英语四级考试阅读部分经常出现询问文章主旨的题目，让很多考生难以选择。所谓主旨，即文章主题思想(the Main Idea)。也称作中心思想，是作者在文章中要表达的核心内容，也是作者自始自终要说明的问题。能否抓住一篇文章的主题思想，体现了读者总结、概括和归纳事物的能力。把握了主题思想也有助于对文中。因此，可以说，找出主题思想是一项最重要的阅读技能。
Directions: Choose the most general word.
(A) chemist (B) physicist
(C) scientist (D) biologist
该问题要求找出最有概括性的词。(C) scientist 符合题意，因为它包含了chemist, physicist和biologist，而(A)，(B)和(D)都指某一具体学科的科学家，不能概括其它的词。因此，scientist最有概括性。
Directions: Choose the most general sentence.
(A) The hotel offers complimentary coffee from 7 to 10 a.m. daily.
(B) There are many reasons why guests feel at home at the Glorictta Bay Inn.
(C) The coin-operated laundry room has an ironing board.
(D) There are a number of extra services at the Glorictta Bay Inn including babysitting.
(A)， (C)，(D)都是从不同的侧面说明旅馆的服务情况，相互间并无联系。而(B)却概括了(A)，(C)和(D)的共性的东西，即：为什么旅客住在这家旅馆 里有宾至如归的感觉。因此，(B)符合题意。倘若在一段文章中包含了以上(A)，(B)，(C)，(D)几条信息，那末，(B)就是该段中心思想。由于同 样的道理，如果在一篇文章中，作者分段叙述几方面的内容，那末，这些段落所围绕和要说明的问题就是该文的中心思想。
Directions: Choose the main idea of an article. (Following are the topic sentences of an article.)
1) A mounting body of evidence suggests that fighting violence with violence rarely deters a crime in progress and greatly increases the chances of changing a robbery into a violent attack on the victim.
2) One report shows that at least 100 thousand handguns are stolen from private owners each year, the vast majority during burglaries...
3) Moreover. a study of robberies in eight American cities states that in less than 4 percent of the crimes did the victim have the opportunity to use a weapon....
Which of the following best reflects the main idea of the article?
(A) What Happens to the Victim of Crime?
(B) Is Your Family Safe?
(C) Should You Arm Yourself Against Crime?
Directions: Read the following passage and choose the best central thought
Sugar history in the Hawaiian Islands is filled with pioneering. In sailing ship days, Hawaiian sugar growers were many months from sources of supplies and from markets. This isolation built up among the Hawaiian growers an enduring spirit of cooperation. Growers shared with one another improvements in production. Without government aid of any sort, they built great irrigation projects. Without government help, they set up their own research and experiment organization. Pioneering together over the years, they have provided Hawaii with its largest industry.
(A) In sailing days, Hawaiian sugar growers were many months away from supplies and markets.
(B) Hawaiian sugar growers built their great industry without government help.
(C) Hawaiian sugar growers have set up their own research organization and have shared improvements.
(D) By pioneering together, sugar growers have provided Hawaii with its largest industry.
Directions: Read the following and choose the title that best expresses the ideas of the passage.
There is a simple economic principle used to determine prices. It is called the law of supply and demand. Supply means the amount of, or access to, certain goods. Demand represents the number of people who want those goods. If there are more goods than wanted, the price of them falls. On the other hand, if the demand for those goods is much greater than the supply, then the price rises. Of course, manufacturers prefer to sell more goods at increased prices.
(A) Economic Principles
(B) Law of Supply and Demand
(C) More Goods, Lower Prices
(D) Fewer Goods, Higher Prices
Directions: Read the following passage and select the most appropriate title:
According to legend, the gods of the ancient Greeks lived in the clouds on the top of Mount Olympus. Zeus, the father of the gods, carried a bolt of lightning in his hand and ruled like an earthly king. Apollo was the sun god and his beams were golden arrows; he shielded the flocks of sheep and the fields of grain. Athena was the warrior goddess, standing in shining armor ready to protect the Greek cities. There were other gods as well, all with familiar human characteristics, but these were the leading gods.
(A) The Gods of the Ancient Greeks
(B) The Legend of the Sky God Zeus
(C) Beliefs of the Ancient Greeks
(D) Religions of the Past
English is clearly an international language. It is spoken by pilots and airport control operators on all the airways of the world. Over 70 percent of the worlds radio programs are in English
Some students prefer a strict teacher who tells them exactly what to do. Others prefer to be left to work on their own. Still others like a democratic discussion type of class. No one teaching method can be devised to satisfy all students at the same time
For adults a cold is not that serious. However, this is not the case for children. Cold symptoms in children may be signs of more serious diseases and should be given prompt medical attention.
Its no wonder that we have so many rejections for physical reasons in our Selective Service. Since October of 1948, some six million young men have been examined for military duty. Of these, more than a million were rejected as physically unfit for military service. To get two men today, the United States Army must call seven men. Of the five rejected three are turned down for physical reasons and two for mental problems. To get the 196 thousand additional men we needed for Berlin, the government had to call up 750 thousand men. And the rejection rate is increasing each year. The reason for this problem is that we are under exercised as a nation. We look, instead of play. We ride, instead of walk. The way we live prevents us from being healthy.
本段中找不到某一句作为主 题。根据文中的内容进行归纳，可找出主题思想，即：“The militarys rejection rate for physical reason is increasing because this nations lack of exercise is leading to poor health.”
1. The main (central, principal) idea of this passage is __________________ .
2. The main idea of this selection may be best expressed as __________________.
3. The main theme (topic) of the passage is __________________ .
4. The passage is mainly about __________________ .
5. This passage deals mainly (primarily) with __________________ .
6. The authors purpose in writing this passage is __________________ .
7. The main purpose of the passage is __________________ .
8. The best (most appropriate) title of (for) this passage is __________________ .
9. What would be the most appropriate title for this passage?
10. What is the subject of this passage?
11. Which of the following best summarizes the passage?
12. Which of the following best sums up the main idea of the whole passage?