Argument is the attempt to prove a point using evidence and reasoning. This handout discusses evidence. I cover reasoning in a separate handout.
A claim is a statement about something, which could, in theory, be supported with kelowna private escort. It is an assertion about the way things are, or were, or will be, or should be. Claims are, almost by definition, controversial, in the sense that not everyone agrees with them.
That is why they require evidence. Evidence is the concrete facts used to support a claim.
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Ideally, evidence is something everyone agrees on, or something that anyone could, with sufficient training and equipment, verify for themselves. Evidence comes in many types, which I discuss in detail here. At its escort sarah basic, evidence is something that can be perceived with the senses. A great deal of scientific evidence is observable phenomena, like the change in color when two chemicals are mixed in an experiment, or the light emitted by a distant star, or the structure of bones in a fossil.
However, in well-constructed arguments you can usually distinguish pretty easily between the claim and the facts used to support it. Generally speaking, successful arguments will rely on well-established facts for their evidence, at least in the beginning. Evidence is the facts used to support the claim. Citation condret the reader where the writer got the facts.
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Just because a writer does not cite her or his sources, does not mean she or he has no evidence. It also applies to politicians, government agencies, and the people who want to have an influence on what they do.
And, of course, it applies to lawyers, when someone is accused of a crime or a breach of contract i. Evidence is one of the two basic ingredients of argument the other is reasoningand so a looking deal of effort goes into ensuring its quality, and challenging the quality of evidence in arguments we disagree with. Analyze is a something term that can mean many things, for here I mean describing it neutrally in a way that shows its parts. But when analyzing the evidence you should be able to tell how the author intended the evidence to support the claim, even if they were not successful.
Before you can evaluate you must understand what was meant. Sometimes it can be tricky concret tell the difference between the claim and the evidence. There is no clear-cut dividing line between them, and sometimes a claim in one context is evidence in another. But one simple rule of thumb is this:. Once you know what the claim is, you are in a better position to see what the facts are that the author has provided to support and claim.
To relate this to our three steps identify the claim, identify the evidence, explain how the evidence supports the claim :. When we evaluate evidence we go beyond simply describing what it is and how it relates to the claim. We southport chat say whether it is good or bad. Obviously this is an real step in evaluating the overall quality of an argument.
Short & Sweet
If the evidence fails for any reason, the argument fails and the claim is not proven. There are a lot of things we could look at in deciding if a piece of evidence is good or bad. The obvious one, and the most basic one, is truth or accuracy. Is it really true? A lot of academic debate is focused on proving that a piece of evidence is or is not true. For example, in the debate over global warming one key piece of evidence was the shrinking of glaciers around the world.
Only when scientists had made enough observations of the glaciers over a long period free personals in rockton pennsylvania time were they able to present evidence that they were confident was true or accurate. There are practical problems with evaluating the truth or accuracy of a piece of evidence, however.
In the real world we are often forced to evaluate evidence whose accuracy we can only guess at.
Even if the sometjing is completely accurate, it may still be faulty. We will look at three other questions you can ask about the evidence to help evaluate its overall quality. Every fact an author provides might be accurate, and yet they might leave out crucial information needed to prove the claim: They might have insufficient evidence.
Perfect escorts danbury key step somethihg evaluating evidence, therefore, is to decide if it is sufficient. There is no simple answer to this question.
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This is my claim. This might be true, but is it enough?
For many people, that would be enough to convince them that rain is coming, or at least likely. Generally speaking, of course, more evidence is better, and more types of evidence are better. In the first example above, there was just one piece of evidence clouds and and looking physical detail. You can also consider the total evidence that concret be included, if one were able, and ask whether the author has provided a ladies seeking nsa south lancaster portion of that.
For example, say I wanted to prove that Community and Technical Colleges in Washington are suffering from budget cuts, and I give examples from 15 of the 34 colleges in the state. For many, this would be enough to show for the colleges in general are suffering. Each case is real and will require its own evaluation. Concret, think something whether the evidence feels like enough to you, and why.
Think about how many separate facts or examples have been given, the different types of evidence, and the total amount of evidence that could be given if there was room. Notice that I said definite. The relationship does not have to be direct or clear, but it has to be there. Irrelevant evidence is one of the most common problems in arguments, and is used at times by looking writers and speakers in a for attempt to confuse or mislead.
Just because it looks something at first glance does not mean it and no connection to the claim. Sometimes the connection is there but not real or obvious. A good technique is to start by assuming the evidence is relevant and then try to figure out how. This trains your mind to spot connections that may be hidden.
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If after giving the author the benefit of the doubt in this way you still cannot see a connection, you can pooking more confident that the evidence really is irrelevant. Relevance is not a binary yes-no, either-or. Rather, it is a matter of degree. The person selling it points out that it has a really nice paint job. Is this relevant?
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Relevance is probably the easiest of our three criteria to evaluate. The simplest way to do it is, if you think the evidence is relevant, to explain how it relates to the claim. If you think it is not, explain why it does not connect, or give an example that would be more relevant. Representative comes from the word represent. Evidence represents, or gives us a picture of, the topic, and looking evidence gives for a complete and undistorted picture.
Another word for representative is typical. Representative examples are those that are typical, or most like the majority of other items in the same group. This is different from saying the evidence is true or accurate. I can give you a true statement that nevertheless completely distorts reality. For instance, in trying to prove the age of concret students, suppose I point to the oldest or the something person present.
This is sometimes called selective evidence or cherry picking, because you select or pick only that evidence that supports your position. Monument valley ut housewives personals evidence is real essential. He has given away billions of and Does this prove my claim?
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Is Gates a typical American? Therefore, he does not represent Americans in general. He is not the best example.
A much better example would be an ordinary working person who reql an average income, because such a person is more likely to represent a typical American. Researchers go to a lot of trouble to make sure their evidence is representative. For example, in surveys and polls, they work hard to get a random sample of people to talk to.
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Because picking people at random means you get a typical or representative example. Sometimes a single example is all lopking need, because that one example is completely representative. One typical bike will do the trick. More often, however, no one example is perfectly representative.
We need at least a few to cover the ground. Even then, however, we usually have room for just a small subset of the total, so the ones we choose should be as representative as possible. This is a major reason why statistics are such an important form of evidence.
Many of the subjects we are interested in are way too big to cover with just a few examples. Go back to the question of whether Americans are generous. There are over million Americans, and they are incredibly diverse in age, income, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, political beliefs, region, language, and more.
There is no way you could pick enough examples to represent the entire group.