Main Idea Practice 1

Select the stated main idea in the following passages.

Passage 1

Many people claim that they do not have time to work exercise into their daily schedules.  However, exercise can be easily worked one’s daily routine.  For instance, one can do stretches while taking a shower.  While standing in line at the grocery store, one can flex the abs or clench the rear.  One can even do calf raises while talking on the phone.  More ideas: try walking around the building during lunch breaks and always take the stairs.

Passage 2

Many parents tend to think of day-care centers as breeding grounds for colds.  But new research suggests that children in day-care centers appear to develop immunity to many of the viruses responsible for the common cold.  An article published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine found that children ages 6 to 11 who had been enrolled at large day-care centers as toddlers had about one-third as many colds as children who had stayed home as toddlers.  Dr. Thomas Ball, one of the authors of the study, says that when children have colds as toddlers, their immune systems are learning from these experiences, and this learning will come back to protect children later in life.  Such news should be reassuring to parents whose preschool children are in daycare.

Passage 3

The treatment of eating disorders is complex and demanding.  The initial physical care for a person with anorexia most often begins with hospitalization.  In addition, drug therapy to decrease hyperactivity and stimulate appetite is often used.  Behavioral modification, including eating contracts, is used, as is psychotherapy in both individual and group sessions.  Nutritional and family counseling complete the therapy.
(adapted from D. Hahn and W. Payne, Focus on Health)

Passage 4

Sexuality is a common topic for humor in England.  In the United States, sexual jokes are also popular.  However, in China and Israel, they are almost nonexistent.  Israeli humor is described as aggressive humor, humor that reflects the instability of its people's lives because of war.  The French are also known to enjoy aggressive humor, by playfully making fun of others.  Clearly, a nation's humor reflects its people's lives.
(adapted from D. Hahn and W. Payne, Focus on Health)

Passage 5

There are a number of activities that can be used to enhance your emotional growth.  First, you can keep a daily journal.  Writing down thoughts is an effective way of achieving better self-understanding.  Second, you can join a support group.  Sharing experiences creates an environment that will support your efforts to grow as a more interesting person.  Third, take an assertiveness training course.  Last, seek counseling.
(adapted from D. Hahn and W. Payne, Focus on Health)

Passage 6

Transcenders have more peak or creative experiences than other people.  Transcenders are also innovators who are attracted to mystery and the unknown.  In addition, transcenders tend to fuse work and play.  Furthermore, these people are more likely to accept others with an unconditional positive regard.  Thus, there are many qualities that separate transcenders from people who have not reached the stage of self-actualization.
(adapted from D. Hahn and W. Payne, Focus on Health)

Passage 7

Why do people drink alcoholic beverages?  Drinkers offer many different explanations for their behavior.  Some say that alcoholic beverages are more thirst quenching.  Others say that they taste better.  Stills others say they drink because their friends all drink.  And some say they drink to feel or to show that they are adults. 

Passage 8

Many factors influence the absorption of alcohol in the body.  Strength of beverage is certainly one of these factors.  Another is the number of drinks consumed.  The speed of consumption is also important.  If consumed rapidly, even relatively few drinks will result in a large concentration that will lead to high blood alcohol concentrations.  In addition, the presence of food and the drinker's individual body chemistry play a role. (adapted from D. Hahn and W. Payne, Focus on Health)

Passage 9

If a person who has been drinking heavily cannot be aroused, you should seek emergency medical help.  If a drinker has a weak, rapid pulse, this is also an indication of alcohol intoxication.  Likewise, if a drinker has an unusual or irregular breathing pattern, medical attention may be needed.  And if the drinker's skin is pale, cool, bluish, get help.  These are all symptoms of alcohol intoxication and the need for emergency help. (adapted from D. Hahn and W. Payne, Focus on Health)

Passage 10

On Monday, my daughter came down with a cold.  On Tuesday, my son inadvertently dropped his glasses into the creek behind our house.  On Wednesday, I did not turn the oven on while I was "baking" the roast.  And Thursday, the driver behind me at the drive-thru decided to drive through me.  This has certainly been a bad week for me!

Go to the Answer Key

Return to List of Exercises

Return to Writing Lab Home Page