Look for Useful Evidence

Information Literacy Module VI: Preparing to Use Information Effectively

Now that your research project has a clear purpose and direction, it’s time to begin gathering research evidence that will help you to support your main idea and supporting points. What kind of evidence will you need? Generally, there are three types of valuable evidence:

Expert opinion: You’re a student who is probably pretty new to your topic, so your audience will buy your main idea only insofar as it is well-reasoned and well-supported. One way to lend authority to your point is to include expert opinion.
Examples: Audiences also respond well to examples that illustrate your point. We like stories because we connect with them and they lend a human element to your research.
Facts and statistics: Finally, many in your audience will read or hear your main idea and think, “Yeah? Prove it!” Sometimes, the most efficient way to prove a point is to provide calculable evidence: cold, hard facts and statistics.


Guiding Your Research

Consider your own research topic. For each type of evidence, write one good sentence explaining how this type of information will be useful in communicating your particular information to your audience effectively.


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