The composition exercises ask you to manipulate data. They also expect you to make inferences in order to come to conclusions about the data.

When we write, we usually want the reader to know when we are INFERRING. The following sentence patterns can be used for inferences.


From I can infer that .

From it seems to me that .

I can safely guess that .

On the basis of we can say that .

My inference is that .

It seems likely that .



From I conclude that .

From I can assume that .

It is safe to assume that .

The evidence implies .

The facts indicate .

We can deduce .

We can logically deduce .

We can make a logical inference about .

We can make a logical inference that .


Exercise 12. Examine the following inferences. Decide which are logical and which seem to you to be only possible.


1. Abraham Lincoln had very little education in school.   Lincoln was a stupid president.
2. Churchill lost the election in 1945. Churchill was not popular.
3. Abraham Lincoln walked three miles to return six cents to a customer he had overcharged. Lincoln was honest.
4. Thomas Edison was not a good student in school. Edison was lazy.
5. From 1474 to 1492 Columbus tried to get money for his first voyage to the Indies. Columbus was stubborn.
6. Queen Elizabeth I of England wore a different new dress almost every day. Queen Elizabeth was proud and rich.
7. Sir Francis Chichester sailed around the world in a small sailboat. Chichester was brave.
8. St. Francis gave all his money to the poor. St. Francis was foolish.
9. When Edison was a boy he made a telephone from bottles and wire. Edison was resourceful.
10. George Washington fought the British with a small army of poorly trained soldiers. Washington was foolhardy.

Exercise 13.Read the following:

1. When Edison was six years old he wanted to find out how a bird came out of an egg. He found a nest of eggs and sat carefully on them. He spread his clothes over the eggs. He planned to sit on the eggs until they hatched. Soon his mother made him leave the eggs and his first experiment ended.

Write two statements of INFERENCE about Edison when he was a child. Use sentence patterns.

2. Henry Ford was frequently bad in school. One day his teacher told him to stay after school. For a punishment he told Henry to put together all the pieces of a watch. Henry enjoyed the punishment. It took him ten minutes to reassemble the watch.

Write two statements of INFERENCE about Ford as a boy. Write two statements of INFERENCE about Ford's teacher.


Exercise 14. Make a LOGICAL INFERENCE about the following:

1.There are approximately 200,000,000 people in the U. S. Nearly 3 billion pounds of soap are produced yearly in the U. S.

2.Sound travels through air at 1,129 feet per second.

Sound travels through water at 4,794 feet per second.

Sound travels through iron at 16,820 feet per second.

3. In 1966 more than 25 million people attended 2,768 football games played by U.S. College teams. The football stadiums at several Universities hold more than 75,000 spectators.


Fact and Opinion

When we write, some of our statements are facts and some are opinions. Facts can be checked and proved. Opinions reflect our own individual way of looking at life, including our way of looking at life, at the information we are writing about. Opinion involve value judgments.

When we write, we should indicate when we are writing our opinions.

The following sentence patterns can be used to express opinions.

I think seem (seemed) to be

It seems to me that appear (appeared) to be

In my opinion seemingly

To me In my view

I consider From my point of view

I claim that According to me

Exercise 15. Write a statement of FACT and a statement of OPINION about each of the following topics.


1) smoking 3) soap operas

2) higher education 4) Queen Elizabeth


Chronological Order


One of the basic methods of logical organization is to arrange information according to Time SEQUENCE. This kind of logical order is also called CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER.


Exercise 16. Arrange the following information about immunization in CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER.

1. In 1885 Pasteur developed a rabies vaccine that could be used for humans.

2. In 1941 a successful vaccine against typhus was developed.

3. The first vaccine, that against smallpox, was discovered in England by Jenner in 1796.

4. In 1955 a huge crowd gathered at the University of Michigan to hear scientists announce that a vaccine against polio had been developed and successfully tested.

5. Prior to the smallpox vaccine as many as 80,000 people died each year in England from smallpox.

6. In the 1950's there were about 30 diseases for which veterinarians had vaccines to use.

7. Because no vaccines are perfect, work is still continuing to refine the vaccines we already have as well as to develop new methods of immunization.


