Justifying A Position Using A Passage As Evidence

In high school and college writing, students are often asked to write using evidence from texts they are reading during class. As part of that process, they are asked to justify a position using a piece or pieces of quoted evidence as backing of that position.

There are several segments that must be formed in order for this kind of writing to be successful: 1.) A position must be stated; 2.) A quoted passage must be used to back up/defend the position, rather than serving as the position; 3.) A justification must be written and extended.

Justifications have the purpose of showing/proving value of the position taken. Below is a sample short-form justification using evidence from Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried:

Tim O’Brien exposes the moral challenges faced by characters in his novel The Things They Carried. Determining whether they wish to face their issues immediately or postpone facing them by walling those issues off in their minds is central to the behavior of many soldiers. O’Brien characterizes this space of chaos when he says, “The only certainty that summer was moral confusion” (38). Soldiers in war have the task to fight for the cause. They encounter daily challenges to the continuance of their sanity and even their lives. They cannot be certain where they’ll face down their inner demons; it could happen immediately or later. All they are assured of is a chaotic, often seemingly random space where they must exist and exercise their intentions.

Here’s a breakdown of the various pieces:

Position: Determining whether they wish to face their issues immediately or postpone facing them by walling those issues off in their minds is central to the behavior of many soldiers.

Passage: O’Brien characterizes this space of chaos when he says, “The only certainty that summer was moral confusion” (38).

Setup of Position Defense: Soldiers in war have the task to fight for the cause. They encounter daily challenges to the continuance of their sanity and even their lives.

Extension/Proof of Defense Value: They cannot be certain where they’ll face down their inner demons; it could happen immediately or later. All they are assured of is a chaotic, often seemingly random space where they must exist and exercise their intentions.

 

You’ll also like: Thesis Statements Aren’t Complicated 

 

Contact Me:  jpearcewriting@gmail.com

Comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s