Things You Must Know About the Use of Evidence in Writing

Writing different papers, we always need to use evidence. What is it? The evidence is a combination of three basic elements: arguments, thesis, and demonstration. Every part of evidence performs its specific function, so we can’t forget about any one of them. What makes the use of evidence so important?

Evidence in Academic Papers

Let’s imagine that you’re a lawyer who is trying to prove an alibi. First of all, you must formulate your thesis statement, say, that your defendant was in a different place when a crime has been committed. After this, you need to prove your statement, and this is when you need to use evidence. It is aimed to illustrate how the lawyer’s thesis is related to facts so that you can convince the court that your version of what happened is true. When writing academic papers, we use evidence for the same purpose — we support our point with pieces of evidence, considering each element in particular.

Your thesis is a suggestion, and a piece of evidence must prove it. In turn, a piece of evidence includes its own thesis that defines what exactly needs to be proved. You can begin your piece of evidence with the thesis or mention it later, whenever you like. You can create a thesis of a piece of evidence that will be a categorical statement, for example: “I have to prove my position which is…”, or “My opinion is that…” etc.

  • The thesis can be either refuted or confirmed, depending on arguments. The logic of evidence is based on arguments — they represent true judgments that may logically explain whether or not the thesis is true. Therefore, arguments explain why and how the thesis was developed.
  • There are a few types of arguments. Empirical and theoretical generalizations are general rules, scientific principles, obvious facts, definitions, and other things that don’t need any proofs. Facts that were already proven are another category of arguments. We can’t prove something without using arguments in evidence.
  • Facts are events and phenomena that happened in the past. This is another interesting type of argument. Any essay is based on underlying data which consists of many facts. You need to understand facts and approach them correctly if you want to make them arguments. The thing is that any fact can be interpreted in a dozen different ways depending on connections and relationships that you focus on. Remember that you can’t just take facts that seem most important to you and forget about undesirable facts. This will make your argument one-sided and demonstrate that you don’t understand facts.
  • The laws of science are the very important type of arguments. Using them, you can easily explain a necessary and sufficient connection between some processes or phenomena. In addition, such connections are stable and repetitive, reflecting essential truths about various aspects of life, such as biology or physics. For example, if you want to support your statement that every object that disappears can be tracked by its trace, use the law of conservation of mass.
  • As we already said above, you can use obvious facts as arguments. Thus, you can also use axioms. Axioms are hypotheses that don’t need to be proved. Definitions of various concepts are often used to prove whether a suggestion is true or false. To come up with a definition, we need to analyze objects that are considered in this concept. We need to find out the essential information about these object, which makes definitions very useful in case we need to understand the truth about a certain situation. Just like axioms, definitions don’t require proof.

The evidence is a type of demonstration — a method that allows us to link arguments with theses. This is called conditional dependence, and it helps us understand how the thesis and the arguments are connected to each other. Any proof is based on arguments, and the thesis is a logical conclusion that we come to.

Evidence in Essays

The evidence is the essential justification of some judgment in terms of logic. This justification is connected with various true judgments. Any evidence consists of three main components, which are a thesis, arguments that support the thesis, and a value judgment (conclusion). We need to understand how arguments and theses are connected to explain them in a form of consequences.

Arguments and theses may connect in different ways through different types of interactions: indirect, direct, and separating. If the truthfulness of the thesis is confirmed in the argument, this is a direct evidence. For example, we don’t need to go to work on Sundays. The direct evidence may be obtained with the use of such methods as analogy, induction, cause-effect relationships, and dedication.

If you’re working on an essay, you need to pay special attention to how you use empirical data and other types of sources. Keep in mind that any information is related to a certain place and time, so you need to do a research and make sure that the time and place of the used data fits your aim. When writing an essay, you don’t need to use generalization excessively, because, writing this type of paper, you only need to use data as illustrations. Your data should show that you can use it properly, proving your arguments.

Keep in mind that data on controversial issues always implies a certain element of doubt. You shouldn’t try to give the only right, concrete answer. Your goal is to provide a connection between your question and facts. In addition, you cannot use information from sources that you didn’t actually read.

In brief, the success of your essay depends on three factors that are related to each other: the quality of data processing, the used source material, and chosen arguments. The whole process of writing an essay includes several steps: brainstorming, planning of work, the writing process itself, proofreading, and editing. Planning is especially important and we suggest not underestimating this stage. You have to define your goal, determine key ideas, choose sources and way of presentation, and create a plan according to your deadline. Your actions are mostly determined by your goals. Thus, you just need to understand how to use evidence properly, and you’ll be able to write the whole paper with no problems.

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