Summaries

Concise Statement of the Main Idea

Authors sometimes state their main idea in a thesis that will jump out at readers, but not always. And even those authors who seem to state a main point early in an article may refine that main idea by the end of the article. Sometimes, authors make several points in one text, and they expect readers to understand how the points relate to each other. So deciding on the main point of an essay can be difficult, especially when the author doesn't make the thesis stand out clearly. Looking for the main point many times means putting sub-points together on your own and/or summarizing information in a different order than it is presented in the original article. The key is to use your own words to generalize about the entire article, rather than following the organization and/or wording exactly as the author has described it.

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Introduction