Textual Evidence for Predictions

When reading good literature, the reader is moved to engage actively in the text. One part of being an active reader involves making predictions. A prediction is a guess about what will happen next. Readers are constantly making predictions based on what they have read and what they already know. Consider the following sentence: “Staring at the computer screen in shock, Kim blindly reached over for the brimming glass of water on the shelf to her side.” The sentence suggests that Kim is agitated and that she is not looking at the glass she is going to pick up, so a reader might predict that she is going to knock the glass over. Of course, not every prediction will be accurate: perhaps Kim will pick the glass up cleanly. Nevertheless, the author has certainly created the expectation that the water might be spilled. Predictions are always subject to revision as the reader acquires more information.


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Last updated: 12/18/2017
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