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

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

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.

GSG_4

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has nearly 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus