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  • - [David] Hello, readers.

  • I'm here in the legendary study of the famous

  • fictional dogtective Sherlock Bones

  • of 221 B Barker Street.

  • Mr. Bones, you're here to teach me about

  • using details from a text to make inferences, aren't you?

  • - [Sherlock Bones] Yes, my boy!

  • It's simplicity itself.

  • But first, let me deduce a few things about you, shall I?

  • - [David] Well, Mr. Bones, we're trying to do this

  • about writing, not about people, so...

  • - [Bones] Give me your hand.

  • - [David] Waugh!

  • - [Bones] Ah, you like to cook,

  • you have a nervous disposition

  • and you work for Khan Academy.

  • - [David] Now how did you know that?

  • - [Bones] You have a callus on your finger

  • from how you hold a knife,

  • your fingernails are bitten, not clipped

  • and your messenger bag says Khan Academy.

  • - [David] Well and I told you who I was

  • before I showed up.

  • - [Bones] That too.

  • - [David] But what does this have to do with

  • reading a book?

  • - [Bones] I correctly deduced several truths

  • about your person based on clues, my good David.

  • Indeed, all inference is making sense of clues.

  • When you read a story, you are constantly making inferences.

  • - [David] I see.

  • Okay, I'll read a passage and then see

  • what I can make of it.

  • An hour later, thick smoke poured up the stairs.

  • The smoke detector screamed

  • and I could hear Uncle Paleo stumbling around

  • with the fire extinguisher.

  • When he came upstairs afterward, his footsteps

  • sounded slow and heavy.

  • He was a wreck, broken glasses, black smudges on his face

  • and singed hair.

  • Okay, so I can surmise that there was some kind of

  • fire or explosion downstairs,

  • where the character Uncle Paleo was.

  • - [Bones] Hm, how do you know?

  • - [David] Well his hair was singed,

  • that's another word for burned and his face

  • was covered in black smudges like you get

  • from soot from a fire and there was all the smoke

  • and the smoke detector went off.

  • - [Bones] And there is also the matter

  • of the fire extinguisher.

  • - [David] Also that.

  • - [Bones] I see something else in that passage too.

  • - [David] What's that, Mr. Bones?

  • - [Bones] Uncle Paleo was exhausted

  • by putting out the fire.

  • - [David] How can you tell?

  • Where does it say that?

  • - [Bones] Well, it doesn't.

  • That's inference, my lad.

  • Note here how it said his footsteps sounded slow and heavy.

  • Why might that be?

  • - [David] He stepped in something sticky.

  • No, oo, he's wearing shoes made of lead.

  • - [Bones] Well, those are indeed possible explanations

  • but you want to think of the most likely option.

  • - [David] He was running around to put the fire out

  • and it made him tired.

  • - [Bones] So, you were reading

  • between the lines, were you?

  • Drawing conclusions from the text?

  • - [David] I was.

  • So we know for sure Uncle Paleo was tired, right?

  • - [Bones] WE DO NOT, SIR.

  • - [David] Oh!!

  • - [Bones] An inference is only one possible conclusion

  • but is not the only conclusion.

  • - [David] So what are we to do?

  • - [Bones] The more clues you discover,

  • the stronger your inferences will become.

  • You have to look at what you already know

  • about a character, about the setting of the story,

  • the events of a story's plot and piece it

  • together from there.

  • You know that fires create lots of black dust or soot

  • so it strengthens your argument in favor of a fire.

  • And it's background knowledge like that,

  • about the way the world works that will serve you

  • as a reader and as a maker of inferences.

  • Apply what you know to the world of the story

  • and make inferences based on that.

  • - [David] And then, I can become the world's

  • greatest consulting detective?

  • - [Bones] You can become like the world's 50th

  • greatest consulting detective,

  • top of the heap's rather full, I'm afraid.

  • - [David] Well, thank you for your time today, Mr. Bones.

  • Best of luck with your case work.

  • - [Bones] Thank you; I shan't need it.

  • (barks)

  • - [David] You can learn anything. David out.

- [David] Hello, readers.

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B1 david paleo fire uncle inference smoke

Making inferences in literary texts | Reading | Khan Academy

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/03/27
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