Remember not to conclude your body paragraph with supporting evidence. Rather than assuming that the evidence you have provided speaks for itself, it is important to explain why that evidence proves or supports the key idea you present in your topic sentence and (ultimately) the claim  you make in your thesis statement.

This explanation can appear in one or more of the following forms:

  • Analysis
  • Evaluation
  • Relevance or significance
  • Comparison or contrast
  • Cause and effect
  • Refutation or concession
  • Suggested action or conclusion
  • Proposal of further study
  • Personal reaction

Try to avoid simply repeating the source material in a different way or using phrases like “This quote shows” to begin your explanation. Keep in mind that your voice should control your essay and guide your audience to a greater understanding of the source material’s relevance to your claim.

“4.5 Explaining Evidence” has been edited by Brendan Shapiro and is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 / A derivative from the original work by Amanda Lloyd.


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A Guide to Rhetoric, Genre, and Success in First-Year Writing (CSN Edition) Copyright © 2022 by Angela Spires; Brendan Shapiro; Geoffrey Kenmuir; Kimberly Kohl; and Linda Gannon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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