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Substantiate your claims

This means every claim, argument or opinion you write needs to be substantiated (supported or justified) with credible evidence from research or other authoritative sources. You need to also explain how the evidence you present supports your viewpoint or argument.

Academic evidence usually involves expert or authoritative data, research results or statements from reputable or recognized sources, such as peer-reviewed journals.

It does NOT involve the use of information from sources that have little or no academic credibility, such as from a popular magazine, newspaper, your lecture notes, or stating personal opinions, interpretations or anecdotes without evidence to support them (unless they are specifically sought in a specific type of writing), as these are unlikely to be considered credible.

For further assistance, advice or tutoring/coaching in these skills contact Dr Bill Wrigley .

Types of Credible Evidence

There are various types of credible evidence and your selection of these will depend on the topic, the type of academic writing, and the qualities of the evidence that are valued by your discipline.

When using evidence to support your position, it is important to ensure it is relevant to the argument you are expressing and is accurate.

Six of the most frequently used forms of credible evidence are described here:

Empirical studies

Research studies that empirically test hypotheses or research questions by measuring variables and collecting and analysing data are important sources of evidence. These can be either qualitative or quantitative designs, and using observational or experimental methods.

Statistics, facts and surveys

Statistical data can be provided to support viewpoints. The sources of these need to be cited in   the text.

Theory and concepts

You can support a claim or argument by reference to a theory or concepts, and then describe how this refers to a specific example in reality.

Authoritative opinions

An accepted form of evidence is the citation or quotation of a recognized authority or expert on the topic about whihc you are writing.

Examples from real life, case examples, and hypothetical examples can serve as useful evidence to clarify an argument or illustrate a viewpoint.

Quotations, testimonies, interviews

Views expressed in quotations, testimonies and interviews can be used to support your position, or emphasize a particular point. It is important to recognize that these usually come from one person and should not be overused, unless the topic calls for the presentation of this type of evidence, such as an essay or thesis that focuses on qualitative or narrative studies.

Standard English words to cite evidence

There are several standard English words used to cite evidence in order to substantiate arguments and claims. These words, often referred to as reporting words, describe the type of claim or idea that is cited from the researcher or author of the source you report in your writing.

These reporting words are verbs usually written in the past tense because they refer to opinions or research results that occurred in the past.

The 10 most frequently used reporting words are:

1. Smith (2011) believed that an improved theoretical framework was required to explain the phenomenon more fully.

2. Previous studies have investigated the effects of exercise on resting blood pressure in children.

3. White (2009) explained the mechanism of the action of ultraviolet radiation on cells.

Methods for citing and describing the evidence

The table below contains various commonly used words and phrased to provide substantiation, including citing evidence, comparing views, giving examples of evidence, describing relationships between the evidence, and outlining alternative views.

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Issue Analysis / Logical Argument

Types of claims.

Claims usually fall into one of three types:

Claims of Fact

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A claim of fact makes an assertion about something that can be proved or disproved with factual evidence. However, keep in mind the basic quality of claims, that they have to be debatable, and offer an assertion about an issue. So a claim of fact for a logical argument cannot simply consist of a statistic or proven fact. It needs, instead, to focus on an assertion which uses facts to back it up, but for which the evidence might still be debatable.

Inappropriate claim of fact – a statistic or fact that is not debatable:

“the month of March 2017 was 1.03°C (1.9°F) above the 20th century average—this marked the first time the monthly temperature departure from average surpassed 1.0°C (1.8°F) in the absence of an El Niño episode in the tropical Pacific Ocean.” (from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration, NOAA, https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/201713 )

Appropriate claim of fact – makes a claim that is debatable using factual evidence

Decreasing carbon dioxide emissions from car exhaust, manufacturing processes, fertilizers, and landfills, while slowing deforestation, may help slow the process of global warming.

Claims of Value

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Sample claims of value:

It’s better to apply good nutritional choices at home than teach them at school, because good nutrition then becomes ingrained in the child’s experience.

Although immunotherapy has produced some good results in fighting cancer, overall it is less effective than chemotherapy.

Claims of Policy

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Sample claims of policy:

The city’s board of education should institute an honors program not only for high school students, but for elementary and junior high school students as well.

Just as smoking ads have been banned in order to decrease the urge to engage in an unhealthy behavior, soda ads should be banned for the same reason.

No matter the type of claim, you will usually combine many types of support for that claim in order to write a logical argument, including facts, case studies, reasons, personal interviews, and more, as appropriate.

To strengthen your understanding of types of claims, take this nine question self-test. See if you can identify which type of claim the statement is making, then check the answer.

claim in written text needs to be substantiated

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Writing Tutorial Services

Using evidence.

Like a lawyer in a jury trial, a writer must convince her audience of the validity of her argument by using evidence effectively. As a writer, you must also use evidence to persuade your readers to accept your claims. But how do you use evidence to your advantage? By leading your reader through your reasoning.

The types of evidence you use change from discipline to discipline--you might use quotations from a poem or a literary critic, for example, in a literature paper; you might use data from an experiment in a lab report.

