This module is for Grades: 9-10 Welcome

What is the BIG idea? What is the most important point the author is trying to make? These are questions you might ask yourself when you read a text, and the answer is found in the central idea. The central idea is the “big” idea in a text. It is the most important idea or concept that the author wants you to know. Determining the overall central idea and analyzing how key ideas are developed over the course of a text are essential skills for understanding scientific texts.

In this lesson, you will learn how to determine the central ideas of a text by examining key details. You will apply your understanding of the central ideas to provide an accurate summary of what you read.

Module Objectives

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • Determine the central ideas of a text by examining key details.
  • Provide an accurate summary of a text.
magnifying glass over a newspaper with the words 'central idea' magnified

Focus Standard

RST.9-10.2 - Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; trace the text's explanation or depiction of a complex process, phenomenon, and concept; provide an accurate summary of the text.


  • Central Idea