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Online Guide to Writing and Research

Thinking Strategies and Writing Patterns

Supporting with Research and Examples

“Okay, prove it.” Have you ever said that? Have you ever thought it? People, it seems, make wild claims all the time. The internet, the media, social media - they are full of them. College students, graduate students, and even professors, are expected to move beyond mere claims and support their assertions. You can do this by using source material (found during research) and examples. Providing these can lend credibility and credence to your claims.

Integrating sources into your work is a type of synthesis. A writer can also use sources to evaluate, and using sources is also a way to employ ethos, the effort to persuade by appealing to authority. 

Although sources can offer general support and examples can be hypothetical rather than source-based, a source can function as both support and an example. The following shows how one economics student integrated references into an informal assignment.

Reference Integration Example

Why I Believe in Enterprise Zones

Because they can recover lost tax revenue and generate growth, enterprise zones are a viable method for creating growth sectors in urban economies where growth would not otherwise appear.

Enterprise zones are specially protected areas of a city reserved for business growth. They are traditionally created in areas of low growth and offer incentives to businesses locating there. The critics’ argument that the loss of potential tax revenue negates their value is specious. Enterprise zones offer the potential for growth where it had not previously been realized, thereby offering real, as opposed to speculative, opportunity for growth.

Last week’s Post article on growth in Washington, D.C.’s, Adams Morgan neighborhood offers tangible proof that the concept of enterprise zones can work for cities. The Post related that this area, once inhabited by prostitutes and drug dealers, was set aside as an enterprise zone after the 1960s riots and has continued to attract small businesses and entrepreneurs. Enterprise zone status has spurred a new wave of investment there and has attracted many middle-class residents.


Key Takeaways

  • Providing support for your assertions lends credibility and credence to your claims.
  • When you research a topic, you will need to determine who the reliable sources are in the area of study involved.

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Table of Contents: Online Guide to Writing