The process of putting together your argument is called analysis --it interprets evidence in order to support, test, and/or refine a claim . The chief claim in an analytical essay is called the thesis . A thesis provides the controlling idea for a paper and should be original (that is, not completely obvious), assertive, and arguable. A strong thesis also requires solid evidence to support and develop it because without evidence, a claim is merely an unsubstantiated idea or opinion.

This Web page will cover these basic issues (you can click or scroll down to a particular topic):

Incorporating Evidence Into Your Essay

When should you incorporate evidence.

Once you have formulated your claim, your thesis (see the WTS pamphlet, " How to Write a Thesis Statement ," for ideas and tips), you should use evidence to help strengthen your thesis and any assertion you make that relates to your thesis. Here are some ways to work evidence into your writing:

Weak and Strong Uses of Evidence

In order to use evidence effectively, you need to integrate it smoothly into your essay by following this pattern:

To see the differences between strong and weak uses of evidence, here are two paragraphs.

Weak use of evidence
Today, we are too self-centered. Most families no longer sit down to eat together, preferring instead to eat on the go while rushing to the next appointment (Gleick 148). Everything is about what we want.

This is a weak example of evidence because the evidence is not related to the claim. What does the claim about self-centeredness have to do with families eating together? The writer doesn't explain the connection.

The same evidence can be used to support the same claim, but only with the addition of a clear connection between claim and evidence, and some analysis of the evidence cited.

Stronger use of evidence
Today, Americans are too self-centered. Even our families don't matter as much anymore as they once did. Other people and activities take precedence. In fact, the evidence shows that most American families no longer eat together, preferring instead to eat on the go while rushing to the next appointment (Gleick 148). Sit-down meals are a time to share and connect with others; however, that connection has become less valued, as families begin to prize individual activities over shared time, promoting self-centeredness over group identity.

This is a far better example, as the evidence is more smoothly integrated into the text, the link between the claim and the evidence is strengthened, and the evidence itself is analyzed to provide support for the claim.

Using Quotations: A Special Type of Evidence

One effective way to support your claim is to use quotations. However, because quotations involve someone else's words, you need to take special care to integrate this kind of evidence into your essay. Here are two examples using quotations, one less effective and one more so.

Ineffective Use of Quotation
Today, we are too self-centered. "We are consumers-on-the-run . . . the very notion of the family meal as a sit-down occasion is vanishing. Adults and children alike eat . . . on the way to their next activity" (Gleick 148). Everything is about what we want.

This example is ineffective because the quotation is not integrated with the writer's ideas. Notice how the writer has dropped the quotation into the paragraph without making any connection between it and the claim. Furthermore, she has not discussed the quotation's significance, which makes it difficult for the reader to see the relationship between the evidence and the writer's point.

A More Effective Use of Quotation
Today, Americans are too self-centered. Even our families don't matter as much any more as they once did. Other people and activities take precedence, as James Gleick says in his book, Faster . "We are consumers-on-the-run . . . the very notion of the family meal as a sit-down occasion is vanishing. Adults and children alike eat . . . on the way to their next activity" (148). Sit-down meals are a time to share and connect with others; however, that connection has become less valued, as families begin to prize individual activities over shared time, promoting self-centeredness over group identity.

The second example is more effective because it follows the guidelines for incorporating evidence into an essay. Notice, too, that it uses a lead-in phrase (". . . as James Gleick says in his book, Faster ") to introduce the direct quotation. This lead-in phrase helps to integrate the quotation with the writer's ideas. Also notice that the writer discusses and comments upon the quotation immediately afterwards, which allows the reader to see the quotation's connection to the writer's point.

REMEMBER: Discussing the significance of your evidence develops and expands your paper!

Citing Your Sources

Evidence appears in essays in the form of quotations and paraphrasing. Both forms of evidence must be cited in your text. Citing evidence means distinguishing other writers' information from your own ideas and giving credit to your sources. There are plenty of general ways to do citations. Note both the lead-in phrases and the punctuation (except the brackets) in the following examples:

Quoting: According to Source X, "[direct quotation]" ([date or page #]).
Paraphrasing: Although Source Z argues that [his/her point in your own words], a better way to view the issue is [your own point] ([citation]).
Summarizing: In her book, Source P's main points are Q, R, and S [citation].

Your job during the course of your essay is to persuade your readers that your claims are feasible and are the most effective way of interpreting the evidence.

Questions to Ask Yourself When Revising Your Paper

Produced by Writing Tutorial Services, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

Substantiated Claims definition

Examples of substantiated claims in a sentence.

This Section 7.11 shall only operate for purposes of establishing the Purchaser’s Knowledge, as per the date of this Agreement, in relation to a breach by the Sellers of their warranties and representation set out in Section 5 that would result in a claim or claims that are likely to meet or exceed the Substantiated Claims Amount.

