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Practice With Evidence-Based Writing

Instructor: Tara Turzi
In this lesson, you'll learn how to support your writing with evidence from outside sources. This lesson will also provide you with practice for incorporating evidence into your own writing.

What Is Evidence-Based Writing?

Evidence-based writing calls for you to use outside sources to support your own ideas. This gives your writing credibility, and can strengthen an argument. In this lesson, we will learn more about how to use support from sources and practice this skill.

Using Evidence

Imagine you are writing a paper on global warming. Your paper asserts that global warming is putting our planet in imminent danger. While you may have stated this point clearly in your own words, supporting this idea with evidence will strengthen your argument. It's important to find reliable, relevant evidence to support your claims.

Types of Evidence

Now that you know what you want to support, you need to find evidence for that support. You can use data, facts, studies, statistics, or expert opinions from reliable sources to support your ideas. In this case, you are looking for evidence that directly supports the claim that global warming has put our planet in danger.

Using a reliable source, such as the NASA-sponsored site Global Climate Change, you can directly support your claim. The site states, 'The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is very likely human-induced and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented in the past 1,300 years.' This fact can be incorporated into your own writing in a few ways.

Integrating Evidence

You will want to integrate support from sources into your own writing as seamlessly as possible, so it does not interrupt the flow of your writing. You can do this in three ways:

Quoting - Use a direct quote from the original source

Paraphrasing - Rephrase the quote in your own words

Summarizing - Using only the main points of the source in your own words

Always introduce the source information with a signal phrase, which is an introduction of the outside material. An example of a signal phrase is as follows: 'According to an article in Time Magazine.' Then provide an explanation of the use of the evidence, showing how it supports your claims. Finally, include proper citation with any outside evidence, even if you have written it in your own words.

Practice

Using the original claim, let's practice integrating the quote into your own writing.

Imagine this is your original passage:

Global warming is a much debated issue, but it is a serious problem that has put our planet in danger. Not only are we in danger, it is probable that humans caused global warming. The time to take action is now.

Quote you want to integrate (from the NASA-sponsored site Global Climate Change, 'Climate Change: How Do We Know?'):

'The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is very likely human-induced and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented in the past 1,300 years.'

Direct Quote

Global warming is a much debated issue, but it is a serious problem that has put our planet in danger. According to NASA, 'The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is very likely human-induced and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented in the past 1,300 years' ('Global Climate Change' par. 2). This shows that not only are we in danger, it is probable that humans caused global warming. The time to take action is now.

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