The inductive structure is one of the ways in which a writer, scientist, researcher or journalist organizes the information in a text and argues his thesis. Remember that a thesis is a premise that you want to verify or refute through arguments, data or facts.
An inductive structure can be recognized because the thesis is at the end. From the beginning and during its development, what it is trying to demonstrate is being built. Let’s see it with a simple example: “Luisa is a painter. Luisa fights against procrastination. Ergo, all painters fight against procrastination ”.
As can be seen, the argument goes first (“Luisa is a painter. Luisa procrastinates”) to reach a conclusion (“Painters procrastinate”). In other words, the inductive structure goes from the particular to the general.
When someone is writing an essay, a degree thesis, a master’s or doctoral thesis, the choice of structure will largely depend on the nature of what is being researched. In general, humanistic texts have an inductive structure (novels, philosophical essays, journalistic reports …).
Inductive structure characteristics
Inductive structure refers to the practice of deriving or inducing general premises, theories, or statements from specific and concrete observations. An inductive approach has the following characteristics:
Presentation of the thesis at the end
The reader collaborates
In the inductive structure the role of the reader is important, because it is he who follows the reasoning and can realize that it is true or false. In other words, we hope that it is he, this reader, who reaches his own conclusions.
We mean who prefers to show than to say. What happens does not count from the beginning, he puts together the facts or the arguments and then at the end he establishes the theory or the hypothesis.
It is also said that the inductive structure is of synthesis because it starts from diverse ideas that are joined at the end in a single main idea.
Inductive structure in argumentative texts
Argumentative texts are those that present ordered and organized reasoning through which the author wants to convince the reader of his position or idea.
Now, when the inductive approach is used in an argumentative text, we will see that it starts from particular ideas to reach a general conclusion. Let’s see an example:
“Cars and vehicles that run on fossil fuel have a very high carbon footprint, significantly increasing air pollution. Industrial poles are also a source of pollution, since waste is often not managed efficiently and is dumped into the air or into the oceans and rivers without treatment.
In the world’s most populated cities there is a higher incidence of respiratory problems due, among other things, to increased pollution. Animals and plants are also affected, presenting diseases or disappearing.
To stop polluting is the solution, and there are several ways: to use the bicycle more, to opt for electric cars and biodegradable products and to press for the industries to handle toxic waste responsibly ”.
In this example we see how, from particular problems (such as vehicles that use gasoline or naphtha and industries that dump waste into the air and seas) other problems are generated (such as health problems of the population, and the impact on animals and plants), and that the solution to all this is to opt for lifestyle habits that pollute less, and force industries to handle their waste responsibly.
Inductive structure in expository texts
Expository texts are those whose intention is to inform through objective, precise and clear language, without the opinions of the author intervening. The inductive structuring in the expository texts would be something like this:
“A social and political conflict that involves two or more peoples can converge in a war, considered this as the most violent form of confrontation. Weapons lethal enough are generally used to produce the most deaths on the opposing side.
War has occurred throughout human history both in its primitive states of civilization and in its most advanced, with little change in the way people react to it.
Without a doubt, war is the most serious conflict that can occur between two or more groups, which produces more deaths and more negative consequences in societies, from the extinction of one of the groups to famines, human displacement and even slavery ”.
In the example, the concept of conflict is exposed, then that of war and then the consequences that this entails for a society, reaching the conclusion that war is the most serious confrontation that can occur between two or more peoples and civilizations.
Differences between inductive structure and deductive structure
The inductive structure goes from the particular to the general, while the deductive one starts from the general to the particular.
The main statement appears at the end, and in the deductive it is established at the beginning. The inductive structure is preferred by essayists on humanistic subjects ( literature , philosophy, etc.) and the deductive structure by scientists, who present their ideas and justify and explain them, or journalists when giving news.
Another difference lies in the reasoning itself: in the inductive structure, the conclusion is reached by extrapolating specific cases to general rules, which generates epistemic uncertainty (that is, an ambiguous, open or non-definitive knowledge), and in the deductive structure there is no such uncertainty. , since the range of analysis is reduced until the conclusion is reached.
Examples of inductive structure in texts
“Andrés got brilliant marks in math, chemistry and physics. He got A’s in literature and history and had good grades in biology, arts education, civics, and physical education.
Andrés is a good student ”.
- The opening paragraph explains Andrés’ good grades in all areas of study. The bottom line is that Andrés is a good student because of his excellent grades.
“Since I was little I studied the violin. It seemed extremely difficult to me, but when I was 10 years old, I was able to perform at a concert at school. As an adult I have understood that there are many languages in the world, and each one has its own vocabulary and complexity.
The language of music is one of them and with constant study I was able to master it ”.
- This is an inductive structure because it first explains the complexity of the musical language, and that through constant study and time is mastered.
“When it’s hot we drink water. Sweating is a strategy of the body to balance body temperature and keep us cold. If the external temperature rises, the body produces sweat.
But sweat is water that we lose. If we do not replace it, we run the risk of losing all the necessary moisture that is in our body and dehydration occurs. Dehydration is a very dangerous health condition, which can even lead to death.
You have to drink water every day in the amount necessary to maintain the proper functioning of the body and the organs that compose it ”.
- This short text presents an inductive structure because it first introduces the explanation of what sweat, high temperatures and lack of water produce in the body, and ends with the conclusion that dehydration is serious and that you have to drink water daily.