lock his car doors; you also know that he often forgets things. The combination makes it likely that Mr. Miller left his car door unlocked on the day his car radio was stolen.

Practice Passage 3

Now look at a paragraph in which the language the writer uses is what enables you to determine meaning. Here is a description of Coach Lerner, a college basketball coach, written by one of his players. Read the paragraph carefully and see if you can determine the implied main idea of the paragraph.

Coach Lerner, my basketball coach, is six feet ten inches tall with a voice that booms like a foghorn and the haircut of a drill sergeant. Every morning, he marches onto the basketball court at precisely 8:00 and dominates the gymnasium for the next three hours. He barks orders at us the entire time and expects that we will respond like troops on a battlefield. And if we fail to obey his commands, he makes us spend another 45 minutes under his rule.

Before you decide on the implied main idea, list your observations. What did you notice about the language in this paragraph? An example is provided to get you started.

Your Observations:

    Example:I noticed that Coach Lerner's voice is compared to a foghorn.

  1. Which of the following best expresses the implied message of the passage?
    1. Playing on Coach Lerner's team is difficult.
    2. Playing on Coach Lerner's team is like being under the command of an army general.
    3. Coach Lerner is a terrible basketball coach.
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