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An interview is a good way to collect information that you can’t find through any other type of research.An interview can provide an expert’s opinion, biographical or first-hand experiences, and suggestions for further research.
If your instructor has told you that you need more analysis, suggested that you’re “just listing” points or giving a “laundry list,” or asked you how certain points are related to your argument, it may mean that you can do more to fully incorporate your evidence into your argument. Let’s take a look at each of these issues—understanding what counts as evidence, using evidence in your argument, and deciding whether you need more evidence.
Before you begin gathering information for possible use as evidence in your argument, you need to be sure that you understand the purpose of your assignment.
This handout will provide a broad overview of gathering and using evidence.
It will help you decide what counts as evidence, put evidence to work in your writing, and determine whether you have enough evidence. Many papers that you write in college will require you to make an argument; this means that you must take a position on the subject you are discussing and support that position with evidence.
Does the instructor mention any particular books you should use in writing your paper or the names of any authors who have written about your topic?
How long should your paper be (longer works may require more, or more varied, evidence)?
Books, journals, websites, newspapers, magazines, and documentary films are some of the most common sources of evidence for academic writing.
Our handout on evaluating print sources will help you choose your print sources wisely, and the library has a tutorial on evaluating both print sources and websites.
For writing in other fields, more informal experiments might be acceptable as evidence.
For example, if you want to prove that food choices in a cafeteria are affected by gender norms, you might ask classmates to undermine those norms on purpose and observe how others react.