If your instructor has told you that you need more analysis, suggested that you’re “just listing” points or giving a “laundry list,” or asked you how certain points are related to your argument, it may mean that you can do more to fully incorporate your evidence into your argument. Let’s take a look at each of these issues—understanding what counts as evidence, using evidence in your argument, and deciding whether you need more evidence.
Before you begin gathering information for possible use as evidence in your argument, you need to be sure that you understand the purpose of your assignment.
Does the instructor mention any particular books you should use in writing your paper or the names of any authors who have written about your topic?
How long should your paper be (longer works may require more, or more varied, evidence)?
Consider what kinds of sources and evidence you have seen in course readings and lectures.
You may wish to see whether the Writing Center has a handout regarding the specific academic field you’re working in—for example, literature, sociology, or history.
If you are working on a project for a class, look carefully at the assignment prompt.
It may give you clues about what sorts of evidence you will need.
Secondary sources present information that has already been processed or interpreted by someone else.
For example, if you are writing a paper about the movie “The Matrix,” the movie itself, an interview with the director, and production photos could serve as primary sources of evidence.