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Here's my understand of the differences between a main idea,

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Director
Director
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Joined: 23 Apr 2010
Posts: 581
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Kudos [?]: 86 [0], given: 7

Here's my understand of the differences between a main idea, [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jul 2011, 02:17
Here's my understand of the differences between a main idea, purpose, and central content.

The central content of the passage is basically what the passage is about. The topic.

The main idea of the passage is its conclusion; or in other words, it's author's position on the central content. The point. The main idea is usually stated directly.

The purpose of the passage/author can be any of the following:
- persuade the reader about the main idea
- to inform the reader about the topic of the passage
- to compare something
- to refute a theory
- etc.

In sum, it's why the author decided to write the passage. The purpose is not stated directly.

I have noticed that the GMAT interchanges these terms.

Your inputs would be appreciated.
Manager
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Joined: 28 May 2011
Posts: 193
Location: United States
Concentration: General Management, International Business
GMAT 1: 720 Q49 V38
GPA: 3.6
WE: Project Management (Computer Software)
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Kudos [?]: 65 [0], given: 7

Re: Main Idea vs Purpose vs Central Content of the passage [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jul 2011, 01:39
If I try to decipher the meaning from these phrases, I may agree with you. However, I won't try to do that because I think all the GMAT questions asking you for either of these (main idea, purpose, and central content. ) should be treated in the same manner and answer choices will be articulated for different type of phrases.

Correct me if you think otherwise.
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Director
Director
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Joined: 23 Apr 2010
Posts: 581
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 86 [0], given: 7

Re: Main Idea vs Purpose vs Central Content of the passage [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jul 2011, 04:20
I think they are basically the same as far as the approach is concerned. I just wanted to make it clear because people can be a little bit confused about the language.
Re: Main Idea vs Purpose vs Central Content of the passage   [#permalink] 30 Jul 2011, 04:20
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Here's my understand of the differences between a main idea,

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