Consider this example, from Pattie’s research essay, in which she explores the use of TV cameras in courtrooms. In this section, Pattie explores how television coverage of trials emphasizes entertainment and sensationalism:
Using Details to Support a Claim
by Joe Essid; prepared with the help of Pattie Fagan, School of Continuing Studies
(printable version here)
Authors using polls, studies and statistics must ask whether the data were produced in a biased way and also ask whether the sample was large and representative of its target population so that results were outside the “margin of error.” (Margin of error: If a sample is too small or not well chosen, results may be meaningless because they may represent random variation.)
- personal anecdotes
- impact studies
- testimony of those involved first-hand on the issue
Carly Fiorina on several occasions has said 307,000 veterans have died while waiting for care from the Veterans Health Administration. In one instance, she said all of those veterans “died in the last year,” citing a recent inspector general’s report. But that’s not what the report says.
Sufficiency refers to the amount of detail — is there enough detail to support the topic? Good writers supply their readers with sufficient details to comprehend what they have written. In narrative writing, this means providing enough descriptive details for the readers to construct a picture of the story in their minds. In essay writing, this means the author finds enough information to support a thesis, and also finding information that is credible and accurate.
Of course, sometimes the source will not be an individual author but several people or an agency or group. Always report the authorship as it is presented on the title page of the work.
Qualifications of the Source: Does the writer give you reason to believe that the source is competent and well informed in the area in question?
As you can see, adding a few details makes your story come to life for the reader. Also, you might discuss how due to your worsening right knee pain and instability, you have been putting more weight on your left knee. If you have now developed problems in your left knee, you may want to file a claim for that secondary condition on VA Form 526EZ.
Lastly, statements from friends and family, commonly called “buddy statements” are incredible tools for a well-rounded case, since they provide lay evidence that can supplement medical and military records. Buddy statements can be made from family members, spouses, friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc. These are one of the most important pieces of evidence as they corroborate a veteran’s claim.