Today I would like to talk about academic writing. My previous blog posts were dedicated mostly to creative writing, so today I’m going to bring some freshness into the trend of recent weeks. Today’s topic is the credibility of supporting evidence.
It’s no secret that the most essential component of any academic paper is its supporting evidence. Since this type of writing implies that you come up with a thesis statement, you definitely need arguments to support this thesis. You can’t just claim something, proving it with “that’s my opinion.” So, you must do some research to find evidence that would prove you didn’t pull the ideas out of your head. You must base your claim on previous scientific research, show you analyzed its outcomes, and developed your claim as a result of a long and intense thinking process (which may not be necessarily true, but even if so, who could possibly prove it?).
We’ve figured out that arguments are important. But, what is even more important is the credibility of these arguments. Here are some tips and hints that will allow you to create decent and credible arguments.
1. Use relevant sources. Though this piece of advice can seem obvious, it’s in fact essential. The relevance of a source does not only mean its publication date (though the newer the source, the better), but also its authority. Let’s say you need to write an essay about the psychology of two people in a romantic relationship. The topic is popular, and you can find tons of data online. But, there is one “but.” You can use such sources as glossy magazines and websites about romance, which can hardly be considered credible sources. Or, you can browse for entries in online journals of some psychological associations or social organizations majoring in this topic—and that would be credible. Generally, websites with .gov, .edu, and sometimes .org endings are the most credible. .com and .net should be treated carefully because they are aimed more at commerce than knowledge and research.
2. A good trick is getting acquainted with your audience before you start, and introducing your academic discoveries to it. If your only audience is your college teacher, it’s enough to follow his or her requirements for specific paper types. However, if you are to hold a speech on your research in front of other people (some academic jury, perhaps, or a bunch of people at some thematic event) it would be useful to know their facts: average level of education, religious and political outlooks, moral background, and so on. Sometimes it can be difficult, but it’s worth it, because it will help you make your paper (and your arguments) credible for this particular company of people. Anyone would agree that it would be weird to claim how wonderful and exciting it is to bear arms, while your audience is made up of, so to say, fierce democrats and extreme NRA opponents.
That’s all so far. Stay with us, and there is going to be more about creating credible arguments in short. See you!
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