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Using evidence and facts

Using evidence and facts

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Summary

Using evidence and facts

​​In a nutshell

When presenting your ideas in writing, it is important to support what you are saying with evidence or facts. Supporting your ideas with evidence and facts is therefore essential in engaging your reader and communicating your ideas to them clearly and effectively. This summary will demonstrate how to do this, particularly through quotations and examples.



Quotation

A great way to support an idea you may have about a written text is to use quotations from the source text. This just means copying out a word, or even a line or two from the text into your own writing and using this sample as a way of proving a point you are making about the text itself. 


In order to show that this is not your own writing, the quotation must appear exactly as it does in the original text and must be surrounded by quotation marks. It is important to make sure that the quotation you are using is relevant to the point you are making. 


Example

If you wanted to make a point about how nasty a certain character is in a text, you might use a quotation that describes that character as nasty. Here is a sentence that presents this idea with a quote to support it. 


Voldemort is presented as a nasty, horrible character in the Harry Potter books, and we see this when the author describes him as "cruel".


Analysis

By taking the word "cruel" out of the text (Harry Potter) to support the claim that Voldemort is a nasty character, this sentence shows the reader evidence of its idea, which then becomes more believable. 



Examples

Another way to support the ideas in your writing is to use examples as evidence. Examples are real facts about whatever topic you are writing about. Like quotations though, it is important that your example is relevant to the point you are making, so it can't just be any old fact you can think of. Instead, examples must prove to the reader that your specific idea is accurate, or at least show them where the idea came from in the first place.


Example

If you wanted to present the idea that hunting should be illegal, you might use a shocking example about the real-life effects of hunting to help make your point seem more valid to the reader. For example, you could say something like: 

One of the many reasons that hunting should be illegal is that at the moment more than 1 million animal species are at risk of going extinct. 


Analysis

This fact, that lots of animals are close to going extinct, is a real fact that helps to make your idea - that hunting should be stopped - more powerful and convincing for the reader.

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FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

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