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Evidence

ENGL101-BL02
Evidence
All the verifiable data and information a writer might use as support for an
argument (IA 88)
Its what we use to justify our claims!
In Toulmins terms
Evidence is part of the grounds or backing of an argument in support of
reasons or warrants (IA 88)
If we want to make any claim in an argument, were going to need to be able to
prove it in some way.
You wouldnt write a check for an amount that you couldnt cash!
The Hateful 8 Types
There are eight different classifications of kinds of evidence
You can find them on pgs. 89-92 in IA!
Knowing these will help you become Informationally literate
Data from personal experience
Even though Adderall is often written off as some Personal experiences can help readers
study drug, this prescription saved my sisters relate to and identify with the writer
academic career. Her ADD has always held her back Great for establishing pathos
in school, and we almost thought she wouldnt finish Skeptics will criticize information for not
high school. After she began taking this drug, she was being sufficient, accurate, or verifiable
able to focus enough on classes that she got into her
top three picks for university!
Data from Observation or Field Research
There is a huge overpopulation problem at Chipotle Field research gives the feeling of
that can only be solved by opening a new one. I credibility.
counted the line at the Baltimore Avenue Chipotle Great for establishing ethos.
every week at peak hours. My first recording Increases reliability of the source, as the
averaged at 46, but that total rose more and more experience extends beyond one individual.
each week. As of last week, the line for a burrito bowl Skeptics may find flaws in the way
was out the door with an average of 133 people! information was retrieved and conducted.
Data from Interviews, Questionnaires, Surveys
The fraternity life scene could use an update when it Increases the scientific methodology feel.
comes to rushing. With such an emphasis on finding The likelihood of finding local or recent
events on your own, many young rushers feel information is increased, and probably
disorganized. In a survey of 120 freshman planning wont be found in published research.
to rush, 89 claimed to feel uncomfortable arriving at Enhances pathos.
rush events. 67 reported they felt drinking was too Skeptics can raise question about the
heavily encouraged, and wish they had been design of the questions and the
warned. methodology used.
Data from Library or Internet Research
According to Walter Willett and his colleagues at Researched evidence is powerful!
the Harvard School of Public Health, a high carb diet Skeptics may doubt the accuracy.
is actually the best way to lose weight.
Statistical Data
Marriage shouldnt be rushed, and it seems that Can give powerful snapshots of aggregate
America is catching wind of this notion. In 1970, 85 data from a wide database.
percent of Americans between 25 and 29 were They can be calculated and displayed in
married. In 2010, only 45 percent of the same age different ways to achieve different
group are married. (U.S. Census Bureau) rhetorical effects.
Skeptics might question statistical
evidence, research design, and
interpretation of data.
Hypothetical Examples, Cases, and Scenarios
Lets say we allow assisted suicide to be legal. Where Scenarios have strong imaginative appeal.
would the line be drawn and how much power will They are persuasive if they seem plausible.
the doctor have? What if the doctor concludes that Skeptics might show the implausibility of
your life isnt worth living and decides to terminate the scenario.
you? What if a depressed person said he could no
longer go on, and would rather a doctor kill him than
a suicide attempt? Legalizing assisted suicide is a
slippery slope.
Reasoned Sequence of Ideas
So we decide to give the mouse a cookie. While Great for causal arguments.
grateful, the mouse asks if he could have a glass of Great power to clarify values and show the
milk. Seeing as how the two go together, we oblige. belief structure on which a claim is
Then he decides he needs a nap. Since were good founded.
hosts, we show him to the guest bedroom. He plops Skeptics can call into question any one of
onto one of the beds and demands a blanket. I pull a the links of your sequence, thereby
blanket I had on the ironing board, but I grabbed it undermining your argument.
too fast and the iron fell into the carpet. I didnt
notice, and now the carpets starting to catch on fire.
If we had never given the mouse that cookie, our
house wouldnt have caught on fire!
Review
1. Data from personal experience
2. Data from Observation or Field Research
3. Data from Library or Internet Research
4. Testimony
5. Data from Surveys, Questionnaires, and Interviews
6. Statistical Data
7. Hypothetical Examples, Cases, and Scenarios
8. Reasoned Sequence of Ideas
Groups of 4! (One of 3)
Making evidence convincing
Different kinds of evidence definitely inform different claims, but the evidence
has to be good.
To beat the skeptics, theres a handy acronym for picking good evidence.
STAR Criteria
Sufficiency

Typicality

Accuracy

Relevance
Sufficiency
Is there enough evidence?
The more skeptical an audience, the more evidence needed.
Too much evidence comes off as long and tedious.
Too little evidence results in hasty generalizations
Typicality
Is the chosen evidence representative and typical?
Dont back up claims with extreme results or one-time occurrences.
Accuracy
Is the evidence up-to-date and valid?
If it isnt credible, the evidence will fail.
Relevance
Is the evidence relevant to the claim?
What is this evidence lacking?
iPhones are totally waterproof! I dropped my phone in the mall fountain for, like, 2
minutes and it still works!
What is this evidence lacking?
The University Student Judiciary is investigating Mr. Edisons claims that Rob got his
friend Tyler to take his test for him. Rob claims theres no way Tyler could have done
that because Tyler had a different class scheduled during that time.
What is this evidence lacking?
Lyra should not have given me a zero as my participation grade! I showed up to class
on time and my work was always well-researched and well written! I deserve the full
grade!
What is this evidence lacking?
Abstinence is the only way to prevent teen pregnancy. If you take the risk of having
sex, you should take the risk of having a baby. Condoms are 60% ineffective and
birth control fails all the time.