Inferences

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Inferences
Playing the Educated Guessing
Game
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What is an Inference?
An inference is an assumption that you make
about something that you see, read, or
experience.
 It is based on all of the information that
you have available at that time.
 It is not necessarily a correct guess, but
it is an educated one.
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Everyday Inferences
Here are some inferences that you
probably make on a daily basis.
If your professor writes
information on the board during
a lecture
If your son or daughter
runs in the house holding
their knee and crying
You infer that it is important
information that you may
need later.
You infer that they
have somehow hurt
their knee.
You may not always be correct in your inferences,
but they are assumptions that you make based on
the given clues.
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Inferences: Take a Guess
You already know how to make everyday
inferences!
Lets look at a few scenarios and infer about what is
going on.
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Inferences: Take a Guess?
1. What is this
woman doing?
2. Where do you
think this woman
is?
3. Is she there for
work or pleasure?
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Inferences: Take a Guess?
Where do you think
Lets look a little
bit
closer and evaluate your guesses.
this woman is?
Is she there for work
or pleasure?
Based on the her
clothing and the
presence of a fax
machine, she is
probably there for
work.
Based on the
furniture and
decorations, she
is probably in a
hotel room.
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What is she doing?
She is on the
telephone.
Inferences: Take Another Guess?
1. Where
are they?
2. Who is the
man
standing in
the front of
the room?
3. Is this
company
on the
cutting
edge?
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Inferences: Take a Guess?
is the
manevaluate your assumptions.
Lets look a little bitWho
closer
and
standing
Because
he isininthe
the
front
frontof
ofthe
theroom?
room
standing we
would infer that
he is the boss.
Is this company on
the cutting edge?
We can infer by his
dialogue that they
are behind the
competition.
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The table and topic,
Where are they?
reveal that they
are in a corporate
board room.
Inferences: Take One More Guess?
1. What season is it
in this picture?
2. What is the
person doing?
3. What socioeconomic group
does she belong
to? Lower Class?
Middle class?
Upper Class?
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Inferences: Take a Guess?
What
isholding
the person
She isand
the
Lets look a little bit closer
evaluate
your assumptions.
doing?
Whaton
socioBased
the
economic
group
quality of the
does
she and
belong
clothing
to? we
ornament,
can rule out
lower class.
Based on the
known
information any
further inference
would be a
stretch.
Ornament. We
could infer further
that she is
decorating a
Christmas tree.
What season is it in
this picture?
The Santa hat and
Ornament reveal
that it is winter.
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Inferences: Word Pictures
As you looked at the previous pictures, you were
able to infer things about the scenarios that they
presented.
When you read a text, think of it as a
WORD PICTURE.
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Inferences: Word Pictures
When reading, there are several types of word
pictures the author will paint for you.
a few
examples!
It will be yourLets
job tolook
use atthose
picture
to infer things such as:
•The setting
•A Character’s Personality or Emotions
•What a Character’s Motives Might Be
•What the Writer’s Motives behind writing the piece might be
Just To Name A Few
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Inferences: The Setting
Read the following selection:
The air blowing off of the water is clean and
crisp. As she slowly made her way to her
destination, the damp sand beneath her feet
began to stick to the bottom of her toes.
Finally, she was close enough to see. A blue
and white table cloth spread over the sand.
Candles, crystal, and china glistened in the
light of the setting sun. She smiled, and a
tear ran down her cheek.
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Where is this
woman?
What time of day is
it?
As she
approaches, what
does she see?
Will she be
spending the
evening alone?
Inferences: The Setting
The air blowing off of the water is clean and
crisp. As she slowly made her way to her
destination, the damp sand beneath her feet
began to stick to the bottom of her toes.
Finally, she was close enough to see. A blue
and white table cloth spread over the sand.
Candles, crystal, and china glistened in the
light of the setting sun . She smiled, and a
tear ran down her cheek.
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Where is this
woman?
Based
on of
theday
word
What
time
is
picture it?
painted for
us, she is on the
It is evening.
beach.
As she
approaches, what
Willshe
shesee?
be
does
spending the
That someone
evening
alone?
hascan
prepared
a
We
logically
romantic
assumepicnic
that
for her. has
whomever
made the picnic
will probably join
her.
Inferences: Character Personalities & Emotions
Author’s often use word pictures to give you clues about the
personalities and emotions of the characters. For Instance:
If the character is shown refusing
to be controlled by others such as
their parents, boss, or other
authority figure
If the character storms out of the
room, slamming the door behind
them
If we see them doing things that
show good character in front of
other, but exhibiting negative traits
when alone
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We infer that they
are rebellious.
