Chapter 1: Time is on Your Side

Gathering Evidence

Every close reading relies on evidence. Without evidence, a writer is simply stating their opinion. As such, writing an essay begins well before you start writing with the process of gathering evidence. In fact, very little essay writing is actually “writing.” Rather, most of the essay writing process is:

  • Gathering evidence (reading the text and taking notes)
  • Pre-planning and pre-writing (outlining and brainstorming)
  • Research (of definitions, other scholars’ concepts, statistics)
  • Drafting (early attempts at thesis paragraphs and body paragraphs that will be revised as the process continues).

We will outline how to gather evidence by modeling the task of slowing down and recording all the observations that are to be had within a text. For a brief tutorial on the basics of finding evidence within a text, watch Video 1.1: Walk Through Self Evaluation, then read the subsequent text.