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Inferencing, or making connections among outside knowledge, individual experiences, and texts, aids in reading comprehension by helping readers fill in information that may not be literally stated in the text. The ability to make inferences develops with age, as readers begin to make deeper inferences based on their own knowledge, rather than from within the text itself. Understanding content-specific text in middle and high school increasingly calls for higher level Inferencing skills to fully connect Background Knowledge to new information.
Inferences are made during reading (online inferencing) and after reading (offline inferencing) during metacognitive reflection. This can include making predictions about text as well. Different types of inferences help readers put together a mental image of the text using information found within and outside of a text.
The two main types of inferencing are: