Inference Strategies to Improve Reading Comprehension of Challenging Texts

  •  Damrong Attaprechakul    


This study aimed to explore inference strategies necessary to successfully read journal articles. Eighty-eight graduate students read a set of texts on education and economic growth and answered comprehension questions. Twenty-four of these participants also volunteered for an in-depth interview. The findings revealed that students usually relied on their bottom-up processing. They skipped difficult parts, especially technical information and graphic illustrations. They sought help from friends to enhance their understanding. Overall, they were successful at interpreting the thesis statement, the gist of the section, the meaning of the tested words and clause. However, they were less able to infer the underlying argument, the tone of the article, and the attitudes of others toward the research findings. A substantial number of students also failed to utilize information from section headings and the organization of research articles to guide their reading tasks.

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