Solutions
TwitterFacebook
Main Menu

Using Evidence – Overview

After developing an original, argumentative thesis, using evidence well is the key to academic writing. Dirty secret: many readers (yes, including teachers) will forgive grammatical errors if you’ve got a compelling argument, have thought deeply about the right evidence to use, and analyze that evidence.

The two are inseparable, really. If you think deeply about evidence – whether key quotes from the novel you are reading or statistics on the subject of your research paper – chances are an interesting, original angle will dawn on you…

Browse Using Evidence Articles:

ANALYZE Evidence to Support Your Thesis

Actionable tips and examples to help you move deeper into the evidence you've already got.

CLOSELY Read ‘The Text’ to Squeeze Out All Its Meaning

In any high school or college class where you’re reading texts and writing about them, your writing will be more effective if you know how to perform what teachers call a “close reading.” Similarly, if you’re writing a business report or proposal, you’ll be much more likely to reach your goals if the document reflects a close, careful reading of your primary sources.

Design a Sentence That Includes a QUOTE

"Quoting others' work is crucial to your success as a writer. Students often have difficulty with this skill; growing proficient at quoting will mark you as a sophisticated writer. Not quoting, or quoting awkwardly, is like showing up to a formal wedding dressed in cut-off jeans. Similarly, filling a short paper with many, many quotes (particularly long quotes) will interrupt your reader's concentration on your ideas."

Elegantly Include QUOTATIONS In Your Writing

Including quotes in your writing is one of the leading indicators of an accomplished academic writer. There are rules, and they are easy to learn. Once you've got them down and you can sprinkle quotes throughout your writing to support your points you'll be on your way to creating slam-dunk arguments with the ability to persuade any audience.

Include COMPETING Evidence into Your Argument

"Many beginning writers, especially when trying to write argumentatively, will include only evidence that supports their thesis. This is a beginner's mistake. Any intelligent reader will think up competing (contradictory) evidence on their own. And even if they don't, they will have to assume that if you ignore all opposing evidence you have either, a) not done a proper research job or are, b) willfully hiding unflattering facts."

PARAPHRASE Effectively – Avoid Just Copying

Paraphrasing is a skill that marks you as an accomplished academic writer - AND helps you avoid charges of plagiarism.

SUMMARIZE Effectively – Don’t Just Parrot Another Author

Understanding when to accelerate and summarize vs. slow down and dig in is a key skill. Learn some basic moves to summarize well.