Outcome: Finding Evidence

Evaluate activities to find evidence in support of a claim

Once a working thesis statement is in place, your essay has begun to establish a claim–something the project¬†is stating to be true. No matter how elegant the claim itself is, though, it’s only a small piece of the writing task. A claim by itself is powerless to influence a critically-thinking audience, and you should assume that any audience reading your work will consist of¬†critical thinkers.

Consider this claim made by the character Andy in the TV show The Office:

Unlike his conversational partner Dwight, you may find Andy’s claims unconvincing because he provides no evidence to support his assertions.

Returning to the Journey

If we revisit the “writing process as a journey” metaphor, the finding evidence stage is often one of the most rewarding stages. Now that the destination’s been determined, we need to know what will be necessary to get us there. Locating evidence will help us identify all the resources we need for our writing “trip.”

What You Will Learn To Do

  • evaluate experience or examples from personal life as they relate to a topic
  • evaluate strategies for preliminary research on a topic
  • evaluate strategies for synthesis of research and personal ideas
  • evaluate effective techniques for quoting a source
  • evaluate effective techniques for paraphrasing a source
  • evaluate effective techniques for summarizing a sourceGraphic titled Evidence. Bullet list: Personal Experience, Outside Research, Quote, Paraphrase, Summarize. All is in a teal circle bordered by gray arrows.