West Seattle High School

West Seattle
High School
Social Studies Department

Evidence Selection

How to Select Evidence

Purpose of selecting evidence: To provide appropriate and relevant evidence to show/prove that your thesis/claim is supported by primary and/or secondary sources; not just your own opinion.  

  1. Before you begin:
  2. Be sure that you understand the purpose of your assignment and what you are being asked to do.
  3. How long should your paper be (longer papers may require more, or a larger variety of evidence)?
  4. Gather information for possible use as evidence in your argument. Look carefully at the assignment prompt; it may give you clues about what sorts of evidence you will need.
  5. What themes or topics come up in the text of the prompt?
  6. What is the source of your evidence?
  7. Does the teacher provide you with the evidence sources?
  8. Are you to locate your own sources of evidence?

Considerations :  

When researching for a source of evidence, consideration should be made to the following:


  1. Does the evidence have a clear relationship to the claim?
  2. Evidence may be 100% accurate, but worthless if it does not relate to the claim.
  3. Can you connect it to your claim if it doesn’t directly relate?
  4. Is it true?
  5. Is it from a reliable source?
  6. Is there a bias that influences the accuracy of the author’s account?
  7. Is it a primary (firsthand/original account) or a secondary source?