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Academic Writing
Using Evidence

Integrating evidence into your own writing

When integrating the evidence you've gathered into your essay, you must first look at your essay plan to decide where evidence needs to be placed in relation to the points you’re making. Then you need to look at the particular paragraph in which a piece of evidence belongs to decide how it can be integrated, remembering that its role will be to support or expand on a point you've already made in your own words within that paragraph. In the paragraph below, you'll notice that evidence has been paraphrased or directly quoted and placed in a position that allows it to extend the point the writer is making in the topic sentence.

One phenomenon that can impact greatly on the effectiveness of groups is that as group sizes increase there is a tendency for the effort put in by the group to be less than the average effort put in by individuals engaged on the same task separately (Gabrenya, Latane & Wang 1981; Albanese & Van Fleet 1985). The phenomenon has been described using various terms. Writers influenced by industrial economics describe it as the 'free-rider problem', where the collective nature of the 'contract' obscures the fact of one member failing to honour their part of the contract (Albanese & Van Fleet 1985, p230). Writers who are organisational psychologists tend to label the phenomenon as 'social loafing' and typically define it as "one where everyone puts in a little less" (Gabrenya, Latane & Wang 1981, p120). Whatever the terminology used to describe this phenomenon, it is one that is problematic for groups. topic sentence


integration of paraphrased material

integration of paraphrased and quoted material

summarising & transition to next paragraph


There are no rules about how many indirect and direct quotations you should use in your essay, but it is generally agreed that the use of indirect quotation (summaries and paraphrases) indicates a higher level of understanding. Try to paraphrase and summarise where possible, and only use direct quotations when you cannot put the ideas into your own words, where the quotation has clever wording, or where they are the exact words of some auspicious authority.

More information on indirect and direct quotations

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Summary Conventions Structures Words Introduction