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What Are Four Ways to Incorporate Evidence into a Research Paper?

A research paper is an essay where you bring together various facts, views, and evidence to back up your opinion on the paper’s topic. Your paper relies on external research supporting your argument. Solid evidence will add authority to your writing. You can also use evidence that contradicts your views to argue against the evidence. If you want to make sure that your paper effectively uses evidence to persuade the reader, check out https://studycrumb.com/ and learn more.

Evidence in Writing

Now, what is evidence in writing exactly? It is proof to support the writers’ argument on the paper’s topic. However, some types of evidence are stronger than others, depending on their type and the way they are used. Before we get into how to add evidence to your research paper, let’s have a look at the different types of evidence in writing:

  • Statistical evidence — statistics based on numerical data analysis:

‘One-third of adults sleep with a comfort object’

  • Testimonial evidence — quotes from a customer, spokesperson, or expert on the subject:
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‘The sushi was the best I ever had!’

  • Anecdotal evidence — personal experience:

‘I once heard that…’

  • Analogical evidence — comparison of two situations to draw an analogy: 

‘Comparing the lifespan of people in the USA to New Zealand to see which healthcare system works better’

  • Textual evidence — part of another text on the topic:

‘The author states, ‘…’’

Stronger and Weaker Evidence

Statistical evidence is considered strong because it is factual. The evidence is based on hard data and makes it easier for the reader to understand the facts. Of course, this only works when you use relevant statistics to support your argument. 

Testimonial evidence can be very powerful, for example, when using a quote from an expert on the subject. You can use the expertise to solidify your claim.

Anecdotal evidence is often seen as a weaker choice. It is also called ‘hearsay evidence’ because it is generally based on word of mouth rather than on a definitive fact.

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Analogical evidence can be a little tricky. It can be very strong when there are a lot of similarities between the two situations you are comparing. However, when there are major differences, the evidence can be weak.

Textual evidence is strong in general, but it requires a little digging into different sources to make sure the text you are using is relevant and clearly supports your argument; otherwise, it loses value.

Considering different types of evidence available on your topic, you should determine which one is the strongest and, therefore, the best to use. 

Incorporating Evidence in a Research Paper

Now that you know the types of evidence and their strengths and weaknesses, it will be much easier to incorporate a piece of evidence into your paper. Here are four ways to do it:

  1. Graph, chart, or table

When you collect statistical data, you can choose to incorporate the evidence in a paper using a graph, chart, or table.

  1. Quotation, paraphrase, or summary
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When you find anecdotal, testimonial, analogical, or textual evidence, you can choose to quote, paraphrase, or summarize it. 

  1. Visuals

When you want to use anecdotal, analogical, or testimonial evidence, you can decide to present it using a photo, video, drawing, etc.

  1. Interview

If you conduct or find an interview with a scholar, it is strong evidence, especially when sharing their own words.

If you want to know about a 3-step process of using evidence in a paragraph, you can visit https://www.ursinus.edu/live/files/1156-evidencepdf 

Sentence Starters for Evidence

Lastly, here are a couple of helpful sentence starters to introduce your evidence:

  • According to the author ‘…’
  • On the page … I notice that ‘…’
  • The graphic shows ‘…’
  • I can infer from the section ‘..’
  • When the writer describes ‘…’
  • This is evident when he/she states ‘…’
  • From the reading, I know that ‘…’
  • Based on what he/she said ‘…’
  • Evidence to support this argument is ‘…’
  • A good illustration of this is ‘…’
  • I think … because ‘…’
  • An example is ‘…’
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