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The very most basic explanation of what an evidence based paragraph can look like. 

An evidence based paragraph makes a point using evidence from the literature to strengthen that point. It usually has three parts:

  1. Point: The point establishes the main idea of the paragraph.
  2. Proof: The proof is what you use to prove your point. Usually consists of a paraphrase, summary, or statistic.
  3. Relevance: Relevance explains how the proof proves the point.

Point + Proof + Relevance = Developed!

Here is an example of how one could look:

Some kinds of honey have potential for use as an alternative to traditional antibiotics. Researchers found that after use for two days the area of skin colonised by bacteria was reduced by 100-fold on the skin that was treated with honey (Kwakman et al, 2008, p.1). The number of positive tests for bacteria were also significantly reduced (Kwakman et al, 2008, p.1). Honey is relatively cheap and available and may be able to play an important role in health care as a replacement for some of the antibiotics to which bacteria are developing resistance.

Kwakman, P. H. S., Van den Akker, J. P. C., Guclu, A., Aslami, H., Binnekade, J. M., de Boer, L., . . . Zaat, S. A. (2008). Medical-grade honey kills antibiotic-resistant bacteria in vitro and eradicates skin colonization. Clinical Infectious Disease 46(11), 1677-1682. htttp://

APA referencing used.

To avoid plagiarism when paraphrasing / summarising remember these five important points:

1) Your paraphrased text should be significantly different from the original (i.e. don't just change a few words here and there)

2) You must change the structure of the sentence or paragraph you are paraphrasing, not just the words.

3) If you use anyone else's words verbatim (word for word) you need to put quotation marks around it. Warning: Quotations are rarely used in the sciences

4) Use proper citation methods (in this case use APA) to give credit for the idea's, opinions or theories you are presenting.

5) Check that you have preserved the original meaning of the text in your paraphrased version

Paraphrasing and summarising exercises from Purdue University

six steps to paraphrasing

Understanding the flow of scientific information can help you in your research. You will adapt your search strategy depending on the type of information you are looking for.


Originally created by Jim Parrott.
Adapted by Jackie Stapleton, 2007.

Used with permission.

Annotated Bibliographies

An annotated bibliography is a list of references with a brief description.  Your assignment outlines some specific requirements for these annotations.  In general an annotated bibliography will:

  • Summarize the work – describe the content of the article
  • Evaluate the work – critically look at the good and bad aspects of the article
  • Determine the relevance – discuss how the source is relevant to your topic
  • Do NOT use the abstract to summarize, use your own words

It can take a considerable amount of time to read, understand, summarize, and write annotations for 8-10 articles, so make sure you give yourself enough time to do this; the annotated bibliography will be key in assisting you with your literature review for your final paper.

Literature Reviews

What is a literature review?

It describes and evaluates the research that has been done in a particular area of research. 

  • In general, a literature review should be a concise and comprehensive discussion of a narrow, well-defined research question.
  • The goal is usually to identify relationships, contradictions, controversies, gaps and potential next steps in the research.
A literature review is: A literature review is not:
  • a synthesis or overview of the research on a particular topic
  • a critical analysis of the existing literature
  • a means to identify gaps in the existing research or areas of further study
  • A list of articles
  • An annotated bibliography

Why do it?

  • Reviewing the literature on your topic gives your ideas for your research question
  • It helps you understand the big picture and background to your topic so that you can identify where your proposed research fits in the existing body of knowledge.

What is it for?

  • Providing a literature review as part of your research paper lets the reader know what literature you examined and what research is being drawn upon, and demonstrates your knowledge of the topic.
  • A literature review demonstrates how and why your research question is important and worth asking.

--> Literature reviews should synthesize and compare studies that discuss different aspects of your topic, depending on your purpose (for example, you might compare experimental method, population studied, theoretical framework, etc.)

This video provides a helpful overview of what a literature review is. Please note that in this assignment your "literature" will consist of peer reviewed journal articles, but also reviews, and other grey literature.

Kalen Keavey's picture
Kalen Keavey