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ERIC Number: EJ840988
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Dec
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0098-6291
Inductive Reasoning and Writing
Rooks, Clay; Boyd, Robert
Teaching English in the Two-Year College, v31 n2 p194-202 Dec 2003
Induction, properly understood, is not merely a game, nor is it a gimmick, nor is it an artificial way of explaining an element of reasoning. Proper understanding of inductive reasoning--and the various types of reasoning that the authors term inductive--enables the student to evaluate critically other people's writing and enhances the composition process itself. In approaching how induction affects the writing process, it is important to take special note of two ideas. First, while inductive reasoning can be used to formulate the entire structure of an essay, it is most helpful in selecting the content of individual paragraphs. Specifically, writers generally rely on inductive reasoning to provide the proper support for the topic sentence of a paragraph. Second, there are several types of inductive reasoning, the most commonly discussed ones being simple enumeration, inductive generalization, analogy, statistical syllogism, and appeal to authority. In this paper, the authors discuss only two types of inductive reasoning: inductive generalization and argument from analogy. The authors suggest that by understanding the type of inductive reasoning, a writer can make a more accurate assessment of the required content for a given paragraph. This knowledge will then enable a writer to decide whether more details are needed or whether the details simply need to be more diverse, or both. (Contains 7 notes.)
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A