When making an argument, writers and speakers will often draw on evidence. Citing evidence—which can take the form of studies, research, statistics, graphs, facts and figures­­—brings credibility and authenticity to an argument.

The use of evidence may encourage readers to see the writer as informed and considered in their understanding of an issue, creating the perception of reliability. The tone of a piece of writing doesn’t necessarily have to be logical to use evidence, even writers who adopt a highly emotive approach to making their argument may draw on evidence. 

In addition to the evidence itself, writers and speakers often exploit the credibility of the source of evidence. When evidence comes from an authoritative source, readers might be more likely to accept the evidence and the writer’s overall contention.

Evidence in action

Read the following article. Identify the issue, contention, audience and tone of the piece. Identify the persuasive techniques in the piece and explain the effect the are intended to have on the audience.

Click here to download the ‘Game over for video games and violence’ worksheet to help you analyse this article.