How to Deal With Contradictory Evidence
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Contradictory evidence is what many students face when working on their writing assignments. Because of different mindsets that people have and different methodologies that they use to research certain areas, conflicting evidence may arise and very often when searching for information for your research paper, you may find these pieces of contradictory evidence. When it happens, the first rule is not to neglect it, because if you do, your paper will be one-sided. In addition to this, knowledgeable readers will understand that you’re being subjective and ignoring other points of view. This is definitely not a route, which a conscious participant of the academic process should take.
The correct way of dealing with contradictory or controversial information is not to ignore it, but to collect enough supporting evidence to show that the information, which confronts your thesis statement and arguments is not reliable. And if your task is to write an A+ essay, you have no other choice, but to do this! So, are you ready to start the battle for the proper argument? I bet you do!
First of all, focus on the most significant counterarguments, which are impossible to ignore. Don’t spend too much time on these counterarguments, but rather focus on their weak points. This is when your supporting evidence will be of use. Utilize it to show that counterarguments are weak and explain why. If you are able to impress your readers with clear thinking and remarkable logical skills within refuting the first two counterarguments, then your readers will be more prone to believe all your subsequent reasoning. It can be achieved with using well-grounded, rational and comprehensive evidence. Here are some techniques that you can use to underpin your point of view:
- Use expert opinion – the data obtained from the research adds solidity to your arguments. Start a sentence with, "Statistics clearly shows that..."
- Use humor or an anecdote – this method is often used to ridicule the counterargument and make it look futile. You can start a sentence with, "For example, I remember one episode…”
- Recollect Yout Own Personal Experience – this method gets you closer to the reader. You can start the sentence like this, “To illustrate this, I want to recollect one episode from…”
- Make a Hypothetical Situation – make up a situation that will prove your opinion. Start like this, "Let's assume that ..."
- Use an Analogy – use this technique if you want to achieve more clarity with the reader. Start with, “The analogical situation is when..."
- Ask Rhetorical Questions – a good rhetorical question can quickly get the readers on your side.
Another technique to underpin your point of view is called TRIAC:
- T – T is for the topic sentence. It makes the reader acquainted with the paragraph’s subject.
- R –Ris for restriction. The following sentence should narrow down the topic sentence’s idea.
- I – I is for illustration. Support your arguments with solid evidence.
- A – A is for analysis. Clarify the evidence mentioned in the previous point. Explanation is very important.
- C – C is for conclusion. The last sentence of the paragraph summarizes its main idea and prepares the reader for the next paragraph.
Use one of these techniques and you will certainly win the battle of arguments!
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