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When should I use evidence?

Last Updated: Feb 20, 2015  |  302 Views

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When should I use evidence?


There are specific times you will want to use evidence and thus will need to cite your sources:

  • To support your thesis
  • To give evidence of a main idea
  • To strengthen your argument
  • To illustrate a point

Using evidence appropriately also means citing your sources every time you use information that is not originally your own. Whether paraphrasing or quoting, you must use in-text citations. Learn more about how to cite your sources from the Writing Center's website.

However, try to avoid the following when using evidence:

  • Listing source material back to back without an explanation. Instead, integrate and explain your source information.
  • Using only source material in a paragraph. Be sure to begin and end paragraphs with your own voice and include clear analysis.
  • Relying too heavily on one source. Try to vary your sources so that your reader can see that multiple other sources support your ideas.
  • Using too many direct quotations. Instead, paraphrase in order to show a deeper understanding and engagement with the work.

Knowing how to incorporate evidence can be tricky, so see the Writing Center's website for more tips on using your sources.


Do you have other general writing questions? E-mail the Writing Center at

Other questions about your doctoral capstone? E-mail the Editors at

Answered by Rachel GrammerBookmark and Share

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