Summer of Strategies: Using Text Evidence in Writing

Summer of Strategies: Using Text Evidence in Writing


Using evidence from a text with informational or argument writing is a crucial skill for our students as their writing develops. Teaching this can be a taxing responsibility to take on! But, with these simple tips, students can become prolific and critical writers. 

It is important to set our students up for success by providing texts for students from which they can draw evidence. These texts should be:

  • engaging and interesting
  • from multiple perspectives
  • able to deepen understanding or argument perspective
  • detailed in nature
  • have rich language

Once you have good text for students to read, come up with a purpose for the writing. The writing can either be informational or argumentative, but should have a purpose through a prompt or an essential question. While students are reading, train them to underline, highlight, and annotate text as they engage in close reading so they can easily locate evidence to back their claims when they begin to write. Then, teach students these simple steps to follow when using evidence in their writing:

Using Text Evidence as Support in Writing

  1. Decide what points you want to make and make them in your own words.
  2. Use a phrase to let your reader know you are choosing evidence from the text such as:
  • “According to the author…”
  • “Based on the text…”
  • “We know this because in the text it states…”
  • “The author explains that…”
  • “In paragraph #___ it states that…”
  • “The text gives us clues when…”
  1. Add in the quotation from the text that supports what you are saying.

Keep the evidence simple at first to develop a foundation of skill and practice. Once students understand how to integrate evidence from text in their writing, they will develop more complex and multifaceted ways to prove their claims, support their thinking, and rely on fact over opinion. These will be indispensable skills used to get students ready for lifelong learning.


Download two lessons with student activity sheets that use this strategy. Click Here to Download


Author bio

Melissa Cheesman Smith

Melissa Cheesman Smith

Melissa Cheesman Smith, M.Ed., holds a master's degree in curriculum and instruction and has been teaching for 10 years. She teaches literacy classes for a university, presents at literacy conferences, and facilitates professional development workshops.