Evidence, or data, is the universe of interpreted primary sources, empirical observations, or factual information relevant to a paper’s argument. Analysis is the interpretation of sources. Source use, then, is these two things taken together.
However fascinating an essay’s thesis or compelling its motive, the reader is unlikely to be swayed without valid evidence, proof for the author’s claims, which can come in a variety of forms according to source use, such as in the form of experimental data or quotations gathered from a primary source. Of course, this does not mean that a convincing essay can merely be a collection of claims and supporting evidence. The author must also provide analysis to help the reader interpret the evidence. Ultimately, this analysis links the selected evidence to the author’s claims and then weaves these claims together to support the author’s broader thesis.
In the following excerpts, we see how evidence and analysis must work together to help the author first convince the reader that the individual claims in the essay are valid, and then show the reader that these claims can be brought together to justify the argument as a whole.