Consider the following prompts to help you make different types of inferences

  • Relate what is in the text to your own knowledge of the current objective / topic / subject / text / theme / character / historical context
  • See if you can explain why the character acted this way
  • Look for clues that tell you how the author / narrator feels
  • Consider why the author wrote that (what were they trying to say?)
  • Look for pronouns and figure out what / who to connect to them to (their antecedent)
  • Figure out explanations for these events
  • Think about the setting and see what details you can add
  • Look at how the character said [insert quote].  How would you have interpreted what that character said if he had said [change how it was said or stress different words]?
  • Look for words you don’t know and see if any other words in the sentence or surrounding sentences can give you an idea of what those unknown words mean

Content of this page adapted from: Beers (figure 5.3):