We infer that they
are angry.
We infer that they
are deceptive.
Inferences: Character Personalities & Emotions
With this in mind,
lets take another look at the excerpt we read earlier.
The air blowing off of the water is clean and
crisp. As she slowly made her way to her
destination, the damp sand beneath her feet
began to stick to the bottom of her toes.
Finally, she was close enough to see. A blue
and white table cloth spread over the sand.
Candles, crystal, and china glistened in the
light of the setting sun.
She smiled, and a tear ran down her cheek.
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HowThough
does the
wewoman
have not
feel
about
been what
introduced
this person
to the
person
has
that
done?
has planned
this, what can we
Based
on her
smiletheir
and
assume
about
tears, wepersonality?
can assume she is
happy and touched by the
gesture.that he is
We can assume
caring, romantic, and
thoughtful. Though this may
or may not prove to be
correct by the end of the
story, that is the word picture
the author is painting for us.
Inferences: Character Motives
Lets add on a few lines to that excerpt…
Charles had been planning this night for weeks.
He had waited for a night with clear skies and a
soft breeze. He had laid out the tablecloth, placed
the glasses and plates just right. For a few
seconds, he wondered if she had found the note that
he had left her, but soon he could see her slowly
walking down the beach. As she approached, he
took a deep breath, kneeled down on one knee, and
pulled a small box from his pocket.
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Why did he leave
her a note?
We can infer that
he left her a note
to tell her to meet
him on the beach.
Why has Charles
made this picnic
for her?
To propose to
her.
Inferences: Writer’s Motives
All people have their own moral and political perspectives.
Sometimes, these perspectives color what an author writes.
This can take place in both fiction and nonfiction pieces.
Read the following excerpt and try to determine what this writer’s
At the close
of the
year 1999,
composting
and
motives
for writing
this might
be.
recycling had stopped 64 million tons of
material from ending up in landfills and
incinerators (U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency) . Though that is a good start, America
has a long way to go. As a country, it is our
responsibility to protect the environment for the
sake of future generations!
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Inferences: Writer’s Motives
Lets ask ourselves a few questions about this piece.
At the close of the year 1999, composting and recycling had stopped
64 million tons of material from ending up in landfills and incinerators
(U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) . Though that is a good start,
America has long way to go. As a country, it is our responsibility to
protect the environment for the sake of future generations!
Do you think this is a
fiction or nonfiction piece?
This is a nonfiction
piece.
What motives does
this writer have for
writing this piece?
The writer is an
environmentalist.
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How do we know that we
are getting colored
information?
Because we are only given
one sided statistics and by
the use of these words.
Inferences: Take a Guess Part 2
Now that you know how to use what the text does
say to figure out things that it does not,
Lets look at a few excerpts to practice your new skills!
Write your answers down as you go.
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Inferences: Take a Guess Part 2
Read the following poem,
and answer the questions that follows.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously
give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.
-a return to love by marianne williamson
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Inferences: Take a Guess Part 2
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
1. Infer what the
writer’s motive is. so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
a) She is trying to
frighten her audience And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously
into appropriate
give other people permission to do the same.
behavior.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
b) She is a child
our presence automatically liberates others.
activist.
c) Her motive is
to inspire her
reader.
-a return to love by marianne williamson
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Inferences: Take a Guess Part 2
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
2. With which
statement would the There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
author most agree? so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
a) All men/women
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously
are created equal.
give other people permission to do the same.
b) Life is not fair.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
c) The only thing
our presence automatically liberates others.
to fear is fear
itself.
-a return to love by marianne williamson
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Inferences: Take a Guess Part 2
Read the following paragraph,
and answer the questions that follow.
Geoffrey awoke early that morning, for fear of being
late for his appointment. He showered, brushed his
hair, and put on his best suit. He stuck extra ink
pens and pencils into his brief case. He did not
want to leave anything to chance. He knew that if
he did not get a job soon, Martha would have to
leave the children and go back to work.
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Inferences: Take a Guess Part 2
Geoffrey awoke early that morning, for fear of being late for
his appointment. He showered, brushed his hair, and put on
his best suit. He stuck extra ink pens and pencils into his
brief case. He did not want to leave anything to chance. He
knew that if he did not get a job soon, Martha would have to
leave the children and go back to work.
1. What kind of appointment is Geoffrey getting ready for?
a) He is going job hunting.
b) He is going to a board meeting for his job.
c) He is going to a job interview.
