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Math help from the Learning Centre

This guide provides useful resources for a wide variety of math topics. It is targeted at students enrolled in a math course or any other Centennial course that requires math knowledge and skills.


Inductive vs Deductive Reasoning



Tips for Inductive Reasoning

1. Look for a pattern.

What are some common patterns? For example, with shapes and objects, patterns include rotations, reflections, and translations. In counts or numbers, the pattern may be changing by division, multiplication, addition, or subtraction of the same or similar factor.

2. Eliminate options.

Rule out options if you are given a multiple-choice format. You can also eliminate patterns that do no exist.

3. Lock onto one sub-pattern at a time and follow that through.

There may be multiple patterns occurring. Focus on one sub-pattern at a time and follow it through. For example, what pattern are the dots forming?


4. Mark down what you've eliminated or focused on

Your thinking will be concentrated on sub-patterns. You may have followed a sub-pattern and forget the pattern when you trace another. Mark it down and then move on so you can come back to it.

Tips for Deductive Reasoning

1. Read the statement.

Determine what facts are relevant in the statement.

2. Only use facts deducted from previous statements

Everything you need is in the statements. Filter out extraneous information and personal beliefs. A statement may have an assumption that is contradictory, but the statements to the proof are deducted from that reason.

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Designed by Matthew Cheung. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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