Inference and Deduction – An Overview for KIDS
An inference is a conclusion that the reader makes using clues in the text. In a fictional work of literature, there are things that the author does not explicitly mention, but hints at; the reader needs to connect the dots of these clues to draw a conclusion. This is called making an inference.
An inference is different from making a guess, as an inference is based on evidence and logic; the reader needs to use specific textual evidence to make the inference. For example, an author might mention that a character has a messy room and papers falling out of his binder. The reader can infer that the character is sloppy and disorganized even though the author does not explicitly state this fact.
One of the most recognizable uses of inference in literature is the character Sherlock Holmes. Holmes collects clues and uses reason to draw conclusions, or make inferences. This process is also called deduction. When trying to solve a case, Holmes will start with what he absolutely knows to be true, and then he discards whatever facts do not fit into what he knows, leaving him with only one answer.
“How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?”
Mr. Holmes was always able to connect the dots to draw a conclusion. So, when you watch a movie or read a story, look for the clues the writers are dropping along the way. It’s elementary, my dear Watson.
I hope that helps. Thanks for watching this Video Lesson. Until next time, happy studying!