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Central Idea : Definition, Examples, Central Idea Of A Text/Passage

Central Idea is often related to the theme in a story or a literary written work. Central Idea Examples. Central Idea definition. Central Idea in text

What Does Central Idea Mean?

Central idea

Central Idea is often related to the theme of a story or a literary written work. It captures the whole idea or subject of a story. Hence, to have a full grasp of what is the central idea of a text or passage and how it can be found, we must first consider the following— "what does central idea mean?"

To do this, let's find out what is central Idea.

Central Idea Definition

Central Idea Meaning—Central Idea can be referred to as the central, unifying element of a story which ties all the other element used by the author together in writing his or her story. A text’s central idea is the most important point the writer is trying to make.

Central idea is supportive as it reflects the emotions, discoveries, conflicts, experiences and other inherent circumstances of not only the story's main character but also, including other supportive characters.

The concept of central Idea may seem nebulous to those who have a vague grasp of the central idea meaning. However, it's best to have an overall reflection of the story, not just a slight understanding of the text or story to fully understand what is central idea.

For instance, it is relatable to say that the central Idea in Williams Shakespeare's Othello is simply forgiveness and love.

In writing the central idea statement in a story, one of the very things to know to have in mind is to avoid using the names of the character.

The concept of central idea can be fully grasped by having or finding the interpretation that covers the most percentage or universal impression inherent in the story.

Central Idea Examples

As stated earlier, getting what is the central idea in a text comes from the overall reflection of the story and not just a mere insight. Now, let's consider central idea examples and a juxtaposition between a well-written central idea and a poorly-written central idea.

For instance, a poorly written central idea example is the one stated about Othello, which is "forgiveness." While a well-written central idea example is the story of Othello, which reveals that reconciliation with genuine forgiveness could redeem a person and ascertain a promising happy ending where love and peace could triumph.

Another central idea examples are:

The central idea of the story of Cinderella: The story of Cinderella reveals that kind and patient people often get rewarded for their good deeds.

The central idea of the story of The Wizard Of Oz: The Wizard of Oz reveals that when people tend to appreciate less of the reality, they lose sight of the beauty of their everyday lives.

How To Identify The Central Idea of a Passage or Text 

What does central idea mean

As duly emphasized, the central idea of a passage or story is the most important concept that the author wants to get across to the reader. It may, however, be stated directly or may not be stated.

If the central idea of a passage or text is stated directly, then the author tells the reader the main point. However, if the central idea is not stated directly by the author, it may be implied by the readers by forming a logical conclusion based on the available evidence.

For example, a story might describe a basketball team that works together to beat a team of more talented players that does not work well together.

The reader can easily infer the central idea from the above, namely that hard work and togetherness are more important than sheer talent.

Other key questions to ask to identify the central idea are:

  1. Why did the author include these details? 
  2. What idea do they lead to? 
  3. Which choice best represents the main message or idea the author wants readers to take away from this text?

What Is The Central Idea Of This Passage?

Going further, it therefore becomes a necessity to learn ways or methods that can easily help one to identify the central idea of a text. To identify the central idea of a text or passage, there must be an overall reflection of all the other elements that are clearly visible in order to explain how they are related and how the author has used them together.

Thus, other elements like the settings, plot, characters etc. should be considered. Thus, you can ask yourself these questions while considering the central idea of this passage:

Read the article, and pay attention to the text features and structures to determine the subject of the article.

  • What is the subject of the article, and what does the author reveal about the subject?”
  • Ask yourself, “ (That’s the central idea!)
  • How is the central idea or theme expressed through the characters, setting, point of view, tone, language, or conflict?
  • In what way does the resolution of the external conflict indicate the central idea or theme? How does the resolution of the internal conflict express the story's theme?
  • Are symbols, metaphors, or similes used to portray the central idea or theme?
  • What are the repeated images, words, or expressions in the story?
  • How does the title make sense in terms of the story? Is it significant?
  • What the story reveal about society, people in general, the roles of men and women, the time period in which the story takes place?
  • Does the central idea make sense in light of the story and the title?


Central idea as one of the identifying concepts in literature could help in getting a critical review and overview of a story. Also, central idea helps to have a clear understanding behind the author's story and his or her idea of the story.



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Pawners Paper: Central Idea : Definition, Examples, Central Idea Of A Text/Passage
Central Idea : Definition, Examples, Central Idea Of A Text/Passage
Central Idea is often related to the theme in a story or a literary written work. Central Idea Examples. Central Idea definition. Central Idea in text
Pawners Paper
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