Discussing Evidence

This page is not about how to write a whole body paragraph. This is just about how to discuss and describe historical evidence in a body paragraph.

Historical evidence and facts I want to include in my paragraph:

  • England was poor and overcrowded in the 1600’s.
  • There were many homeless people and beggars.
  • There was a scarcity of farmland and resources like timber.
  • People were misled by ads in England that told them that America was a paradise.
  • English people looked to America as a land of opportunity.

 

How can I discuss these facts in a body paragraph?

It’s important to realize that your job is to discuss the facts and tell the story to help you make your point but also to inform the reader about what they need to know. You don’t want to list out the separate facts in a disjointed and unrelated way. I chose to discuss these facts in the same paragraph because they were related in some way.

 

Good example of discussing evidence

England was in bad shape in the 1600’s because it was overpopulated and very poor. There were some wealthy people but they owned most of the land and most people were landless and poor. Many beggars lived in the streets of the cities and the life of the average English person was pretty miserable. All of these factors motivated many English people to seek a better life in the New World and many came to settle in Jamestown which was England’s first permanent colony in America. Often misled by stories and false advertisements, people came to Virginia expecting available land, comfortable surroundings, and greater opportunities than they had back in England. Virginia, it turned out, was already owned and populated by the Powhatan tribe which set the stage for a conflict that was impossible to avoid.

 

Bad example of discussing evidence

England was poor in the 1600’s. There were many beggars in the streets. There was a lack of farmland and there was also very little timber. They saw ads that told them America was full of opportunity. People thought America would be a better place to be. The Powhatan lived in Virginia and the English moved to their land.***

***Notice how all the same basic facts are in the sentences above but there is just a series of facts without any real understanding or explaining. Be sure to understand how all the facts you want to include are connected and tell the story in a way that communicates to the reader what happened and allow you then to answer the question by connecting your evidence to your thesis.

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