Using Evidence as a Discourse Strategy English 103 – 1 & 9 27 March 2012
Using Evidence to Argue Argumentationis the logical (logos) process by which one demonstrates the truth of their statements in writing or speech. Any single argument usually includes the following…
Using Evidence to Argue Claim: A precise statement that you intend to prove (i.e. show your audience that it is true). In Proposals to Solve a Problem, these claims will usually regard the Problem (its existence, harms, pervasiveness, or causes), the Solution (its identification or implementation) or Justifying the Solution (its effectiveness, feasibility, superiority, or benefits). Evidence: information from other sources that demonstrates the truth of the claim. Usually information is represented as a quotation, a paraphrase, or a summary from the original source. Attributive Tag: A statement introducing the source from which the evidence came. It both demonstrates the source’s credibility/authority and gives credit to information that is now your own. Explanation: Writing that that informs readers of how the evidence should be understood (i.e. how the evidence proves the claim) thus tying the evidence to the claim.
What is… • Paraphrase? • Restatement of exact ideas and information in new words. • About the same length as the original, or longer, than original text. • In your own words and writing style. Quotation? Direct representation of the words w/ quotation marks Exact words even w/spelling or grammatical errors Same length as original unless you use an ellipses (…) or brackets [ ] Summary? • Brief description of main idea • Much shorter than original text • Your own words & writing style
What are Attributive Tags? • Attributive tags are references used in a composition that indicate the source from which a quotation, paraphrase, or summary came. • Commonly an attributive tag will refer to the author, title of the source or website/publication, or the organization/institution that produced the information (they do not refer to web addresses). • Attributive tags are often used as a form of informal citation, referencing the original source and thus giving credit to the original authors of the information you used in your composition. • Attributive tags also help you to improve the ethos (appeal to character) of your composition by showing your readers how credible and in-depth your research is. This is particularly the case if you refer to especially well-known or reliable authors, sources, websites, publications, or organizations/institutions.
Example 1 “The Harvard School of Public Health found in 1993 that binge drinking is widespread on American college campuses, particularly among members of fraternities and sororities. The school’s most recent report documents the disturbing fact that binge drinking has no declined in the five years since that first study. Even though the proportion of students who declare themselves teetotalers is slightly larger, the effects of binge drinking continue to be widespread and severe” (Bruffee 522). • Which part is the evidence? • Which part is the attributive tag? • Which part is the claim? • Which part is the explanation?
Example 2 “Presumably, one goal of liberal education is to enrich life with the kind of conversation that comes with substantive friendship. And when colleges actively provide students with the opportunity to make friends through their classes, they eagerly grasp the chance. A study of 183 students who entered Brooklyn College in the fall of 1987 and took courses that were organized into ‘learning communities’—in which the same group of students was registered for three courses together—showed that 73 per cent agreed with the statement that the experience ‘helps students make new friends more easily.’ The retention rate of the students studied was 73 per cent, compared with the college’s normal average of 59 per cent” (Bruffee 523). • Which part is the evidence? • Which part is the attributive tag? • Which part is the claim? • Which part is the explanation?