8.3 Types of Evidence in Academic Arguments Robin Jeffrey and Yvonne Bruce. Some writing handbooks or resources suggest that a paragraph should be at least three or four sentences; others suggest that 100 to 200 words is a good target to shoot for. Facts include names, dates, or specific events. Those supporting details may come from a number of different types of sources. © University of New England CRICOS Provider Number 00003G. You will need to use a number of references in almost every paragraph to support your claims. 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Instruct students to copy down the different types of evidence. No evidence should be considered perfectly accurate, however, as all evidence is subject to human choices, unconscious bias, and changes. For example, researchers (George et al., 2016; Jones & Brown, 2013; Smith, 2012) find that many students misuse commas, mix up colons and semicolons and use capital letters incorrectly. Both of these lend validity to an argument. direct quotes, paraphrases, summaries), Examples (e.g. facts, figures, diagrams). In academic writing, paragraphs tend to be longer, while in less formal or less complex writing, such as in a newspaper, paragraphs tend to be much shorter. You will need supporting evidence to prove the data you introduce in your writing was not taken out of the blue, but was acquired as a result of thorough research, conducted either by you, or by other researchers. It’s better to get more than one opinion. Generally, though, it will fall under one (or more) of these five general types of supporting statements. Present evidence that contradicts your stance, and then argue against (refute) that evidence and therefore strengthen your position. All academic writers use evidence to support their claims. While many students are aware that they need… However, different writing tasks in different fields require different types of evidence. (Anecdote), Lebron James went to Akron St. Vincent St. Mary’s High School (Not Evidence), My friend Tony says, “LeBron James is one bad mamma jamma.” (Not Evidence; Bob is not an authoritative source), Mark Stein of ESPN says, “James has become the best player in basketball, hands down.” (Quotable Comment), Lebron James rebounded the ball, dribbled from one end of the floor to another, and dunked over two players while being fouled by the third. Clarifying Examples: Examples that clarify your points and support your thesis statement make great evidence. Qualitative and Quantitative Evidence Julie M. Farrar defines two kinds of evidence in "Evidence: Encyclopedia of Rhetoric and Composition," from 2006. rules may vary) about where you should put your evidence: Statements in academic writing need to be supported by factual details. Evidence is not simply “quotes”. write the reasons /evidence to support what you say (a number of sentences). (Fact), Cavalier fans spewed venomous insults toward Brazilian power forward Anderson Varajao for an ill advised shot at the end of game six. 9. There are a number of ways you can support your claims in writing by using information/evidence from the work of (significant) writers and researchers. direct quotes, paraphrases, summaries) Many students seek assistance with their writing skills at university. The Literacy Reference Group (2017, para. Be sure the quote emanates from an authoritative source and is not misleading. Being able to use supporting details effectively means discussing evidence that is relevant to the issues in your essay. All Rights Reserved. Authoritative Opinions: Experts in the field about which you are writing provide supporting details and evidence for your thesis statement. Evidence, broadly construed, is anything presented in support of an assertion, because evident things are undoubted. This is especially true when a long, wordy summary will be confusing to readers without an accompanying illustration. There are two types of testimony: 1) the account of an eyewitness, and 2) the judgment of an expert who has had the chance to examine and interpret the facts. I thought that most mothers used canes and needed other peoples help to go up and down stairs. For example, if you are writing a paper on animal rights, presenting factual information about puppy mills, it … There is not a single type of evidence, it comes in various differing forms. The eyewitness can supply important facts for the writer to use, and the expert can provide valuable judgments in order to give strength to the argument. Your goal is to use supporting evidence successfully—that is to say, only use the most pertinent parts of the story, narrative, example, or anecdote that are in support of your argument. Supporting Your Ideas Even the most well-organized, audience-centered, goal-oriented of essays can lack pizzazz. Here are some of the most common types of evidence writers use to support their points: Numbers (for example, date and time, or any specific number or measurement: Length of a boat, number of witnesses, votes for a certain bill, score of a game, etc.) Academic writing must be supported by evidence such as data, facts, quotations, arguments, statistics, research, and theories. I received an F. The teacher