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Research 101


How to Infer

Observations occur when we can see something happening or read. In contrast, inferences are what you can deduce based on a past experience or previous knowledge. This makes the text or piece of information personal and memorable.

Making an inference - also known as drawing conclusions - from what you have read involves using what you already know to make a guess about what you don't yet know. In other words, you are reading between the lines to understand a concept that may not be explicitly stated. 

Not all school assignments will ask you to perform this, but it is a useful skill in navigating through a sea of information.

Five Steps to Making an Inference

  1. Identify an Inference Question - what are you searching for?
  2. Trust the Passage - trust yourself that you have correctly evaluated the text for unreliable narrator or false information
  3. Hunt for Clues - make it a game! curiosity is fun
  4. Narrow Your Choices - be mindful and take your time
  5. Practice - infer and repeat to build this skill