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Subsection 3.1.2 Evidence

While having a main claim is critical in developing your argument, it is not enough to make an effective argument. You can't just say something is true and assume the audience will accept it unconditionally. You also need to support these claims with evidence that can be used to illustrate or bolster your point. Oftentimes, your evidence will lead you to your central claim—let it! However, keep in mind that you will have to demonstrate how this evidence best lends itself to supporting your claim, so it's important to use evidence that is relevant, valid, and clearly supports what you are trying to say. Evidence can come in several different forms, including numerical/empirical data, qualitative observations, ethnographic interviews, theoretical analysis, and prior studies derived from primary source material, scholarly journals, or personal experience.

Tip 3.1.2.

To help you determine how your evidence supports your argument, try asking yourself questions like, “How does this evidence relate to my main claim?” and “How will I use this evidence to illustrate my argument?”

For instance, potential pieces of evidence supporting the argument for the academic benefits of caffeine consumption could be the test scores or grade point averages of caffeine addicts, experiential evidence offered by students who used caffeine to increase productivity, or the chemical reactions occurring in the brain that stimulate thinking and awareness.