I don't know how to support my ideas.

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Your ideas came from somewhere; the trick is figuring out what inspired them and then using your sources to support the claims you wish to make in your paper.

  • Flip back through your class readings and notes. Identify book passages/ lecture points/lab results/ homework assignments that were important to you. If you didn't make notes, return to these resources and take some time to jot down significant ideas from them.
  • See the Writing Center's ideas for gathering evidence to support your argument.
  • Start clustering evidence under your ideas. You can fill out an Argument Box [doc] to assist you.
  • Take some of Harvard's advice and map out your argument according to these questions [doc].
  • You might not be able to support a claim in your paper because it is based in assumption; see what Princeton writes about errors in logic and reasoning [doc]. If this is the case, adjust your claim to a position you can support with evidence from your readings, lectures, labs, research, etc.