Body paragraphs the evidence sandwich
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Body Paragraphs: The Evidence Sandwich. Start with a topic sentence that supports your thesis or a sub-question for your inquiry question. Introduce your source by give the author’s credentials, a signal phrase, and a summary of the article.

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Body Paragraphs: The Evidence Sandwich

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Body paragraphs the evidence sandwich

Body Paragraphs: The Evidence Sandwich

  • Start with a topic sentence that supports your thesis or a sub-question for your inquiry question.

  • Introduce your source by give the author’s credentials, a signal phrase, and a summary of the article.

  • Present specific evidence in the form of a quote or paraphrase that supports your topic sentence or answers your sub-question.

  • Analyze and explain your evidence. Explain how it supports your thesis or answers your inquiry question.


Example evidence sandwich

Example Evidence Sandwich

  • Infrastructure is one way to invest in the future and improve our economy. FareedZakaria makes the claim that the United States remains the world’s largest economy only because “the decisions that created today’s growth were made decades ago.” To illustrate his argument, he explores how America’s policies and developments were in the 50’s and 60’s: “the interstate-highway system, massive funding for science and technology, a public-education system that was the envy of the world.” In other words, he is urging us to look at the current affairs to come to a proper conclusion of where America stands today, by keeping in mind the importance of the decisions that we make today as a nation, as it will affect our own future. Quite honestly, this thought scares me, because in my opinion, our leaders today are spending our money in other “issues” of less importance, rather than on investments like infrastructure.

  • Where is the topic sentence? The overview/summary of the source? The specific evidence? The explanation of the evidence?


Templates for explaining evidence

Templates for Explaining Evidence

  • In other words, ______________

  • These numbers mean that_____________

  • I think this means________________

  • The American people might conclude from this evidence that___________________

  • This idea/quote/statistic/example reminds me of___________


Should the federal government raise taxes

Should the federal government raise taxes?

  • Where do our tax dollars go now? Is anything important not getting funded?


Try the evidence sandwich out for yourself

Try the evidence sandwich out for yourself.

  • Start by brainstorming a list of sub-questions for your inquiry question. In other words, what other questions might you need to answer in order to answer your inquiry question?

  • Choose one such question that one of your sources seems to answer.

  • Summarize that source. (Use a signal phrase.)

  • Paraphrase or quote from that source. (Use a signal phrase.)

  • Explain the source. How does the evidence answer your overall inquiry question or your sub-question? You may want to use one of the suggested templates to transition into this part of your paragraph. You may also need to freewrite first in order to invent for this part of your paragraph. Although in terms of order this part of your paragraph may be the bottom bun, in terms of content this is really the meat of your essay. This is where your own ideas come out the strongest.


Templates for synthesis think about the relationship between two different sources

Templates for Synthesis Think about the relationship between two different sources.

The sources agree

  • ______ agrees with this sentiment/argument/idea. In his/her article, he/she points out_______

    One source adds to the other

  • ________ adds to that argument when he/she suggests__________

    The sources disagree or provide contrast

  • However, ________ argues____________

  • Nevertheless, _________ reminds us _______

    The sources both agree and disagree

  • While on the one hand______ agrees that______, on the other hand he/she also points out______________.

  • Although_______ disagrees about____________, on this one area they both agree: __________.


Practice synthesis by doing one of the following

Practice synthesis by doing one of the following:

  • Write a paragraph with a topic sentence, and evidence from two of your sources. Connect the sources with one of the templates for synthesis or another phrase explaining the relationship between the sources that you think of. End the paragraph with your own explanation or thoughts on the evidence.

  • Freewrite for ten minutes about your sources. Work from memory if you do not have your sources with you. Explore the questions: how much do my sources overlap? Do they seem to be talking about exactly the same issue or does each have a very to somewhat different focus? If the authors of my articles were to have a conversation together, how might it go? Where might they agree or disagree with each other? Where can you make connections between them that are not explicitly stated?


The exploratory essay structure

The Exploratory Essay Structure

  • Engaging introduction

    inquiry question

  • Body paragraphs

    • How does each source answer your question? (or a sub question)

    • Your thoughts on the sources (first I thought___, but then I considered______)

  • Conclusion

    thesis statement (your answer to the inquiry question)


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