Unit 4: Fundamentals of Academic Essay Writing

30 Avoiding “Dumped Evidence”

Be careful to avoid “dumped” evidence

Integrating evidence, especially step three, can be a challenging part of the writing process. It may be tempting when writing a paragraph to simply “dump” several pieces of evidence, in the form of quotations or paraphrases, without any attempt to introduce or explain the evidence. Notice how the example below lacks integration.


Social networks enhance our self-esteem. Gambino (2015) writes that they provide opportunities for people to re-connect with old friends, deepen ties with existing friends, and create new connections, as they meet new friends regardless of where they live (p. 1). Millennials especially like using Instagram and Snapchat to keep in touch with their high school friends when they go to college (Anderson, 2013, p. 5). One survey showed that more than 80% of college students use social networks more than email to stay in touch with their friends (Moore, 2016, p. 9). According to Michael Alexander, a Stanford University psychologist, students currently prefer Facebook or Messenger instead of phone calls to maintain contact with their families compared to twenty years ago (as cited in Lee, 2014, p. 6). All of this evidence suggests that social networks are important for young people.

In the example above, the writer has simply listed pieces of evidence one after the another, and the paragraph is devoid of the writer’s voice. The writer’s voice is needed to connect the ideas together into a coherent argument. The result is a lack of cohesion and there is no indication of how the ideas relate to each other.

Key Takeaway

Remember: Effective writing is often described as clear thinking made visible. In this way, you need to make clear your analysis through YOUR VOICE: the buns / ICE so the reader can understand your thought process

Below is the “Research Hamburger” as a quick-guide to adding your voice.














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