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Making Inferences

 

Inferences are evidence-based guesses. They are the conclusions a reader draws about the unsaid based on what is actually said. Inferences drawn while reading are much like inferences drawn in everyday life. If your best friend comes in from a blind date and looks utterly miserable, you would probably infer the date was not a success. Drawing inferences while you read requires exactly the same willingness to look at the evidence and come to a conclusion that has not been expressed in words. Only in reading, the evidence for your inference consists solely of words rather than actual events, expressions, or gestures.

Reading Tips:

1. Make sure your inferences rely mainly on the author’s words rather than your own feelings or experience. Your goal is to read the author’s mind, not invent your own message.

2. Check to see if your inference is contradicted by any statements in the paragraph. If it is, it is not an appropriate or useful inference.

3. If the passage is a tough one, check to see if you can actually identify the statements that led you to your conclusion. This kind of close reading is a good comprehension check. It will also help you remember the material.

 

Part 2

George Washington Carver: The Plant Doctor


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Summarizing | Legacy of George Washington Carver

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