Structure Vocabulary


The following is a list of some of the structure vocabulary you need when you write about chronological relationships.

now, nowadays


before, after, while, during

between ____ and _____

in (year)

since ________

later, earlier, formerly, etc.

every (number) (years, months, days, etc.)

at the turn of century (decade), etc.

in the first half of the century, etc.

in the 1900's, etc.

at birth, in childhood, in infancy, in adolescence, as an adult, in adulthood, in old age, at death

simultaneously, simultaneous with, at the same time as

former, latter

previous, previously, prior to

first, second, etc.

in the first place, in the second place, etc., to begin with

next, then, subsequently, in the next place

at last, in conclusion, finally


Exercise 17. Chronological Order: Possible Order/Logical Order

In working with chronological order we arrange events according to the time sequence. Sometimes there may be more than one possible method of arrangement. Then we should ask: Which is the most likely? Which is the most logical?

Possible Order and Logical Order

Combine the pairs of sentences in this exercise using after, while, and before.

Notice that you will probably want to use he, they, etc., in one part of your sentence. You may have to change verb tenses.

1. Mr. Jones flew to Chicago. Mr. Jones bought a ticket.

2. The student felt sick. The student ate ten hot dogs.

3. The dog bit the mailman. The dog ran out of the house.

4. The nurse ate her lunch. The nurse went to work at 2 p.m.

5. The man fell asleep in the auditorium. The lecturer spoke about avoiding boring topics.

6. Mary broke her leg. Mary went skiing.

In some cases, there may be more than one possible order. For example, the nurse could possibly eat her lunch after 2 p. m. Choose the order you think is most logical in each case.

Exercise 18. Sentences Expressing Chronological Order.

Write STATEMENTS of CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER to fit the following patterns. (You may use more than one word for the blanks.)

1. Prior to _____ I liked to _______ .

2. Before the turn of the century many people _______ .

3. In the 1900's people traveled by ___; later they ___ and now they can __

4. To begin with you must ______ in order to learn to play the piano; next you must ______.

5. Before I learned about ______ , I thought that _______.

6. Formerly I liked ________ , but nowadays I ________.

7. During childhood I _____ , but now as an adult ______ .

Exercise 19. Chronological Order (Biography).

Read the following information about Lincoln.

1.When Lincoln was eight years old, his father lost most of his land in Kentucky.

2.Lincoln's mother died when he was nine years old.

3.Lincoln's stepmother persuaded his father that Abraham should begin to go to school.

4.Lincoln was born in Kentucky.

5.He started school, but it soon closed.

6.The first winter they spent in Indiana they lived in a house with only three walls: the fourth side was open for a fire.

7.Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809.

8.A little more than a year later Lincoln's father married again.

9.Lincoln's family moved to Indiana from Kentucky.

10.Two years later Abraham went for a few weeks to another school.

A. The information about Lincoln above is not in chronological order. Read the sentences quickly to decide the order the sentences should follow.

B. Decide if any of the sentences can be COMBINED to make one sentence.

C. Write a paragraph about Lincoln in which you include all the information given in the correct CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER.

Exercise 20.Chronological Order and Spatial Order (Biography).

Read the following information about Kennedy.

1.When John Kennedy was at Harvard University, he injured his back playing football.

2.In August 1943 Kennedy's boat was destroyed when it was cut in half by a Japanese destroyer.

3.Kennedy graduated with honors.

4.Kennedy joined the Navy in 1942.

5.His back was reinjured when the two boats collided.

6.Kennedy graduated from Harvard in 1940.

7.Kennedy's back injury kept him out of the remainder of the war.

8.Kennedy swam for five hours to an island.

9.For many years Kennedy's back injury caused him pain.

10.While Kennedy was recovering from his operation, he wrote Profiles in Courage.

11.In 1954 Kennedy went to the hospital for a spinal operation.

12.His book won a prize for biography in 1957.


The information about Kennedy is not in order.

1.Look at the information for SPATIAL clues. In how many places does the biography take place? Arrange the information into SPATIAL categories; that is, group the sentences according to the question where?

2.Look at the information for CHRONOLOGICAL clues. Arrange the list you have made according to chronological order.

3.Decide if there are sentences you can combine.

4.Write a paragraph about Kennedy, using the correct SPATIAL and CHRONOLOGICAL order.


  1. A. Match the facts about the UK with the places on the map.
  2. A. Read the additional texts with interesting facts about Canada and discuss this information with your partner.
  3. A. What do you know about Tatarstan? Do the quiz and say which of the data were surprising for you?
  4. A. What do you know about the economy of Canada? Complete this file, use vertical prompts if necessary.
  5. About Health
  6. About Kazakhstan
  7. About Lycra Fabric
  8. About My Family
  9. About My Family and Myself
  10. About My Friend
  11. About myself
  12. About Myself

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Sample of a Working Outline | Generalization and Specifics

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