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Using Evidence: Overview

Basics of Using Evidence

One of the central features of scholarly writing is the use of evidence to make an argument. You must learn how to incorporate other scholars' writing and arguments into your own.

In scholarly writing, you will often use paraphrased material or direct quotations from other sources to support your research and strengthen your academic argument. Although direct quotations are generally not as strong as paraphrases, they can add evidence and substance to your scholarly argument. Do keep in mind, however, that some instructors forbid direct quotations for some assignments.

In using quotations or source material, however, you must adequately incorporate the quotations and ideas from your sources. Simply inserting the material into your paragraph is not enough. You must incorporate your citation information, and then introduce, integrate, and explain your use of the quotations or source material, what we often call analysis or synthesis.

On the following pages, learn how to introduce, integrate, and explain paraphrases and quotations through analysis and synthesis.