How to Recognize Implied Relationships in a Reading Selection

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  • 0:01 What Is an Implied…
  • 1:00 Discovery
  • 1:50 Organize
  • 2:50 Analyze
  • 3:55 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Angela Janovsky

Angela has taught middle and high school English, Business English and Speech for nine years. She has a bachelor's degree in psychology and has earned her teaching license.

Some relationships in a reading passage will be implied and not plainly stated. These may be very difficult to understand, so watch this lesson to see clear steps to take to recognize implied relationships.

What is an Implied Relationship?

While reading a passage, there will be many concepts and ideas that are explicitly stated. These are easy to identify and then apply to any type of reading objective. However, there are many other ideas and relationships that are implied. Implied relationships between ideas are any that are not specifically stated in the passage. Instead, one must draw conclusions to define these relationships based on the information in the reading.

In order to recognize implied relationships, you must make an inference, which is an educated guess or assumption based on facts. This process is a difficult thing for many students, since most are used to doing simple recall of information after a reading. Recognizing an implied relationship takes much more thought and analysis. Think of discovering implied relationships as being a detective using clues to determine the perpetrator of a crime. Let's look at the steps you can take to recognize implied relationships and ideas.


The first thing you need to do after reading a selection is to discover relevant information, which means to find the facts. This step is essential since you cannot hope to go any further if you do not know the basic facts. The best way to do this is to check for basic understanding of the material. Teachers can use lower-level questioning, like short summaries or questions placed at certain parts of the selection. These should be simple questions with short answers. Do not involve analyzing or higher-lever thinking. Keep it simple so as not to confuse your students.

Think of this step as the same as a detective doing his preliminary investigation. He looks for clues at the crime scene, interviews witnesses, and basically uses any tools at his disposal to gather information. In the same way, your students need to investigate and gather information from the reading selection.


Next, you need to organize the facts. The information will be useless unless you can arrange it in a way to see what is important. A great way to do this is to use a graphic organizer, which is a visual representation of information. If you can see the facts physically, or set them up in some new way, then it will be easier to see new relationships. Students can make a flow chart, a diagram, a table, a graph, or any other visual. Then fill the graphic organizer in with the information found in the discovery phase.

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