How to Identify the Main Idea With Signal Words

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Signal words are often used to identify the main idea in a sentence. Identify the main idea with signal words with help from a professional reading and English tutor in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: English & Writing Lessons
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Tina Gutierrez. I'm an English teacher and today I'll be discussing how to identify the main idea with signal words. Now signal words it's important to realize that they're just usually clue words that are in a given selection that give you clues to the main idea. So these are, look for them like clues inside of a given text. Now to find them, they usually look a lot like transition words and transition words are ones that we use a lot to increase the flow or to help a paragraph really sound smooth. Transition words can range from a lot of different things from moreover or indeed, truly. It's usually one word or a phrase that is signifying emphasis. It's going to be emphasizing a given idea in any text whether it's an essay. A lot of times it will say in the very beginning in the introduction indeed dolphins are smart, usually going to be adding a lot of emphasis to that idea. Look a lot of times if you're going to find transition words, a good way to do that is actually search online for a list. You can find hundreds of words and actually search transition words that give you a list of about one hundred of them and if you find them, usually that will give you the idea of what to look for in terms of the main idea. Once again those were ways to find signal words to find the main idea in a given selection and my name is Tina.

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