noted that no such animal existed and questioned the validity of my evidence. write a statement with the idea you disagree with (the opposing idea). Put your most important reasons first. In its research project, the Literacy Foundation (2014, p. 167) argues that “common punctuation errors cause problems with meaning-making in student writing”. It is essentially anything that contains writing, including digital records. (Fact), Lebron James leads all forwards in assists per game. Instruct students to exchange papers and evaluate each piece of evidence by labeling it as one of the types already discussed. Often, writers don’t know what to do to improve the impact of their writing … Copyright © 2020 Bright Hub Education. The following are three of the most common techniques: Check the following sentence to see if you can identify quotations, examples and statistics: Many student writers have difficulty with some aspects of punctuation. Authoritative Opinions: Experts in the field about which you are writing provide supporting details and evidence for your thesis statement. Supporting evidence is a crucial part in body paragraphs and it is important to be discerning in the evidence chosen. Types of Evidence. Allow students to replace or rewrite their evidence, if they choose to. Supporting evidence can take many forms, but it often comes in the form of embedded quotations. The different kinds of evidence used include stories, witness statements, technical reports, statistics from patient trials or the data from surveys. Facts: The most frequent type of evidence in an essay is facts. Many instructors use the term supporting details or concrete details instead of evidence. The Australian Association of Essay Writing (2012, p. 129) claims that their research in five universities shows that students are required to write academic paragraphs in 90% of their assessment tasks. Here are a few different types to choose from. Facts. (about 90% of essay word count). The type and amount are dependent on the type of organization that is being audited and the required audit scope. Please note that the APA referencing style is used in this workshop. The following are three of the most common techniques: Quotations (e.g. Use This Photo Story 3 Lesson Plan to Integrate Technology Into Your Poetry Unit, Teaching Autistic Students and Assessing the Student's Needs - Teachers Tips and Classroom Management Ideas. Have students identify the type of evidence. Remember that your evidence must appeal to reason. The mentioned support may be strong or weak. Probably not - and you probably wouldn't believe that Facts: The most frequent type of evidence in an essay is facts. Every time you use numbers to support a main point, you’re relying on statistical evidence to carry your argument. I turned in a paper about the mating habits of South African snipe. When you have sorted out the position you will take in your essay, you will write a number of paragraphs to provide support for your stance. Some educators argue that assignments are time consuming to mark (your opposing statement). I then told him my thesis statement, which argued against the South African snipe’s right to birth octuplets, was clearly brought out by my evidence and supporting details. 1. Your opinions and generalisations will need factual detail (evidence) to support them. Put your most important reasons first. That’s not surprising when you consider how prevalent it is in today’s society. Exercise 1: Recognising supported and unsupported facts, Exercise 2: Recognising types of supporting detail, (counter evidence to support your opposing position). These different types of evidence include—but are not limited to—quotes, paraphrases, summaries, anecdotes, and hypothetical examples. The strongest type of evidence is that which provides direct proof of the truth of an assertion. Examples of Supporting Evidence. The credibility of a source means the information presented in it is reliable and/or verified. However, evidence from student feedback surveys finds that students value this feedback more than any other learning experience in their courses (Jackson & Peters, 2015) (counter evidence to support your opposing position). The classification of lines of evidence into five different types is quite arbitrary. To convey meaning, students must punctuate their work correctly. The primary purpose of persuasive writing is to give an opinion and try toinfluence the reader's way of thinking with supporting evidence. For example: Check the following sentence to see if you can recognise unsupported and supported facts: The learning and teaching report showed that incorrect punctuation caused the most problems for students in conveying meaning in their essay writing (Department of Student Services, 2013, p. 23). When you are editing your writing, you will need to check that you have supported your claims with adequate evidence. Evidence is what a writer uses to support or defend his or her argument, and only valid and credible evidence is … If your prof is a stickler for word count and you have 1,996 out of a required 2,000 words, it won’t hurt to add a few words to your Most commonly considered to be written forms of