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.
- Before you begin:
- Be sure that you understand the purpose of your assignment and what you are being asked to do.
- How long should your paper be (longer papers may require more, or a larger variety of evidence)?
- 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.
- What themes or topics come up in the text of the prompt?
- What is the source of your evidence?
- Does the teacher provide you with the evidence sources?
- Are you to locate your own sources of evidence?
When researching for a source of evidence, consideration should be made to the following:
- Does the evidence have a clear relationship to the claim?
- Evidence may be 100% accurate, but worthless if it does not relate to the claim.
- Can you connect it to your claim if it doesn’t directly relate?
- Is it true?
- Is it from a reliable source?
- Is there a bias that influences the accuracy of the author’s account?
- Is it a primary (firsthand/original account) or a secondary source?