Types of Evidence in Writing

Types of Evidence in Writing


Assignments mostly revolve around making an argument, proving a hypothesis, or taking a stance. For all of these, you need to first research the main topic. Then you have to present all the information along with proper evidence to prove it. Evidence is the facts, figures, examples, or cited sources that support your claim.

The evidence can be statistical data, quotes from articles, journals, etc. There is often a notion that evidence is required only for scientific papers. But that’s not true. All assignments need evidence to prove what you say.

Students often fail to provide enough evidence, reducing the quality of the paper. While you can always hire essay writers for essay help, you must know how to use evidence as well.

This blog will guide you on the types of evidence and tell you how to use them. Let’s begin with the purpose of using evidence.

The Purpose of Using Evidence

Evidence shows the readers what you mean and also confirms that you are right. Evidence is generally used for the following –

  • Show the differences between others’ opinions.
  • Demonstrate cause-effect relationships.
  • Disprove the opinions of your opponents.
  • Confirm the logic of your claims.
  • Show how two texts or experiences compare to each other.

Different writings require different types of evidence. You’ll have to know the various types of evidence to use the right form of evidence. The same is discussed in the section below.

6 Different Types of Evidence

Consider your content to be a court case. The readers are your judge or jury. You have to keep providing evidence to support your claims as you write them. The more you can convince the readers greater is your chance to win. To present better evidence, you need to know the type of evidence. Below are six types of evidence used in writing.

A. Anecdotal Evidence

Anecdotal evidence is mostly the hook you present in the introduction of your content. This type of evidence is not the strongest. It is because this type of evidence is retelling an incident happening to someone else. Then why is it used? It is used to establish a connection with the readers. This connection works as the catalyst when you are trying to convince your readers.

Suppose you are doing a paper on Domestic Violence. In the process, you take the interview of a lawyer fighting for the victims. They can share you stories of the victims, which you can use as evidence to prove your stance. For example, the lawyer tells you a story where the husband in the family was abused. This story can help you establish the point that though most women are victims of domestic violence today, men are also facing similar issues.

B. Testimonial Evidence

An expert opinion is one of the best ways to support your writing. Readers never question expert opinions. This is one of the best ways to substantiate your statements. But before that, you also have to establish the credibility of the expert. If you have the right experience, you can use your own opinions as well.

Consider that you are writing about the growing cases of obesity among teenagers. You can take the opinion of the dietitians. They are experts in the field, and their opinions cannot be looked down upon. Here you can provide your opinion. But in that case, you have to show why you are credible enough to believe.

C. Statistical Evidence

Statistical data are very powerful. But yes, they have to come from reliable sources. You can use statistical data to substantiate your statement if they directly relate to your thesis. Rarely known data can be the most captivating. The key to using effective statistics is to take the data from reputed sources. If the sources are not reputed, there is a high chance that the audience won’t accept them.

Suppose while doing your essay on rising cases of cyber security, you take data from Statista and Gallup. You also refer to some viral social media statistics. Which do you think will be more effective?

Readers will, of course, believe the data from the former sources. Because they are verified sources. However, they will hardly take into consideration the data found on social media.

D. Textual Evidence

Textual evidences are very commonly used by students. In this case, you have to be specific about where you found the text. In the content, you also have to give the details of the source. Details like the book/ article name, the author name, and the page number are mandatory. You also have to mention why the evidence is appropriate and significant.

For example –

I.                 As said by XYZ in his book ABC edition 2…

II.               You can also give the information as it is within quotation marks and then mention the source details at the end, within parentheses.

E. Analogical Evidences

This is one of the weakest types of evidence and is used only when there is no option left. To make this a successful sort of writing assistance, you must make a solid case for the similarities between the circumstance you’re writing about and the one that is a known case.

Consider that you are writing a film review on a cinematic adaptation of a book. To provide analogical evidence, you can say – That most of the cinematic adaptations of classic novels are not up to the mark, this film also adds to the list.

F. Hypothetical Evidences

Hypothetical evidence is a projection or prediction about a future scenario that contains enough sensory imagery to make it appear real. This is similar to anecdotal evidence. But this is weaker than other forms of evidence. This story did not happen, but your task is to convince the reader that it could. When done skillfully and sparingly, this can create a connection with the reader.

For example

Suppose you are discussing managing autistic kids. In this case, you can create a hypothetical situation when the kid is being bullied at school. Then you can share how you can calm the kid.

How to Use the Evidence?

Each discipline and genre of writing will have its own set of standards for measuring academic merit and evidence used. But you must follow some basic rules. The same is mentioned below;

  • Ensure that your evidence is relevant enough to the paper.
  • Check if the evidence supports your argument or claims.
  • Explain why this evidence supports your argument/claims.
  • Make sure that you have adequate evidence for your writing.
  • Make sure to properly cite your evidence.

You can even include competing evidence. Competing evidence refers to the ones that challenge your argument. This demonstrates that you have fully researched your topic and can counter claims against your argument.

To use evidence appropriately, it is important to have an idea of the types of evidence. This blog will help you understand the same. Follow the examples above to have a better understanding of the various cases. The only advice is to first understand the context and then use the evidence. If not, the evidence may not serve the purpose.


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