Much of how to use evidence is about finding a clear and logical relation between the evidence you use and your claim. For example, if you are asked to write a paper on the effects of pollution on watersheds, you would not use a story your grandfather told you about the river he used to swim in that is now polluted. You would look for peer-reviewed journal articles by experts on the subject.
Once you have found the appropriate type of evidence, it is important to select the evidence that supports your specific claim. For example, if you are writing a psychology paper on the role of emotions in decision-making, you would look for psychology journal articles that connect these two elements.
By referencing the study in the first example and supplying textual evidence in the second, the initial statement in the paragraph moves from opinion to supported argument; however, you must still analyze your evidence.
Once you have selected your evidence it is important to tell you reader why the evidence supports your claim. Evidence does not speak for itself: some readers may draw different conclusions from your evidence, or may not understand the relation between your evidence and your claim. It is up to you to walk your reader through the significance of the evidence to your claim and your larger argument. In short, you need a reason why the evidence supports the claim – you need to analyze the evidence.
Some questions you could consider are:
If we look to our first examples, they may look like this once we add analysis to our evidence:
Or, when we look at the example of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde:
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