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 What is extra information
When you write or read a paragraph, all of the sentences should support the main idea.  Sentences that do not support the main idea would be extra information.

 

 

 Paragraphs can have a stated main idea
 (a topic sentence), or an implied
main
 idea
.  But all the sentences within the
 same paragraph should always be about
 the same topic.

        Let's look at some sample paragraphs.

          man with magnifying glass
    

          The students had fun on
 their field trip.  They visited
 the Marine Museum.  They
 were able to tour  a tug boat,
 and they bought souvenirs in
 the gift shop.  After the tours
 they ate a picnic lunch in the
 park.

                          picnic

      The main idea is, "The
 students had fun on their field
 trip."

 The next 3 sentences all tell
 about things the students did
 that were fun.
       

        Some paragraphs do not have a stated main idea, (topic
       sentence) but all of the sentences are still on the same
       topic.

 

      

       The Native Americans
  used the trees to build their 
  houses.  They hunted and
  trapped animals in the
  forests for food.  They found 
  roots and berries that they
  could eat.  Some plants found
  in the forests were used as
  medicines.

                       berries

      This paragraph has no
 stated
main idea (topic
 sentence).  But it is easy to see
 that the
main idea
is:
 "Native Americans used the
 resources of the forest to
 survive." 
      
      
All of the sentences within
 the paragraph tell about ways
 the Native Americans used
 things in the forest.
        


        
Since all of the sentences within a paragraph should
         support the
main idea, let's see if you can identify a
         sentence in the following paragraph that is
               
         extra information
.

 

    

              Maria offered to help her mother clean the house.  She  
 vacuumed the living room and dusted the furniture.  She
 picked up the toys in the playroom.  She ate a ham sandwich
 for lunch.  Then she mopped the kitchen floor.      

                                                                          cleaning tools

               

                         Can you find the extra information?

                       Let's look at the paragraph again.

  

          Maria offered to help her
 mother clean the house
.  She
 vacuumed the living room and
 dusted the furniture.  She
 picked up the toys in the
 playroom. 
She ate a ham
 sandwich for lunch
.  Then she
 mopped the kitchen floor.

 

    

      Did you find the extra
 information
?  All of the
 sentences should tell about
 things Maria did to help her
 mother clean the house.  "She
 ate a ham sandwich for lunch"

 is extra information.        

        


      Let's look at another example.  Look for the extra information
.

 

      
    
Winter provides the
 opportunity for many outdoor
 activities
.  Many people enjoy
 ice skating on a pond. 

 Swimming in the pond in
 summer can also be fun.
 Skiing can be a thrilling
 experience too.  After a new
 snowfall, you can even build a
 snowman!

                      

       Since the main idea is,
 "Winter provides the
 opportunity for many outdoor
 activities
," all of the sentences
 should tell about winter
 activities.  "Swimming in the
 pond in summer can also be
 fun,"
is extra information.
 

Remember...   all of the sentences within a paragraph    should be on the same topic or support the main idea      
Extra information
doesn't support the main idea

 

Click on the flower for practice in identifying extra information.

flower

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