Processes of study in the arts and humanities
Processes of study in the arts and humanities

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Processes of study in the arts and humanities

6.2.4 Evidence ‘from authority’

When you present evidence for your judgements in an essay, you don't only draw that evidence from the text. You also often call on the ‘authority’ of other writers on the subject (critics, academics), drawing on their judgements. You can ‘make sense’ of other people's ideas in books, articles, TV programmes, and so on; and how to weigh up these ideas and use them to help you form your own. As regards your writing, you have to learn how to use this kind of ‘evidence from authority’ – how to work other people's ideas into your argument, and also how to acknowledge your sources (see Section 8.4).

Key points

You should present evidence for your interpretations and judgements of a text in order to justify them (showing your reader why you are right to say what you do).

According to the type of text you are discussing, you should:

  • use appropriate kinds of evidence

  • ‘speak’ in the appropriate terms.


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