proof, such as letters or wills, documentary evidence can also include other types of media, such as images, video or audio recordings, etc. For every claim you make in your writing, you will be required to prove your point. The definition of evidence that we’ve given is quite broad. Anecdotes: Anecdotes are humorous experiences that illustrate your point. For instance, Smith and Jones (2014, p. 27) find that students who do assignments demonstrate a better use of the terminology of their subject when they write in their exams than students who do only exam assessment (evidence to support your statement). In an effort to make this lesson plan more user friendly, I’ve included example pieces of evidence. Remember those McDonald’s signs that said “Over 1 billion served”? Quotable Comments: quotable comments provide support for your argument but should not be overused. When writing about literature, evidence takes the form of plot summaries or specific quotations. Documentary evidence can be wide-ranging and includes any documents or written records that help prove or defend a claim. 10) finds that more than 60% of the students who were assessed on their literacy scale made errors in their punctuation. The levels of evidence pyramid provides a way to visualize both the quality of evidence and the amount of evidence available. In essence, any kind of facts or information can be regarded … There are two kind of evidence: intellectual evidence (the obvious, the evident) and empirical evidence (proofs).. explanations, arguments, examples). A number of researchers have noted that assignment tasks help students to learn the language of their subject (your statement). Reproducing a photograph, a drawing, a painting, or a diagram can save you a lot of space in an essay. Don’t put information in your essay that comes from the recesses of your mind without finding an authority to support your statements, Don’t use authorities that have no academic credibility (e.g. Specific examples. "The mere presence of information does not constitute evidence; the informative statements must be accepted as evidence by an audience and believed by it to be relevant to the claim at issue. The following are different ways to support your argument: Facts Statistics Quotes Examples 1. supporting evidence proving claims Writing Parts of an Essay Evidence is not simply “facts”. Types of supporting details There are a number of ways you can support your claims in writing by using information/evidence from the work of (significant) writers and researchers. Hey, did you know that ever since 1969, NASA has been secretly staffed by aliens who hitched a ride back from the moon on Apollo 11? In a standard essay, you can follow these general rules (i.e. Write 10-15 pieces of evidence on the board. In addition, instruct students to identify whether or not the evidence has been used correctly. A number of researchers have noted that assignment tasks help students to learn the language of their subject (your statement). English courses typically rely on MLA standards when using quotations in papers. Unless you are referencing a definition or an important introductory fact, avoid using references in your introductions. Statistical evidence is the kind of data people tend to look for first when trying to prove a point. However, different writing tasks in different fields require different types of evidence. Facts can come from your reading, observation, or write the reasons/evidence you have showing how your position is better (a number of sentences). (clarifying example), Basketball aficionado, Trent Lapsodoo, calls James the best player since Wilt Chamberlain. The types of evidence might vary dramatically, but most of the time when making a claim that others will dispute, people need evidence. When writing about literature, evidence takes the form of plot summaries or specific quotations. Examples are among the most popular supporting statements for essays, as they provide a tangible account that the reader can imagine, making your assertions more “real” in their minds. Supporting evidence can be a summary, paraphrased or a direct quote. Supporting Argument (Fact), NBA expert and ESPN.com columnist Bill Simmons asserts Lebron James has no ceiling. You can use your own examples or mine (listed below).Using topics that interest your students is most effective. One type of historical evidence should reinforce other types. illustrations of your points), Statistics (e.g. After teaching students how to do research, teach them how to use the information they’ve collected. (about 5% of essay word count). (Authoritative Opinion), Lebron has taken a moribund 19-win franchise to a perennial NBA title contender. Exculpatory Evidence. This means that evidence is material which can be used to support an argument, claim, belief, or proposition. In addition to supporting your argument, anecdotes can liven up an otherwise boring academic paper. Telling others what supporting details are is not enough. Essay Writing Guide – Different Kinds of Evidence. Being able to define supporting details is not enough. I then went home and asked my roommate to define supporting details and clarify how to use evidence in