In order to be convincing, a writer needs evidence for her claims. Evidence includes traditional sources such as books and journal articles but may also include anecdotes, photographs, web sources and videos. The kinds of evidence that are appropriate in a particular context depend on the writer's purpose. Academic culture is an evidence-based culture. Good scholarship requires claims supported by facts, theories, and research. Finding the evidence is not enough, though, as it needs to be successfully integrated into texts.
When composers call on the ideas or authority of a book, article, web site, primary source, or other outside information, they should be practiced in choosing the best possible information and integrating it effectively into their own prose. Research in composition and rhetoric reminds us that students struggling to understand new material often use sources in immature ways - perhaps by overquoting, failing to introduce outside sources with skill, or patchwriting. Evidence can make or break a paper, depending on how it is used. In order to score highly on this section of the rubric, students will need to develop an understanding of the purpose of research, including credible and appropriate evidence in their papers so as to further their arguments.