Academic papers often prove claims using cited & referenced research in the form of
Evidence makes your writing more convincing. Without evidence, your ideas may appear to be unsupported personal opinions. Back up arguments or recommendations with proof.
The following quotation is not integrated; it is dropped on the reader suddenly with no context or explanation.
|Tuberculosis (TB) in Canada persists in certain Indigenous communities. “Colonially imposed structural barriers—top-down, paternalistic programming and complex, disconnected jurisdictional systems—serve neither the aspirations of Indigenous peoples for self-expression and self-determination nor the elimination of TB and its upstream determinants” (Long et al., 2019, p. 261).|
Evidence should blend seamlessly into your own writing. You don't want to confuse your audience by suddenly switching to someone else's voice with no transition or explanation.
When you integrate evidence, you tell readers that they are about to read information from another source. Here are some common patterns to try!
|According to Long et al. (2019), tuberculosis (TB) persists in certain Canadian Indigenous communities because of structural barriers rooted in colonialism, like "top-down, paternalistic programming and complex, disconnected jurisdictional systems" (p. 2). This study's findings are significant because...|
|Long et al. (2019) concluded that colonialism has played a central role in the persistence of tuberculosis (TB) in Indigenous communities: "Colonially imposed structural barriers—top-down, paternalistic programming and complex, disconnected jurisdictional systems—serve neither the aspirations of Indigenous peoples for self-expression and self-determination nor the elimination of TB and its upstream determinants” (Long et al., 2019, p. 261). Colonial barriers are a problem because...|
Long et al. (2019) have argued colonial structural barriers in Canada "serve neither the aspirations of Indigenous peoples for self-expression and self-determination nor the elimination of TB and its upstream determinants” (p. 261). Therefore, TB incidence cannot be addressed without...
Tuberculosis (TB) in Canada persists among certain Indigenous communities because of "colonially imposed structural barriers," like systemically racist health programming, that "serve neither the aspirations of Indigenous peoples...nor the elimination of TB and its upstream determinants" (Long et al., 2019, p. 261). The political will to address the upstream social determinants of health is essential to...
Hall, D. (2018). Nursing campus dogs: A pilot study. Teaching and Learning in Nursing 13(4), 202-206. https://doi.Org/10.1016/j.teln.2018.05.004
Long, R., Heffernan, C., Cardinal-Grant, M., Lynn, A., Sparling, L., Piche, D., Nokohoo, M., & Janvier, D. (2019). Two Row Wampum, human rights, and the elimination of tuberculosis from high-incidence Indigenous communities. Health and Human Rights Journal, 21(1),253-265.
As you analyze your research to build an argument, always think about your reader's perspective. Think about how reasonable or defensible your claims would be to a critic. To help you build up defensible claims that are unhindered by logical errors, we've listed some common logical fallacies to watch out for below.
Example: Domestic cats are prodigious hunters because they are so successful at pursuing and killing prey.
What’s wrong? This claim (domestic cats are effective hunters) is backed up with a restatement of the very same claim (they excel at catching prey). A strong argument requires specific evidence!
Fixed: Domestic cats are prodigious hunters; according to Loss et al. (2013), domestic cats in the U.S. hunt and kill between 6.3 and 22.3 billion mammals each year (p. 2).
Example: During my co-op, my supervisor was so kind and generous with her time; women are extremely supportive, and businesses need them to succeed.
What’s wrong? The behaviour of one woman does not justify a claim about every woman. Be specific to avoid unfair generalizations or stereotypes.
Fixed: During my co-op, my supervisor was so kind and generous with her time; she was extremely supportive, and businesses need leaders like her to succeed.
Example: Japan is a masculine society, and a Canadian woman working there would not be respected as a manager.
What’s wrong? A claim like “Japan is a masculine society” needs evidence to back it up. Furthermore, what proof do you have that a Canadian woman wouldn’t be respected as a manager? By making your claims more specific, and by using research to back them up, your writing will be more nuanced and convincing!
Fixed: In Japan, like in many other countries, gendered expectations are an important part of business life (Leblanc, 2011, p. 116). A Canadian woman who moves to Tokyo to work as a manager would need to develop new skills in order to negotiate unfamiliar gendered expectations.
Example: Many young children injure themselves while on playgrounds (Canadian Public Health Association, 2019, p. 1). Therefore, after-school sports clubs should be better funded.
