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Chemistry LibreTexts


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  • At the end of last week, you learned about claims. It stated in the lesson on claims that they are "probably the single most important part of an academic paper." However, without data a claim will be nothing. This lesson will focus on data. 


    What Is Data?


    To put it simply, data is your evidence. 

    According to Vanderbilt University, it is "evidence which you cite to support your claim.  Like a lawyer presenting evidence to a jury, you must support your claim with facts; an unsupported claim is merely a statement you think is true, but isn't. 

    Data can include: 

    • Facts or statistics: objectively determined data about your topic. (Note: just what constitutes 'objective' may be open to debate.)
    • Expert opinion: the media and our essays are full of learned opinions which you should cite frequently, both to support your argument and to disagree with.  Authors must be quoted and properly cited in your paper.
    • Personal anecdotes: the most difficult kind of data to use well, for doing so requires a persuasive argument that your own experience is objectively grasped and generalizable. Personal experience can, however, help bring an argument to life."


     CRAAP and Data

    In persuasive writing, and ALL writing for that matter, it is important to have good data. Having data that is inaccurate is just as bad as having no data at all. With so much information avaliable to us now, it is important that you are able to decide which data is good and which data is bad.

    CRAAP can be used to help you evaluate the sources used for your data.

    • Currency
    • Relevance
    • Authority
    • Accuracy
    • Purpose
    Watch the video to the right to discover more about this.


    Western University. 9 Jan. 2014.

    Vanderbilt University. 9 Jan. 2014.