Chapter 5: The Essay

5.4 Handling Evidence

You learned briefly about evidence in Chapter 3.4 Persuasive Paragraphs, which described how you can, and should, use a quote or fact to support your claim.

Your evidence usually comes from one of two places: a source such as the one you found in Chapter 1.1 Finding Sources, or your own personal experience.

In either case, the reader must clearly understand where the evidence comes from.

Table 5.3 Describing evidence from sources versus experience
Topic Evidence from Source Evidence from Experience
Residential schools apology According to Jones, the Assembly of First Nations has been asking the government for compensation for decades. As a proud member of the Squamish Nation, I and most of my friends found the Prime Minister’s apology completely irrelevant.
Effects of technology in classrooms A study conducted in 2018 found that cellphone use in classrooms distracted not only users, but those around them. Almost everybody I know uses a smartphone multiple times a day.

Review Questions

  1. Pick a topic of your own, or use one of the above. Decide on a claim (technology is helpful in the classroom, for example). Now invent two pieces of evidence, one from a source and one from experience, that do not support your claim.

Points to Consider

  1. Try going back to the essay that you wrote for this chapter—you should now have the introduction, body, and conclusion. Underline each piece of evidence you provided, and identify it in the margin. Make sure each piece of evidence is strongly tied to either a source or identified as from your experience, as in the examples above.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Building Blocks of Academic Writing Copyright © 2020 by Carellin Brooks is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book