an essay. When writing an essay it's not enough to simply make claims; you need to support your claims with evidence. If you wish to use this lesson for a revision assignment, try these procedures: Instruct students to highlight or underline 5-10 pieces of evidence they used in their essays and copy them onto a separate slice of paper. He mentioned also that even if the South African snipe did exist, I probably had no idea how to define supporting details, since nothing I wrote substantiated my claims. For example, if you are working on Law subjects, you will draw much of your evidence from legal cases and legislation. Writing academic paragraphs is the most important skill in academic writing. (about 5% of essay word count). Regardless of the type used, all evidence serves the same general function: it bolsters a writer’s argument. This is really the best kind of evidence you can use because facts cannot be disputed. Facts include names, dates, or specific events. This type of evidence can exonerate a defendant in a – usually criminal – case. Unless you intend to finish your conclusion with a final dramatic statement from a powerful source, avoid using references in your conclusions. Wonderland University (2016, p. 36) reports that during the academic year, lecturers recommended that 396 internal and 267 external students should seek assistance with their writing. INTRODUCTION PARAGRAPHS have a special function. The final type of evidence used in writing a convincing argument is Testimony. He ridiculed my essay in front of the class, claiming the writer could not tell what are supporting details, main ideas, or credible sources. For instance, Smith and Jones (2014, p. 27) find that students who do assignments demonstrate a better use of the terminology of their subject when they write in their exams than students who do only exam assessment (evidence to support your statement). The auditor can obtain different types of audit evidence, and it includes Physical Examination, documentation, analytical procedure, observations, confirmations, inquiries, etc. Different subjects will require you to draw on a variety of sources for evidence in your essay. Types of Evidence in Persuasive/Argument Papers Support your position or thesis with evidence. For example, fossils and bones are evidence to support the accepted theory that dinosaurs once walked the earth. It is also equally valuable to find information that does not support your stance and argue against those opposite points of view. This evidence will: add substance to your own ideas; allow the reader to see what has informed your thinking and how your ideas fit in with, and differ from, others' in your field (Authoritative source). I remember my first semester of college. Here’s what he told me: Evidence consists of facts, expert opinions, quotable comments, clarifying examples, anecdotes, or illustrations that support your thesis statement. Lebron’s defense of Varajao calmed the fanatics. Thesis statement: Lebron James is the best player in the NBA, Lebron James averages 29 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists per game. Visual images are frequently used as evidence. Quotations (e.g. Discuss the above information.Best results occur when you compare their preconceived ideas of evidence (think lawyers, detectives, scientists.). Different kinds of evidence are associated with differing types of disciplines. Often, a combination of different types of evidence is required in order to adequately support and develop a point. a popular magazine), Don’t use your lecture notes (even with appropriate referencing) as the sole authority in your assignments. 1. How about those Trident chewing gum commercials that say “4 out of 5 dentists recommend chewing sugarless gum”? For example, if the evidence is published in an academic journal article, then the evidence is likely credible because of both the person/people responsible for writing the article (a scholar or scholars in the field) as well as the journal that published it (that relies on a peer review process). Using facts is a powerful means of convincing. For example, systematic reviews are at the top of the pyramid, meaning they are both the highest level of evidence and the least common. Here are some ways to work evidence into your writing: Offer evidence that agrees with your stance up to a point, then add to it with ideas of your own. BODY PARAGRAPHS carry your evidence (e.g. The writer’s opinion may also serve as an authoritative opinion if it is supported by facts.

The evidence makes your writing many times more credible as they act as proof to your claim. For instance, in the case of the Space Shuttle Challenger, the writer might use … One could as easily distinguish two types, or five, or ten, depending on the criteria used. Statements that you use to do this can follow a simple pattern: Read a 'supporting' argument EVIDENCE The term ‘evidence’ is used in crime dramas, in personal disputes, in courts of law, and in academic writing. Different subjects will require you to draw on a variety of sources for evidence in your essay. CONCLUSION PARAGRAPHS have a special function.
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