Making Inferences and Deductions

In reading comprehension, not all information is explicitly stated. Sometimes, you need to make inferences or deductions to fully understand a text.

Understanding Implicit or Suggested Meanings

Reading between the lines involves understanding the implicit or suggested meanings in a text. This requires you to make connections between what you’re reading and what you already know.

For example, if a character is described as having a “heavy heart,” this suggests that they’re feeling sad or upset.

Using Evidence to Support Inferences or Deductions

When making inferences or deductions, it’s important to base them on evidence from the text. Consider this example:

  • “Emma walked into the room, her eyes darting around nervously. She wrung her hands together and took a deep breath before stepping onto the stage.”

From this text, we can infer that Emma is feeling nervous. The evidence for this inference is in the details: her eyes darting around, her wringing hands and her deep breath. These actions suggest nervousness, even though the text doesn’t explicitly state that Emma is nervous.

Making Predictions or Hypotheses

Based on the information in a text, you can make predictions or hypotheses about what might happen next, or what the author might reveal later.

For example, if a story begins with a character finding a mysterious map, you might predict that a treasure hunt will follow.

Interpreting an Author’s Intentions or Viewpoints

Through inference, you can also interpret an author’s possible intentions or viewpoints.

For example, if an author frequently writes about the dangers of climate change, you might infer that they’re concerned about the environment and want to raise awareness about this issue.

Applying Inference and Deduction Skills Under Exam Conditions

In an exam, you’ll often need to make inferences or deductions and support them with evidence from the text. These tips may help you:

  • Highlight or Underline – As you read, highlight or underline parts of the text that seem important or suggestive. These can serve as evidence for your inferences or deductions.
  • Take Notes – Jot down your initial thoughts or reactions as you read. These can help you remember and develop your inferences or deductions.
  • Refer Back to the Text – When writing your responses, refer back to the text to ensure your inferences or deductions are supported by evidence.

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