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Meaning of Words and Phrases
Main Idea and Supporting Details
Identify the Main Idea
Supporting the Main Idea
Purpose, Point of View, and Intended Meaning
Analyze the Relationship Among Ideas
Critical Reasoning Skills
Apply Study Skills
Practice Reading Tests

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DEMONSTRATION ONLY: This demonstration presents an abbreviated version of the complete PLACE course. Click 'Next' at the bottom of the screen or make a selection from the links on the left to begin. Not all links are available for the demo.

Understand the Main Idea and Supporting Details in Written Material

Identifying Explicit and Implicit Main Ideas

A passage may develop its main idea without stating explicity its conclusion. In such cases, the reader is responsible for drawing inferences from the passage and recognizing the implications of those inferences. An inference depends on the reader's ability to recognize the implications of a passage and arrive at a logical resolution or conclusion.

In order to draw an inference, the reader must use past knowledge plus the facts and opinions of the writer. Keep the main idea in mind as you read, and determine whether or not you can conclude the same ideas as those of the writer.

Read the paragraph below. What inference or implication can be drawn from it? Click the "Next" button below when you are finished.


College football is the best friend of the National Football League. The best high school players in the world are sought and found by colleges and universities. Highly paid coaching staffs develop these athletes for their university teams. Food, lodging, equipment, and facilities are paid for by the universities. Experience playing before huge crowds is part of college football's contribution to the development of its football players. Meanwhile, the National Football League, with very little investment in the development of these players, awaits their talents.