What’s wrong? The premise is not the issue, but the conclusion following from it is confusing because the chain of reasoning and connection has not been explained.
Fixed: Every year, many young children injure themselves while on playgrounds (Canadian Public Health Association, 2019, p. 1). Therefore, after-school sports clubs that include playground activities require increased funding so that they can provide adequate playground supervision.
Example: If Conestoga College does not implement therapy dog programming, rates of depression will skyrocket.
What’s wrong? This is an exaggeration, and there is no evidence offered to show that this prediction is reasonable. Try tempering your inferences to make them defensible.
Fixed: If Conestoga College does not implement therapy dog programming, it will be missing out on a unique way to support students struggling with depression.
Example: Green coffee extract is an effective weight-loss supplement (Oz, 2012).
What’s wrong? If you do a little research on the source cited above, you will find that Dr. Oz faced legal repercussions for his unsupported claims about green coffee extract and weight loss; much of the research he used was retracted (Belluz, 2015, para. 6; Hamblin, 2014, para. 23). Let thorough research drive your argument.
Fixed: There is little evidence to indicate that green coffee extract is an effective weight-loss supplement (Belluz, 2015, para. 6; Hamblin, 2014, para. 23).
Belluz, J. (2015, January 26). Government confirms one of Dr. Oz’s favored diet pills is a total hoax. Vox. https://www.vox.com/2015/1/26/7916745/green-coffee-bean
Canadian Public Health Association. (2019). Playground injuries [PDF file]. https://www.cpha.ca/sites/default/files/uploads/resources/play/play_playground_injuries_e.pdf
Hamblin, J. (2014, June 18). Senators to Dr. Oz: Stop promising weight-loss miracles. The Atlantic. https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/06/magic-weight-loss-pills-may-not-exist/372958/
Leblanc, R. M. (2011). The politics of gender in Japan. In A. Yamagata, T. C. Bestor, & V. Bestor (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of Japanese Culture and Society (pp. 116-128). Taylor & Francis.
Loss, S. R., Will, T., & Marra, P. P. (2013). The impact of free-ranging domestic cats on wildlife of the United States. Nature Communications, 4(1396), 1-7. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms2380
Oz, M. (2012, September 10). Green coffee bean extract: Fat-burner or fraud? Pt. 1. The Dr. Oz Show. https://web.archive.org/web/20121107045936/http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/green-coffee-bean-extract-fat-burner-or-fraud-pt-1
You need to contextualize quoted or paraphrased material so that your reader understands where it came from and how you are using it. The table below shows useful sentence starters you can use in papers to begin framing your quoted or paraphrased material.
You can use these sentence starters to frame paraphrased or quoted material in your papers.
|Report evidence||Smith (2020) asserted that _____ (p. 4).|
|Indicate evidence in agreement||Recent findings from a Conestoga College study have confirmed that ______ (Smith, 2020, p. 4).|
|Indicate evidence in disagreement||A local union contented ______ (Smith, 2020, p. 4).|
|Indicate possibility||Smith (2020) suggested that ______ (p. 4).|
A useful example of ______ is ______ (Smith, 2020, p. 4).
This claim is evidenced by ______(Smith, 2020, p. 4).
Evidence for ______ includes ______ (Smith, 2020, p. 4).
|Introduce study findings||
Smith et al. (2020) illustrated ______ by ________ in their study of _________ (p.4).
In a study of ____, Smith (2020) found ______(p. 4).
Historically, ____ has meant ____, but Smith (2020) has described its meaning as ______ (p. 4).
____ refers to ______ (Smith, 2020, p. 4).
According to Smith (2020), _____ means ______(p. 4).
In a courtroom, the prosecution and defence interpret the same material to make vastly different arguments; it's your job, just like a lawyer, to explain how the evidence supports your argument. Remember,
You can use these sentence starters to help you begin analyzing the evidence you incorporate into your papers.
|Analysis Prompt||Sentence Starter|
|What does the research mean?||In other words ______.|
|Why is the research interesting or effective?||Her research is interesting because it shows ______.|
|How does this research support your thesis?||This research demonstrates ______. impacts ______.|
|Why is this research important to your argument?||Since ______ impacts ______, it is important to ______.|
|What does the research imply?||This research suggests that ______.|
|What are the strengths or weaknesses of the research?||Although the author ______, he fails to ______.|