A generalization is a specific kind of conclusion. All generalizations are conclusions, but not all conclusions are generalizations. A generalization is a broad statement that applies to many examples. A generalization is formed from a number of examples or facts and what they have in common. Example: All animals that have feathers are birds.
Readers recognize and evaluate generalizations made by an author. Readers make and support their own generalizations based on reading a selection. Clue words that support instruction for generalizations: all, none, most, many, always, everyone, never, sometimes, some, usually, seldom, few, generally, in general, and overall. Generalizations are statements that may include or imply ideas. Example: The climate in Mexico is generally warmer than that of the northern United States. Thoughtful readers are able to recognize generalizations. They are able to evaluate if a generalization is adequately supported by specific facts. Instruction for this strategy may include helping students evaluate, make judgments and form opinions A judgment is an opinion about the value of an action, a character, a situation, an author’s assertions, elements of the text, etc. Thoughtful readers use their own experiences and details from the text to make judgments, form opinions, evaluate, or generalize.