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Example 1


Inductive or deductive?

We can see below that the main summarising idea of the whole paragraph is found in the last sentence. The paragraph begins with the example and builds up illustrative support for the main point which is summarised in the highlighted sentence:


Years ago in a remote part of a Pacific island nation, an international aid agency donated a hospital. This was a brand new purpose built facility that would serve a large community that at that point had no health care. The architecture was of the highest modern standards and the hospital was built on land well away from the river to avoid seasonal flooding. It was constructed of materials which were able to withstand the extremes of temperature and climate in the region. The opening was a great occasion. Officials and important people came from far and wide for the event. There were politicians who made speeches to praise the project. They said that it was a major development for the area and would radically change the lives of the people. Sadly, however, it was never used. The government lacked the funds to equip or staff the hospital. Moreover, the building itself was located far away from the river, which was the main means of transport for local people, so access was almost impossible. This health facility remained empty and unused. Many foreign aid projects fail because of poor planning, thereby wasting huge amounts of money.


If we move that final sentence to the beginning of the paragraph, then we have a deductive style of writing:


Many foreign aid projects fail because of poor planning, thereby wasting huge amounts of money. Years ago in a remote part of a Pacific island nation, an international aid agency donated a hospital. This was a brand new purpose built facility that would serve a large community that at that point had no health care. The architecture was of the highest modern standards and the hospital was built on land well away from the river to avoid seasonal flooding. It was constructed of materials which were able to withstand the extremes of temperature and climate in the region. The opening was a great occasion. Officials and important people came from far and wide for the event. There were politicians who made speeches to praise the project. They said that it was a major development for the area and would radically change the lives of the people. Sadly, however, it was never used. The government lacked the funds to equip or staff the hospital. Moreover, the building itself was located far away from the river, which was the main means of transport for local people, so access was almost impossible. This health facility remained empty and unused.