Drawing Inferences from Text
1. Inferring is the process of creating a personal meaning from text. It involves a mental
process of combining what is read with relevant prior knowledge (schema). The
reader’s unique interpretation of text is the product of this blending.
2. When proficient readers infer, they create a meaning that is not necessarily stated
explicitly in the text. The process implies that readers actively search for, or are aware
of, implicit meaning.
3. When they infer, proficient readers:
a. Draw conclusions from text
b. Make reasonable predictions as they read, test and revise those predictions as
they read further
c. Create dynamic interpretations of text that are adapted as they continue to read
and after they read
d. Use the combination of background knowledge and explicitly stated information
from the text to answer questions they have as they read
e. Make connections between conclusions they draw and other beliefs or
f. Make critical or analytical judgments about what they read
4. When proficient readers infer, they are more able to:
a. Remember and reapply what they have read
b. Create new background knowledge for themselves
c. Discriminate and critically analyze text and authors
d. Engage in conversation and/or other analytical or reflective responses to what
5. Inferences are revised based on the inferences and interpretations of other readers
6. A wide variety of interpretation is appropriate for fiction text; a narrower range of
interpretation is typical for nonfiction text. Teachers should allow great latitude for
inferences, provided that the reader can defend his or her inferences with a
description of relevant, prior knowledge and specific text
7. Prompts for inferring:
a. What do you predict will happen in this piece?
b. Can you show me a place in the text where you find yourself making an
c. What do you think were the big ideas in the story?
Mosaic of Thought p. 162-163