an argument that is supported by research and strong evidence
In your own paper, you’ll want to appear balanced and unbiased. This won’t be possible if you pull evidence from biased sources. Biased sources report information with some sort of agenda, spin, or angle. Does the information exist because someone wants to inform, persuade, entertain, or sell something?
Strong evidence must meet several criteria. It should be:
An argument makes a claim and supports it with strong evidence.
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Additional policemen would only increase tension in the downtown area, making altercations more likely. (from examination of Aristotle’s The Good and The Expedient)
Consequently, all expository writing, in which you formulate a thesis and attempt to prove it, is an opportunity to practice rigorous, focused thinking habits that can result not only in better papers, but in sharper analytical skills across the board.
Weak use of evidence
This is a weak example of evidence because the evidence is not related to the claim. What does the claim about self-centeredness have to do with families eating together? The writer doesn’t explain the connection.
Be sure to introduce each quotation you use, and always cite your sources. See our handout on quotations for more details on when to quote and how to format quotations.
When you quote, you are reproducing another writer’s words exactly as they appear on the page. Here are some tips to help you decide when to use quotations: