Analyze This

When you use sources to support your claims in your argument, you certainly have a lot of options to consider. Now that you have learned about those options and how you can use those sources to help build a strong argument, it’s time to see source integration in action.

In the following video, a student analyzes another argumentative essay for its use of sources and evidence. Seeing how others use sources to support their arguments can help you when it’s time to develop your own argumentative essay.

I’m too (Insert negative criticism of yourself here). The media says so. is the full essay used in the analysis.

Video Transcript
Student says:

In this analysis, I’m going to look at how the author of this paper used sources and evidence to support her claims. Our professor has assigned us sample papers in the OWL for practice, and I chose this one entitled “I’m too (Insert negative criticism of yourself here). The media says so.”

This essay is about the way the media influences us to find flaws with ourselves. In it, the author argues that there is a direct correlation between the media and the negative body images and makes the assertion that the media needs to take more responsibility for this role.

In her first body paragraph, I notice the author is using some source material to help develop the idea that the media does have an influence on how we view ourselves.

I notice the author really emphasizes the credibility of the source. She writes that she has a PhD in the field and was the editor of the journal. This is important, as she quotes this expert’s opinion. By establishing the ethos of her source, she builds her own ethos as a writer.

In the next body paragraph, the author uses some numbers to help build her argument. In addition to making sure the audience is aware of the credibility of her source, she adds some specific numbers, which seem to be persuasive.

The author shares that, in one issue alone of Vogue magazine, 144 images were changed.

The author also takes advantage of some personal, interview type evidence in her essay. In this paragraph, she cites an interview with a teenage girl, who shares her perspective on the issue. This girl met with Vogue editors, asking them to change their practices and has worked to collect signatures to protest enhancing images.

These are just a few examples of the kinds of source material and evidence a writer might use, but this analysis helps me develop some ideas of my own.

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