Sometimes, writers leave out some information, meaning the readers have to figure out what the author tries to say.
In this lesson, we will learn about making inferences and drawing conclusions.
Sometimes, writers leave out some information, meaning the readers have to figure out what the author tries to say. We refer to this as a reading’s subtext.
An author can leave out some information because he or she thinks the reader already knows it, he may think it’s not important, or maybe because the author wants the reader to find the information or meaning on his own.
Readers who think about a reading’s subtext may be making inferences based on the details and facts provided about what’s happening and then come to a conclusion about what will be happening as a result.
When a reader makes an inference, he or she may often get more information from a piece of text, which will make it more meaningful.
We may try a number of strategies for making inferences and drawing conclusions about what we read. Look at these three strategies:
- We can observe the details that are provided by the writer
- We may draw from our own experiences and connect these to the text.
- We may ask ourselves what might happen as the result of what’s taking place in the text.
From here on, we may use the following formula to draw our conclusion. Take a look:
The details from the text + our own experiences = conclusion about what’s happening or will be happening
A Practical application:
People continuously are making inferences and drawing conclusions about all sorts of things that they’re seeing, hearing, and reading in their everyday lives.
If we go to the store, for example, and see an older adult staring at something high on one of the shelves, we could infer that that person wants that specific item. Consequently, we might offer to get the item for her or him.
If we learn how to make inferences and come up with conclusions, we may become good observers of the world around us and become far better communicators.
Next lesson: Using Context Clues
Last Updated on April 7, 2021.