DRAWING CONCLUSIONS AND MAKING INFERENCES
Details are sometimes not clearly stated or explained in a reading passage. You must figure out some information on your own. Whenever you figure out something that is not told in a reading passage, you are drawing a conclusion or making an inference. We draw conclusions based on information that we have. When we draw conclusions the author does not tell us what conclusion to draw. We have to make an educated guess about something based on the information that is contained within the passage.
- Pay attention to the details in a reading passage. You can use these details to figure out information that is not clearly stated or explained.
- Use the details from the reading passage, as well as what you know from your own life, to draw a conclusion or to make an inference.
When you read, many times you must figure out things on your own. The author doesn’t always tell you everything. For example, you might read these sentences: “The moon cast an eerie glow in Jake’s room. Suddenly, he saw a shadow by the window. Jake sat up in bed, frozen with fear.” From what the author has written, you can tell that it is probably nighttime, because the moon is out and Jake is in bed. Questions about drawing conclusions often contain the key words you can tell or probably.
Questions that ask us to Draw Conclusions:
- What conclusion can you draw?
- We can conclude that ____
- What probably happened?
- What might you conclude?
Strategy for Drawing Conclusions:
- When you are asked to draw a conclusion, the conclusion is not stated in the passage. After you read the passage, decide which answer makes the most sense to you.
- Eliminate the choices that do not make sense to you, based on what is in the passage.
- Select the best choice even if you are not certain.