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Inferences: Take a Guess Part 2
Geoffrey awoke early that morning, for fear of being late for
his appointment. He showered, brushed his hair, and put on
his best suit. He stuck extra ink pens and pencils into his
brief case. He did not want to leave anything to chance. He
knew that if he did not get a job soon, Martha would have to
leave the children and go back to work.
2. Who is Martha?
a) His mother.
b) His wife.
c) His daughter.
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Inferences: Take a Guess Part 2
Geoffrey awoke early that morning, for fear of being late for
his appointment. He showered, brushed his hair, and put on
his best suit. He stuck extra ink pens and pencils into his
brief case. He did not want to leave anything to chance. He
knew that if he did not get a job soon, Martha would have to
leave the children and go back to work.
3. Which of these personality traits best fits Geoffrey?
a) Responsible
b) Optimistic
c) Selfish
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Inferences: Take a Guess Part 2
Geoffrey awoke early that morning, for fear of being late for
his appointment. He showered, brushed his hair, and put on
his best suit. He stuck extra ink pens and pencils into his
brief case. He did not want to leave anything to chance. He
knew that if he did not get a job soon, Martha would have to
leave the children and go back to work.
4. What is Geoffrey’s motive for waking up early ?
a) To be an example for his children.
b) To be on time for his appointment.
c) He does not want Martha to go back to work.
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Inferences: Take a Guess Part 2
Geoffrey awoke early that morning, for fear of being late for
his appointment. He showered, brushed his hair, and put on
his best suit. He stuck extra ink pens and pencils into his
brief case. He did not want to leave anything to chance. He
knew that if he did not get a job soon, Martha would have to
leave the children and go back to work.
5. What might he need extra pens and pencils for at his appointment ?
a) To fill out necessary forms.
b) To take notes on the speaker.
c) To hand out as advertisements for his firm.
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Inferences: Take a Guess Part 2
Now, lets check your inferences.
1. Infer what the writer’s motive is.
a) She is trying to frighten her
audience into appropriate behavior.
b) She is a child activist.
c) Her motive is to inspire her reader.
The author’s motive is shown in statements like these:
“We are powerful beyond measure…We are all meant to shine, as children do.”
Though she uses the word children, the dominant topic is
inspiration and motivation
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Inferences: Take a Guess Part 2
2. With which statement would the author most agree?
a) All men/women are created equal.
b) Life is not fair.
c) The only thing to fear is fear itself.
Looking at the same quote we saw before:
“We are powerful beyond measure…We are all meant to shine, as children do.”
The author’s use of “we” and “all” suggests that she believes everyone is
meant to shine. Evidence of the other beliefs are not in the poem.
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Inferences: Take a Guess Part 2
Now, lets go on to the next piece.
1. What kind of appointment is Geoffrey getting ready for?
a) He is going job hunting.
b) He is going to a board meeting for his job.
c) He is going to a job interview.
The writer is suggesting that the appointment will solve this problem:
“He knew that if he did not get a job soon, Martha would have to leave
the children and go back to work.”
We can assume that he is not going job hunting because that
does not require an appointment.
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Inferences: Take a Guess Part 2
2. Who is Martha?
a) His mother.
b) His wife.
c) His daughter.
“He knew that if he did not get a job soon, Martha would have to leave
the children and go back to work. “
The same quote we used for the last question, suggests that Martha is the
mother of his children and not his mother or his child.
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Inferences: Take a Guess Part 2
3. Which of these personality traits best fits Geoffrey?
a) Responsible
b) Optimistic
c) Selfish
“Geoffrey awoke early that morning … He stuck extra ink pens and
pencils into his brief case. He did not want to leave anything to chance.”
These words describe a man who is responsible. There are no suggestions
that he is optimistic or selfish in the text.
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Inferences: Take a Guess Part 2
4. What is Geoffrey’s motive for waking up early ?
a) To be an example for his children.
b) To be on time for his appointment.
c) He does not want Martha to go back to work.
Though Geoffrey does not want to be late for his interview, that is not his
ultimate motive. His ultimate motive would be what is causing him to want to
be on time in the first place. This brings us back to this quote:
“He knew that if he did not get a job soon, Martha would have to leave
the children and go back to work.”
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Inferences: Take a Guess Part 2
5. What might he need extra pens and pencils for at his
appointment ?
a) To fill out necessary forms.
b) To take notes on the speaker.
c) To hand out as advertisements for his firm.
Because we have established that Geoffrey is going to a job interview, we
can infer that he needs these utensils to fill out the application or any other
forms that they may give him
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