How to Support a Conclusion

Hey, guys! Welcome to this Mometrix video on how to support a conclusion. When you support a conclusion, this is known as making an inference. Let’s take a step back to look at what an inference actually is.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines inference as “a conclusion that is formed because of known facts or evidence.” So, we have some really important information here. We know that we cannot make an inference without having facts or textual evidence to support our conclusion. Without facts or textual evidence, all we have given is our opinion and nothing to support it.

Let’s take a look:

One day, Kyle was playing at recess with all of his friends. Kyle noticed John, who was new at school, sitting on a bench by himself. Kyle felt bad for John, because he didn’t know anyone yet and seemed kind of shy. Kyle thought, “I remember my first day. I was too afraid to talk to anyone, and I wished that someone would have invited me to play.” So, Kyle started walking over to the bench that John was sitting on.

So based on the passage, what most likely happens next?

Option 1: Kyle invites John to play with him and his friends.
Option 2: Kyle calls John a mean name.

Now, what evidence from the text can we use to support our answer?

Well, we know that Kyle felt bad for John and that Kyle was thoughtful and remembered how he felt when it was his first day. Kyle even said that he “wished that someone would have invited [him] to play.” This evidence suggests that Kyle invites John to play with him and his friends, but there is no evidence that might suggest that Kyle walks over to the bench to call John a mean name.

Let’s try another one!

School had just started back after Christmas break. Rachel and D’aja were sitting together in the cafeteria talking about their new outfits that they had gotten for Christmas. ”Look at my new brown boots. They have wool on the inside to keep my feet warm,” Rachel told D’aja. “They are pretty. Look at my new coat that my mom got me. It’s super soft on the inside,” said D’aja. As they continued to talk about the gifts that they had gotten, they saw Maria walk by. Rachel and D’aja noticed that Maria wasn’t wearing anything new, and they began to laugh. Maria knew they were laughing at her. Maria felt bad for them, because they had no idea that it didn’t matter what they wore on the outside. What goes on inside your head and your heart is what really matters. So, Maria sat down next to Rachel and D’aja. “I hope that you guys had a great Christmas break,” Maria said with a smile. Rachel and D’aja looked at one another. They felt sorry that they had made fun of Maria.”

Based on the passage, what inference can you make about what happens next?

Option 1: Maria calls Rachel and D’aja a mean name.
Option 2: Rachel and D’aja apologize for making fun of Maria.

Let’s look at the first option “Maria calls Rachel and D’aja a mean name.” Do you see any evidence in the passage that might make you think that Maria called them a mean name? No. In fact “Maria [actually] felt bad for them, ‘because they did not know that it didn’t matter what you looked like on the outside.’ Then we can see that even though they were rude to her, she was still kind to them, and “hoped that they had a great Christmas break.” So we know, that based on the passage we have no evidence to support option one.

Now, let’s take a look at option two “Rachel and D’aja apologize for making fun of Maria.” Do you see any evidence in the text that might make you think that Rachel and D’aja apologize? Well, we know for sure that they have reason to apologize for making fun of her, but let’s look for evidence to support the idea that they actually will. So, after Maria sat with them, and “hoped that they had a great Christmas break,” Rachel and D’aja feel “sorry that they made fun of her.” Now, because the passage says that they felt sorry, we can make the inference that they may have apologized due to their feeling sorry about their mean actions.

You guys did such a great job! Keep practicing, and as you practice be very sure not to conclude anything that the author of the passage does not suggest.

I hope this video has been helpful! See you next time!


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by Mometrix Test Preparation | Last Updated: December 15, 2021