Level 1: Direct observation of the facts (Eyewitness testimony)
- Requires a description the witness and conditions of the observation
- Ideally, published in a formal way
Level 2: Citing facts from an eyewitness' testimony
- Needs a citation of the source, and an evaluation of its credibility
Level 3: Making an statement without providing support
If the statement's credibility is challenged, the person might say...
- "This is commonly known"
- "You could look it up, but I don't feel the need"
- Or, "Trust me. I'm giving you the benefit of all my study, but I'm emphasizing the findings and skipping the documentation.
Unsupported statement have their place, but rarely in academic writing. Unless it is truly common knowledge, provide support: an example, an argument, or a source.