Evaluating and Choosing Appropriate Sources: One of the defining characteristics of academic arguing is its reliance on textual evidence. Academic argument almost always "situates" itself. That is, authors of academic arguments discuss how their argument fits into the ongoing conversation on this issue. In addition, authors of academic argument almost always offer support for their assertions. Most often, this support comes from observation, personal experience, field research of one sort or another, or other texts. The careful selection of evidence requires close attention to its source. For instance, if you are arguing a public policy issue (such as whether we should ban automatic weapons), you should be aware of who funded a particular research study, who published the journal, and who is the author of the article (is it the NRA? is it anti-gun think-tank?).
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