Deductive Order, Deductive Reasoning, Deductive Writing

Deductive Order and Deductive Reasoning refer to the practice of reasoning and organizing information

  • from general premises to the specifics that prove/disprove the premise
  • from a theoretical model to observations that confirm/disconfirm the model
  • from abstractions to specifics.

Deductive Writing is a style of prose wherein the rhetor presents a claim/thesis/hypothesis in introductory sentences/paragraphs and then uses subsequent paragraphs to explicate, question, or extend the claim/thesis/hypothesis.

Deductive Order and Deductive Reasoning are sometimes referred to as

  • a top-down approach rather than bottom up (inductive) or
  • hypothesis-testing research rather than hypothesis-generating (inductive).
Example: Joe is a writer. Joe struggles with procrastination. Therefore, all writers struggle with procrastination.Example: All writers struggle with procrastination. Joe is a writer. Therefore, Joe struggles with procrastination.

Deductive writing is a dominant organizational schema:

  • People who are busy and preoccupied with other matters prefer to view documents organized in deductive order because it enables them to immediately see whether or not the information is of interest to them.
  • Directions/Instructions invariably follow deductive order.
  • The scientific method follows a deductive approach.

Deductive Order will not work as well as inductive order in situations where the audience is likely to immediately disagree with the rhetor’s claim/thesis/hypothesis.

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