what is an argument that is supported by research and strong evidence
If you were writing an essay on a current medical topic, for instance, you certainly wouldn’t want to cite a medical study from 1993.
Popular citation styles include Harvard referencing , MLA style , and APA style , but thousands exist. If you are unsure of which one to use, consult your teacher or professor.
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- Evidence: According to Stevens (2012), 89% of children who played video games for more than 2 hours a day had a BMI of over 30.
Additional policemen would only increase tension in the downtown area, making altercations more likely. (from examination of Aristotle’s The Good and The Expedient)
4. Identifying supporting arguments
Now you must gather material, or find arguments to support your thesis statement. Aristotle taught his students to examine any claim by “discovering arguments.” You will use some of his techniques to formulate support for your claim. Brainstorm, adapting the questions below as a guide, and writing down even the ideas that don’t appear to you very promising–you can sort through them later.
For Danielle Steele to be judged the best romance novelist of the last quarter century, it has to be proven that she meets the established criteria for a good romance novelist and that she does it better than all other romance novelists from the same time period.
Universities fear negative publicity, but at Bates College, a rally of 300 angry college students outside the president’s house demanding to know why the college hadn’t informed them of a recent series of sexual assaults on campus, did get publicized. This resulted in further negative publicity because it came out that the university, in order to cover-up the occurrence of sexual assaults, punished the assailants without providing fair trials (Gose, 1998). [The counter-example shows that even more negative publicity results from trying to hide sexual assault information.]
What is an argument? In academic writing, an argument is usually a main idea, often called a “claim” or “thesis statement,” backed up with evidence that supports the idea. In the majority of college papers, you will need to make some sort of claim and use evidence to support it, and your ability to do this well will separate your papers from those of students who see assignments as mere accumulations of fact and detail. In other words, gone are the happy days of being given a “topic” about which you can write anything. It is time to stake out a position and prove why it is a good position for a thinking person to hold. See our handout on thesis statements.
Arguments in academic writing are usually complex and take time to develop. Your argument will need to be more than a simple or obvious statement such as “Frank Lloyd Wright was a great architect.” Such a statement might capture your initial impressions of Wright as you have studied him in class; however, you need to look deeper and express specifically what caused that “greatness.” Your instructor will probably expect something more complicated, such as “Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture combines elements of European modernism, Asian aesthetic form, and locally found materials to create a unique new style,” or “There are many strong similarities between Wright’s building designs and those of his mother, which suggests that he may have borrowed some of her ideas.” To develop your argument, you would then define your terms and prove your claim with evidence from Wright’s drawings and buildings and those of the other architects you mentioned.