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English 104:  Support and Evidence

English 104: Support and Evidence



Presentation delivered to the English 104 class at Victor Valley College.

Presentation delivered to the English 104 class at Victor Valley College.



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    English 104:  Support and Evidence English 104: Support and Evidence Presentation Transcript

    • English 104English 104 Support and Evidence
    • Academic ArgumentAcademic Argument Much of the writing that you will do in college is academic discourse or academic argument ◦ Your essays should be academic argumentative essays ◦ Your essays should NOT be:  Expository essays  Creative writing pieces  Do not insert short creative writing stories into your essay  Personal reflective writing (like a diary/journal)  “I really liked Sam Harris’ talk, ‘Science Can Answer Moral Questions.’ I thought it was so interesting and it really moved me. It reminded me of when…”
    • Academic ArgumentAcademic Argument Based on research and uses evidence that can bethat can be documenteddocumented ◦ Avoid using hypothetical examples Written for a professional, academic audience likely to already know about the topic ◦ Avoid extensive summaries of the topic Uses formal, objective, and technical style ◦ Avoid first and second person narration ◦ Avoid colloquial, conversational writing Is documented using a professional citation style (i.e. MLA Citation Style)
    • Finding EvidenceFinding Evidence Before writing your essay, find evidence to support your claim, such as: ◦ Newspaper articles ◦ Journal articles ◦ Textbooks ◦ Surveys ◦ Statistics
    • Finding EvidenceFinding Evidence Library ◦ Textbooks, magazines, encyclopedias ◦ Databases:  Often contain information that’s not publicly available on the Internet  Libraries pay to subscribe to scholarly databases of journal and magazine articles  Academic Search Complete, Academic OneFile, JSTOR, etc.
    • Finding EvidenceFinding Evidence Online ◦ Carefully evaluate online sources for credibility ◦ Many news and journal articles are now online:  The New York Times  Los Angeles Times  BBC  The Guardian  Psychology Today  Monitor on Psychology  National Geographic
    • Evaluating SourcesEvaluating Sources The effectiveness of an argument often depends on the quality of the sources that support it Check: ◦ The credentials of the author  Does the author have the appropriate credentials and background?  How might the author’s background influence his/her stance on the issue? ◦ Credentials of the publisher/sponsor  Is the publication from a well-established and reputable publisher, magazine, or journal? ◦ Currency  When was the book or article written? Is the information still current and relevant?
    • Using SourcesUsing Sources Different sources can contribute in different ways to your work ◦ Usually, you’ll be looking for reliable sources with accurate information to serve as evidence (newspaper articles, scientific studies, surveys, statistics, etc.) ◦ Occasionally, you might want to incorporate material that expresses popular ideas or attitudes (blogs, brochures, tabloids, music lyrics, etc.) in order to discuss social perception
    • Using SourcesUsing Sources  Incorporating non-academic sources ◦ It’s best to use credible external sources (newspaper articles, scientific journals, studies, etc.) as evidence to support your claim ◦ However, occasionally non-academic sources can be appropriate depending on the context ◦ Example:  Sam Harris takes the view that it is “wrong to force [ ] wives and daughters to live in cloth bags.” But morality is relative. What Harris perceives as ‘wrong’ is viewed as ‘right’ by others, for “[w]e’re in a society thats [sic] obsessed with nudity. This is probably why Hijab is obligated” (Nyx). Many in the Muslim community hold such beliefs regarding the moral correctness of mandatory veiling.  Nyx (_hoosh_). “We’re in a society thats obsessed with nudity. This is probably why Hijab is obligated." 15 Mar. 2014, 11:22 a.m. Tweet.  A tweet from Twitter is used as evidence of someone’s views on the issue.
    • Using SourcesUsing Sources After you have gathered evidence from appropriate sources, think about how you will incorporate the evidence into the body of your essay ◦ Figure out how the evidence supports your specific claims ◦ In your essay, articulate exactly how the evidence relates to and supports your thesis statement
    • Science Can Answer MoralScience Can Answer Moral QuestionsQuestions Neuroscientist, Sam Harris, argues that science can — and should — be an authority on moral issues, shaping human values and setting out what constitutes a good life.
    • ActivityActivity Sam Harris’ “Science Can Answer Moral Questions” ◦ Analysis and thesis statement worksheet