Many emerging writers struggle with connecting sourced material to their claims and to their thesis. Oftentimes, this is because they’re too close to their work and think that the connection between claim and evidence is completely apparent to the reader.

Even if the connection is readily visible, authors should still follow up a piece of sourced material with an explanation of its relevance to the author’s point, purpose, and/or thesis. Such connections (“analysis”) should be made directly following the sourced material.

Let's look at an example:

Let’s say that I’m writing a research paper that suggests offshore drilling should be banned, and my thesis is as follows:

Though some may argue that offshore drilling provides economic advantages and would lessen our dependence on foreign oil, the environmental and economic consequences of an oil spill are so drastic that they far outweigh the advantages.

Main points:

  • The known economic impact of past oil spills 
  • The potential impact of oil spills on marine and human life
  • A comparison between advantages and disadvantages of offshore drilling 
  • A response to potential counterarguments

My conclusion would then include a proposal to ban offshore drilling.

For more information on Analyzing Evidence, see also: 

http://writingcommons.org/research/integrate-evidence/incorporate-evidence/analyze-evidence