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Understand the Use of Inference in Literature

In this worksheet, students will make inferences and locate evidence to support their understanding of a literary heritage text.

'Understand the Use of Inference in Literature' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Year:  Year 9 English worksheets

Curriculum topic:   Reading

Curriculum subtopic:   Use Inference and Evidence

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

When reading a text, we continually make inferences about the setting, the characters and the events. 


An inference is a way of understanding something - working out the meaning of the text - what we infer can help us to figure out what is happening, or even predict future events. 


girl with magnifying glass


In this activity, you will be looking at 'Dracula', the famous vampire novel, written in 1897 by Bram Stoker. You will have the chance to develop your understanding of how to make inferences and how to select evidence to support your understanding. 


In the extract below, Jonathan Harker, the story’s protagonist, is journeying to a remote castle in Transylvania to complete a business deal with a mysterious aristocrat, named Count Dracula. Neither Harker, nor his boss back in London, know or suspect anything of Dracula’s true nature!


a bat


Read the text through and get ready to answer some questions.


I must have been asleep, for certainly if I had been fully awake I must have noticed the approach of such a remarkable place. In the gloom the courtyard looked of considerable size, and as several dark ways led from it under great round arches, it perhaps seemed bigger than it really was. I have not yet been able to see it by daylight.

When the coach stopped, the driver jumped down and held out his hand to assist me to alight. Again I could not but notice his prodigious strength. His hand actually seemed like a steel vice that could have crushed mine if he had chosen. Then he took my traps, and placed them on the ground beside me as I stood close to a great door, old and studded with large iron nails, and set in a projecting doorway of massive stone. I could see even in the dim light that the stone was massively carved, but that the carving had been much worn by time and weather. As I stood, the driver jumped again into his seat and shook the reins. The horses started forward, and trap and all disappeared down one of the dark openings.

I stood in silence where I was, for I did not know what to do. Of bell or knocker there was no sign. Through these frowning walls and dark window openings it was not likely that my voice could penetrate. The time I waited seemed endless, and I felt doubts and fears crowding upon me. What sort of place had I come to, and among what kind of people? What sort of grim adventure was it on which I had embarked? Was this a customary incident in the life of a solicitor's clerk sent out to explain the purchase of a London estate to a foreigner?



Alight – get down from a vehicle

Prodigious – massive and impressive

Traps – baggage – personal belongings




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