Art of Craftsmanship

Academic writing tips and guidelines

Integrating Evidence And Your Own Ideas When Writing Essays

The essay is a form of writing that expresses the thoughts and interpretation of a writer, notably student writers. They're used as assignments by instructors to test a student's understanding and knowledge about a topic. While most essays can be rather informal, academic essays are considered the most common in an academic setting.

Within academic essays, student writers are responsible for providing evidence within the body of their work. Evidence, in that context, is the information or facts that indicates the validity of a claim. In an essay, evidence is used to support an argument, typically the argument posed by the thesis statement.

Writing essays ~ integrating evidence and your own ideas

Arguments in essays represent the body of the work. Within the essay itself, the writer needs to take a position on the topic posed by their thesis statement, supporting that position with evidence. Without evidence, an argument within an essay can become ineffective at expressing its ideas or weak.

Integrating evidence

Integrating evidence within an essay is one of the most important parts of supporting its main argument. In order to effectively integrate evidence within an essay, students need to understand the purpose behind their assignment. Understanding the purpose of an essay can help students understand what evidence they need to find.

After finding evidence, it needs to be integrated within the body of the work. Here are some examples, as referenced from an academic source, about how to integrate evidence within an essay:

Quotations. Direct quotations can be used in cases where actual evidence (directly from the source) supports the accompanying text. Quotations are most effective in cases where words direct from the source strongly emphasize an argument.

Paraphrasing. Paraphrasing essentially involves taking and rewriting another writer's words for referential purposes. This technique works best when wanting to introduce evidence that's not necessarily strong enough to quote on its own.

Summarizing. Summarizing reduces the entirety of a referential text into a few sentences that describe its basic ideas. When presenting evidence, summarization can be used to provide a basis for the essay's main arguments or background information that supports the rest of the essay.

Your own ideas. Evidence can be interpreted through a writer's own ideas. In most cases, this involves a summarization of the writer's own understanding about their topic, presented in a way that best supports their argument. This is best for supporting already existing evidence from other resources, specifically if those sources are directly referenced.