Ask students to identify how an author used cited evidence to construct an argument to prepare students to do the same in their arguments.


  • Provide students a paper that does a good job of making claims that are supported by cited evidence. Either in class or in a written assignment, ask students to summarize the arguments made within the paper and what cited evidence the authors used to make each argument.
  • Ask students to identify the following:
    • Text that situates this question within the literature
    • Cited evidence
    • Explanations of how the cited evidence supports a specific claim.
  • When possible, use a previous student’s anonymized assignment as a model for current students.


  • Deconstructing examples of how authors construct an argument through citing previous work provides students a model of how to connect existing literature to their topic.