Learn It Part 2
Now that you understand how central ideas can be used to summarize a text, let’s look at an example.
Recall in the Central Idea: New Lightbulb Discovered module, you found the central ideas from the article “Physics team that discovered new lightbulb wins Nobel Prize Opens a new window”.
Click each heading in the activity below to see the central ideas from different sections of the text and the key details that support them.
Now let’s use these central ideas and key details to develop a summary of the article.
First, let’s determine the overall central idea of the text as a whole. What is the most important idea that each of the central ideas from the different sections support?
Each of the central ideas supports the overall central idea that a team of scientists discovered an energy-saving lightbulb. The article’s headline, “Physics team that discovered new lightbulb wins Nobel Prize” is also a clue to the overall central idea.
The overall central idea leads to the topic sentence in the summary:
A team of scientists won the Nobel Prize for discovering an energy-saving lightbulb.
Now let’s add supporting details to the summary by using the central ideas and key details from different sections of the text:
A team of scientists won the Nobel Prize for discovering an energy-saving lightbulb. They discovered LED lights, which will save energy by providing more light while using less electricity. LED lights stay cool, last longer, and use less energy that the old incandescent lightbulbs. They may even be able to be used to purify drinking water in the future. These lights provide a greater benefit to mankind than other lightbulbs. It took the scientists many years to achieve blue LEDs, but they kept trying until they succeeded.
Now click the Show Answer button below each of the following questions to see how well this summary was developed.
1. Does it state the overall central idea for the text?
2. Does it cover the most important central ideas from the different sections in the text?
3. Do all of the central ideas from different sections in the text support the overall central idea?
4. Have you included key details that support one or more of the central ideas?
5. Does it contain only information from the text?
6. Are all the sentences written in your own words?
Remember to ask yourself these questions as you review your summary of a text. Now go to the next page to practice identifying the central ideas and summarizing on your own.