Inference and Drawing Conclusions


To infer is to make a guess about a text based on what you have read. An inference is an idea that is drawn from a text. It is based on the details found in a text, but it is not something that is directly stated.

Text QuoteWhen stating something that is directly said in a text, you should use text quotes. In other words, you should put the words taken from a passage in quotation marks. This helps the reader know that you are repeating the author’s words and not your own.

What you infer about the text must be supported by the details in the text. To make an inference:
  • Look for clues in a text
  • Figure out what the author does directly not tell you
  • Identify the clues that help you make the inference

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This organizer can help you think about how you reach a conclusion using your prior knowledge and information from the text.

Questioning strategies for inferring narrative text.

  • How are the characters acting toward each other or to an event?
  • What are the characters saying or thinking about?
  • What event or conflict is going on with the characters?

Check out the power point above to learn more about how to draw conclusions.
(Notes taken from Learning Farm)

Read the paragraphs below to help you answer the questions using inferring strategies.
Police officers carry equipment that helps them to protect themselves and other people. They carry guns, nightsticks, flashlights, and handcuffs on their belts. Some wear bullet-proof vests? They also carry two-way radios they can call other officers for assistance.
Why would police officers need equipment for protection?

I was so nervous. I hadn't seen Abbie in three years, not since my mom got that new job. I remember the day we moved away. Abbie brought me our photograph in a frame. Now that I was finally going to see her again, I wondered if we would still like the same kinds of things and laugh at the same kinds of jokes. I rubbed my sweaty palms on my jeans as we pulled into Abbie's driveway.

Why would the narrator's palms be sweaty?

What can you conclude about the relationship between Abbie and the narrator?

Misha stood on the stage. His hands shook so hard that he could barely hold his violin. A hush fell over the audience. He shut his eyes tight and remembered what his music teacher had told him- "You can do it. Take a deep breath and pretend that you're standing in your living room." Misha lifted his violin to his chin and played his solo perfectly from beginning to end.

What can you infer about Misha and what he is feeling?

Open the following documents and answer the questions that connect to major battles during World War II.