Choosing Evidence

Contributor: Emily Love. Lesson ID: 10879

A good detective must prove his assertions. Pulling evidence is important in proving the thesis of your written work. Learn from a spider and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., as you develop your detective skills!

categories

Writing

subject
English / Language Arts
learning style
Visual
personality style
Otter
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

Audio:

Think of your favorite book or movie. You're going to try to convince someone who has not read this book or seen this movie that it is the best book or movie of all time. Choose three pieces of evidence from the work to prove your point.

Was it hard to think of the three most important pieces of evidence from the work that will prove that your favorite book or movie is in fact the best?

Or maybe it was challenging to choose only three pieces of evidence? Either way, supporting your claim with evidence is important to your audience, particularly when it comes to literary analysis.

When writing literary analysis, you need to choose text from the work of literature to help you prove your thesis statement and body paragraph assertions.

As you learned in the previous Related Lessons in this Literary Analysis series, each body paragraph will begin with an assertion, or a sentence stating which sub-point of your thesis you intend to prove in this paragraph. (Check out the right-hand sidebar, if you need to review.) Your evidence should be relevant to this assertion. In order to choose the best evidence, you need to keep two strategies in mind:

  1. How does this specific quote support my assertion? In other words, is this the best quote I can use to prove my point?
  2. What is interesting about this specific quote that I can expand upon to further prove my point? Does it contain a word, a description, a literary device, or a character's action that I can analyze in more detail?

When you're beginning your search for evidence, try to think of moments in the work that were important to the plot, to a character's development, to the development of a theme, or to the establishment of the setting.

These sections of the text can often be good places to uncover strong pieces of evidence. You should also try to pull evidence examples from throughout the entire work, instead of using quotes from only one passage. This will allow you demonstrate that your point is true for the entire work, not just one little section.

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