How to Use Evidence in Your Essays


Writing an essay is one thing, but using evidence in it correctly is another. Of course, not all the time you are required to add it. Still, you need to know how to do it when the necessity comes.

The first thing you need to do is to come up with a unique and strong thesis statement. Once you have it, think of the evidence you can use to support it. Backing up your thesis statement with evidence is critical because your essay is just an opinion without it.

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How to Use Evidence Correctly

Depending on the topic and essay type, you may need to use different kinds of evidence. It could be a poem or a fiction piece, data from your or someone else’s research, an article from an academic journal, a video, an interview, a case study, etc.

Whatever the case, you should use all of it correctly. To add evidence to your essay, you can use quotations, paraphrasing, or summarizing. Of course, using all of them is also an option. Just don’t go overboard.

Integrate your evidence as smoothly as possible. Highlight its relevance and make sure the connection between it and your claim is evident. This way, your essay will look good and will be easy to read and understand.


Quoting is good, but remember that you shouldn’t copy-paste your whole essay. You are expected to interpret your topic and support your claims, so stay focused on it.

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The information you decide to quote should be relevant and to the point. Also, it would be great if it highlights the reliability of your argument. Ideally, you should look for a quote that doesn’t require additional reasoning.

Also, never forget to cite your sources. It not only satisfies the curiosity of your reader but also shows that you researched the topic well. So, remember to do it.

The best way to cite the quote is by making a short introduction before it. Simply writing the source in brackets is not always enough.


Paraphrasing means expressing the same thought but in your own words. However, it doesn’t mean just changing a few words here and there. It should be your own sentence structure. Yet, you still need to give a reference.

You can use paraphrasing when the quote is too long or the exact words are not very important. The main thing is your perspective of the point in question.

Specifically highlight who the author is by referring to them in the paragraph. Analyze their point and share your thoughts about it. Also remember, that you don’t need to use all the details from the original work.

Paraphrasing may be likewise a good option if your source is in another language. This way, you will not have to translate every single word. Simply share the main point in your own words.

The paramount thing with paraphrasing is moderation. Otherwise, you may seem like someone who has no personal viewpoint. It is your paper after all, and it should be your thoughts.


Summarizing is similar to paraphrasing, but there is still a difference. Summarizing means transforming the other person’s work into a shorter form. It is more general than paraphrasing and focuses only on central points.

Your task with summarizing is to absorb the main idea or ideas and write the most important points and concepts in your own words. Also, the summary is usually shorter than a paraphrase and requires more precision.

Summaries are a good option when you need to talk about lengthy articles, white papers, books, etc. You can’t write down all the details, so a short mention of crucial points that are relevant to the topic and support your thesis would be enough.

To write a good summary, you should read the whole piece first. Don’t try to use other people’s summaries to create yours. Maybe that person did the same and didn’t actually check if it’s true.

While reading or watching, write down the main points. Your notes shouldn’t be too detailed, though. Just stick to the facts.

When you work with lengthy pieces, break the source into smaller parts, then create a separate list with notes for each section. If you’re summarizing a research paper, you can make separate lists for each part of the research. It is not mandatory, although it helps when you work with some extended sources.

Remember to proofread your summary before adding it to your paper. Take out the information that is not needed. It will also allow you to elaborate more on the topic.

Wrapping Up

Using evidence in your essay is critical if you want to prove your point and make it a worthy read. It also adds credibility to your work and shows your analytical thinking. So do it right, and you will succeed!


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