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THE EFFECTS OF RECIPROCAL TEACHING ON ENGLISH READING - page 180 / 233

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2. “We are slaves to nothing but the clock,” it has been said. Time is treated as if it were something almost real. We budget it, save it waste it, steal it, kill it, cut it, and account for it; we also charge for it,. It is a precious resource. Many people have a rather acute sense of the shortness of each lifetime. Once the sands have run out of a person’s hourglass, they cannot be replaced. We want every minute to count. Main idea: It (= Time) is a precious resource.

In this paragraph, the main idea appears in the middle of the paragraph. 3. Americans believe no one stands still. If you are not moving ahead, you are falling behind. This attitude results in a nation of people committed to researching, experimenting and exploring. Time is one of the two elements that Americans save carefully, the other being labor. Main idea: Time is one of the two elements that Americans save carefully, the other being labor.

In this paragraph, the main idea appears at the end of this paragraph. 4. When a volcano erupts, melted rock, steam, and ashes are forced through the top of the mountain. The area around the volcano is sprayed with ashes and boiling liquid called lava. Trees and buildings in its path are destroyed. Wildlife and people are killed. Main idea: When a volcano erupts, it destroys both land and people surrounding it.

Please notice that sometimes there is no sentence in the paragraph which directly states the main idea. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t main idea in the paragraph, only the main idea is implied. In these cases you have to write a sentence to sum up the main idea of the paragraph.

Exercise 1 Read these paragraphs and make note of the main idea for each paragraph.

1. In the past, most people couldn’t communicate with other people around the world because of time, distance, and their different languages. But as the 20th century closes and the 21st century begins, new machines and inventions help us to

communicate with each other. Main Idea: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

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