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Determine Central Idea

Determine Central Idea

Author: Jodi Carlson
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It is incredibly important that while you are conducting research about your topic, you are able to identify the central idea of the text you are reading.  It is also important to be able to identify the author's purpose as that may change how you use your research information.


Look at the slideshow and take notes on the terms that you are not familiar with. Practice identifying topic, main idea, and author's purpose in the sample paragraphs.

Identify the topic, main idea, and supporting details:

Read the following passage from The Call of the Wild by Jack London.


It was inevitable that the class for leadership should come.  Buck wanted it.  He wanted it because it was his nature, because he had been gripped tight by that nameless, incomprehensible pride of the trail and trace - that pride which holds dogs in the toil to the last gasp, which lures them to die joyfully in the harness, and breaks their hearts if they are cut out of the harness.  This was the pride of Dave as wheel-dog, of Sol-leks as he pulled with all his strength; the pride that laid hold of them at break of camp, transforming them from sour and sullen brutes into straining, eager, ambitious creatures; the pride that spurred them on all day and dropped them at pitch of camp at night, letting them fall back into gloomy unrest and uncontent.  This was the pride that bore up Spitz and made him thrash the sled-dogs who blundered and shirked in the traces or hid away at harness-up time in the morning.  Likewise it was this pride that made him fear Buck as a possible lead-dog.  And this was Buck's pride, too.

Ticket to Pass Determine Central Idea:

Read the text above from The Call of the Wild.  Then go to the following Google Form and answer the questions.