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# Making Inferences: A Step-by-Step Guide

Making Inferences: A Step-by-Step Guide. Arleta High School English Department. What is an Inference?. When you infer , you are making a judgment based on the information you are given You also need to interpret the information that you are given. O = Observe D = Define I = Infer

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## Making Inferences: A Step-by-Step Guide

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1. Making Inferences:A Step-by-Step Guide Arleta High School English Department

2. What is an Inference? • When you infer, you are making a judgment based on the information you are given • You also need to interpret the information that you are given

3. O = Observe D = Define I = Infer E = Explain The Steps to Making Accurate Inferences

4. First Step: Observe the object or behavior • What can you observe about Odie and Garfield?

5. Step Two: Define the object or behavior • How would you define the behavior? • Is the behavior positive or negative?

6. Step Three: Making the Inference • What judgment can you make about this behavior? • Is it enjoyable? Painful?

7. Step Four: Explain your thinking • In this picture, Odie the dog is tickling Garfield the cat. Garfield is smiling. (Observation) • Tickling is usually fun, and Garfield is smiling, which indicates that he is happy. (Definition) • Garfield enjoys being tickled by Odie. (Inference)

8. The ODIE Method • Remember ODIE! • When you have to make an inference based on something that you read, always: • OBSERVE • DEFINE • INFER • EXPLAIN

9. Now it’s your turn…What can you infer from the following picture? • Observe: What are they doing? • Define: What does it mean? • Infer: What can you tell about their feelings?

10. Now EXPLAIN…Write an explanation of what you were able to infer about Odie and Garfield from the illustration! • In the picture, Odie and Garfield are…

11. It works with Dialogue!Step One: OBSERVE • “Excuse me, Miss, could I…hi, I’m sorry, could I um…I mean, is that seat taken?” • What can you observe about the sentence? • The speaker is talking to a young woman. • What is the punctuation like? • The punctuation has a lot of commas and ellipses. • The sentence ends with a question mark.

12. Step Two: DEFINE • Lots of commas and ellipses means that the speaker is pausing a lot. • The word “um” means that the speaker is hesitating.

13. Step Three: INFER • Pausing a lot and hesitating means that the speaker is uncomfortable speaking to the young woman. He may be nervous.

14. Step Four: EXPLAIN • In this sentence, the author uses many commas and ellipses to show that the speaker is nervous when he is asking the young woman if he can sit near her. The fact that the speaker says “um” a lot probably means that the speaker is shy or hesitant.

15. Odie says Good Job! • Try one more!

16. Step One: OBSERVE • I grabbed LeSange and screamed, “We’re doomed! Doomed, I tell you!” • “Hm,” he said. “We do seem to be in a spot of trouble, don’t we?” • What can you observe about the sentences? • The first speaker uses many exclamation points and negative diction such as the word ‘doomed,’ which is repeated twice. • The first speaker says that he screamed. • The second speaker does not scream. He ends his sentence with a question mark.

17. Step Two: DEFINE • Exclamation points mean that the speaker is very upset or excited. • A question mark means that the speaker is curious. • “Hm” is an expression that means that the speaker is thinking.

18. Step Three: INFER • Many exclamation points and the word “doomed” means that the speaker is frightened and excited. • The “Hm” by the second speaker, and the fact that he does not use any exclamation points means that he is not frightened. He may only be curious, or amused.

19. Step Four: EXPLAIN • In this passage, the author uses exclamation points and the word doomed twice for the first speaker’s sentence. This shows that the speaker is scared and really believes that something terrible is about to happen. • The dialogue for the second speaker is not excited. He says “Hm,” which shows that he is curious, or that he really is not interested. • There is a contrast between the first speaker and the second speaker.

20. One More Time!Step One: OBSERVE • “You have no compassion for my poor nerves,” said Mrs. Bennett. • “You mistake me, my dear,” her husband said. “I have a high respect for your nerves. They are my old friends. I have heard you mention them with consideration these last twenty years at least.” • What can you observe about these sentences? • The first speaker is a wife. • The second speaker is the husband. • There are no exclamation points or question marks. • They are speaking to each other.

21. Step Two: DEFINE • Because there are no exclamation points or question marks, the two characters are speaking calmly. • The wife accuses the husband of not having compassion for her “nerves.” • The husband says that he does, and that he has had compassion for more than twenty years.

22. Step Three: INFER • The wife is complaining that her husband does not pay attention to her problems. • The husband says that he does. He doesn’t fight with her, but he reminds her that he has been listening to her same complaint for twenty years. • They have probably been married for a long time. The wife complains a lot, and the husband is tired of hearing about it.

23. Step Four: EXPLAIN • In this passage, the author presents a husband and wife. Although their voices are calm (they do not yell, because there are no exclamation points), they each have a complaint. The wife feels that the husband never listens to her problems. The husband, a little sarcastically, replies that he has been listening to her problems for at least twenty years.

24. Well Done! • Remember the ODIE method to make inferences! • OBSERVE • DEFINE • INFER • EXPLAIN

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