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Study Guide : Essay Writing Tutor

Learner Guide



Inference, Deduction and Interpretation


Being able to read “between the lines” Exam questions require you to not

only recall information but to arrive at some conclusions from the clues in

the text.

English language examiners will ask you to infer, imply, deduce and interpret

from the text.


Infer means, reading ‘between the lines’. It might not tell you in the text,

however you should make inferences, by looking at the clues in the text and

logically arriving at the answers.  ‘John heard his mailbox slam and Spotty

began to bark. John knew that the postman had just delivered the morning



When a writer suggests something without actually directly saying it, he

implies. The tutor always gets 100% success for his pupils which implies his

the best tutor.


Deduce is detective work and this is when you look at the clues in the text

and logically arrive at a conclusion.


For example:

‘The smell of perfume lead the detective to believe that the thief must have

been a woman.’

Interpretation is when we explain the meaning making it easier to understand:

‘English language exams are full of words such as infer, imply, deduce and

interpret which are difficult to understand and so an English tutor can interpret

them to help you improve your understanding for them.’ So reading between the

lines is when you are inferring, deducing, implying and interpreting. The writer is

leaving up to the reader tow work out what it means, and different people will

come to different conclusions.


Information and Ideas


Teenagers know studying can lead to better lives. However

making sacrifices at this age can be difficult for them. There

are many distractions for a teenager, mobile phones, computer

games, social media or simply sitting around and doing nothing. 

Getting teenagers to study is like a tug and war game. An

examiner may ask you ‘What does it mean by “getting teenagers

to study is like tug and war”?’


Q: Here you are asked to interpret the sentence. Here are some 

student responses. Which one is correct:

Getting teenagers to study is like playing a game of tug and war.

He thinks it’s hard to get teenagers to study.

He thinks that trying to motivate teenagers to study and recognize its

importance is difficult, sometimes you can get them to study and at other

times it’s a struggle. C – is the better answer.

The tutor tells us that studying Chemistry after 16 years ‘requires interest’,

which suggests that if you are uninterested and cannot motivate yourself to

study chemistry at a higher level ‘it might not be for you’. This implies that if

you do not like Chemistry, you should consider a subject which you will

 enjoy and do well in.

Here, the student, has come to the logical conclusion that you should study

the subjects you enjoy as you will do better at them.



The writer often implies a meaning, which is not out rightly said. Interpretation

is where you make it easier to understand. Different people will provide

alternative answers, but your response should be backed up with the evidence.


Related Topics

Selecting Words and Ideas                                       How Ideas Are Organised


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