Assertions, Claims, and their Evidence in a Text

When you read a text, there are different things that will stand out to you. When you read a text for a second time, you realize that there are new things that you noticed but did not mind before.


An assertion is an opinion or a claim, and authors make assertions in the text they write. The question is: are they valid? Are they believable? Are they trustworthy?

Claims Made in a Text

Students already learned the Different Kinds of Claims lesson that a writer always makes claims in a text. They might have likewise practice locating these claims in texts. In this lesson, they will need to use that skill once more, but this time, they will train their eyes to look for the controversial claims made in the text. Controversial claims, if they go unchecked or unverified, can damage people’s reputation, make others believe in false information, and possibly spark conflict among parties.

Causes of Controversy

A controversy is a situation in which people express disagreement, dissent, dislike, or even rage. In terms of reading, controversies arise from the way people react to the ideas of the writers.

Normally, claims become controversial when they:

  1. go against popular beliefs;
  2. attack or criticize others;
  3. introduce something that is presently not accepted in the culture; and
  4. do not include proof or evidence for their claims.

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Everything we claim or assert needs proof or evidence. An educator by the name of Dr. Allan de Guzman suggests that we should express our claims immediately beside or next to the support. Do not forget these two letters:
C – Claim
S – Support

If we express this in terms of ratio, there should be one evidence per claim. It will be better, too, if you can cite several numbers of evidence or proof per claim, rising the ratio even higher.