Purchaser agrees that, to the Purchaser’s Knowledge, as of the date of this Agreement, there are no facts, circumstances or matters that, either alone or taken together, constitute a breach by Sellers of any of their representations and warranties set out in Section 5 hereof that would result in a claim or claims that are reasonably likely to meet or exceed the Substantiated Claims Amount.

No claim for breach of Warranties can be asserted toward the Substantiated Claims Amount by the Purchaser where such claim is wholly attributable to any voluntary act, omission, transaction or arrangement specifically requested by the Purchaser or otherwise specifically consented to in writing by the Purchaser prior to the occurrence of such voluntary act, omission, transaction or arrangement.

Notwithstanding anything in this Agreement to the contrary, the provisions of this Section 9.5 shall operate to limit the ability of the Purchaser to assert what could otherwise be a claim that might qualify toward the Substantiated Claims Amount in respect of any breach of or any inaccuracy in the Warranties.

A Cleric who is deceased or an individual who is included in the list of Priests With Substantiated Claims of Abuse published on the Diocese’s website.

The right to grant Awards under the Plan will terminate upon the earlier of: (i) ten (10) years after the Effective Date; (ii) the issuance of a number of shares of Common Stock pursuant to the exercise of Options or the distribution of Stock Awards which together with the exercise of Limited Rights is equivalent to the maximum number of shares reserved under the Plan as set forth in Section 4 hereof.

Employee: A person who is compensated for work performed for the Diocese, or for any of its parishes or parish schools.Former Cleric: A cleric who is deceased or an individual who is included in the list of Priests With Substantiated Claims of Abuse published on the Diocese’s website.

When the Bishop accepts that recommendation, the accused’s name will be added to the list of Priests With Substantiated Claims of Abuse and, when the accused is a Cleric in ministry within the Diocese, announced in the parish where the Cleric is assigned and any other institution where the Cleric was assigned.

Therefore, under the counts to which defendant is pleading guilty, the total maximum sentence is 14 years’ imprisonment.

The Warrantors shall not be liable for a Claim unless and until the amount of the Warrantors’ liability in respect of such Claim, when aggregated with the Warrantors’ liability for all Substantiated Claims (excluding any amounts in respect of a Claim for which the Warrantors have no liability by virtue of clause 9.3), exceeds £150,000, in which case the Warrantors shall be liable for the whole amount claimed (and not just the amount by which the threshold in this clause 9.4 is exceeded).

Related to Substantiated Claims

Substantiated means an abuse investigation has been completed by the Department or the Department's designee and the preponderance of the evidence establishes the abuse occurred.

Substantiated report means a report of sexual conduct that TSPC or ODE determines is founded.

Unsubstantiated means the same as that term is defined in Section 62A-4a-101.

Related Claims means a claim or claims against a Shared Policy made by one or more Kimball Electronics Insured Parties, on the one hand, and one or more Kimball International Insured Parties, on the other hand, filed in connection with Losses suffered by either a Kimball Electronics Insured Party or a Kimball International Insured Party, as the case may be, arising out of the same underlying transaction or series of transactions or event or series of events that have also given rise to Losses suffered by a Kimball International Insured Party or a Kimball Electronics Insured Party, as the case may be, which injuries, losses, liabilities, damages and expenses, are the subject of a claim or claims by such Person against a Shared Policy.

Administrative Claims Bar Date means the deadline for Filing requests for payment of Administrative Claims, which: (a) with respect to Administrative Claims other than Professional Fee Claims, shall be 30 days after the Effective Date; and (b) with respect to Professional Fee Claims, shall be 45 days after the Effective Date.

Covered Claims Claim" means any claim, dispute or controversy between you and us that in any way arises from or relates to this Agreement, the Account, the issuance of any Card, any rewards program, any prior agreement or account. "Claim" includes disputes arising from actions or omissions prior to the date any Card was issued to you, including the advertising related to, application for or approval of the Account. "Claim" has the broadest possible meaning, and includes initial claims, counterclaims, cross-claims and third-party claims. It includes disputes based upon contract, tort, consumer rights, fraud and other intentional torts, constitution, statute, regulation, ordinance, common law and equity (including any claim for injunctive or declaratory relief). "Claim" does not include disputes about the validity, enforceability, coverage or scope of this Arbitration Provision or any part thereof (including, without limitation, the prohibition against class proceedings, private attorney general proceedings and/or multiple party proceedings described in Paragraph C.7 (the "Class Action Waiver"), the last sentence of Paragraph C.13 and/or this sentence); all such disputes are for a court and not an arbitrator to decide. However, any dispute or argument that concerns the validity or enforceability of the Agreement as a whole is for the arbitrator, not a court, to decide. 4. Starting an Arbitration: Arbitration may be elected by any party with respect to any Claim, even if that party has already initiated a lawsuit with respect to a different Claim. Arbitration is started by giving a written demand for arbitration to the other party. We will not demand to arbitrate an individual Claim that you bring against us in small claims court or your state’s equivalent court, if any. But if that Claim is transferred, removed or appealed to a different court, we then have the right to demand arbitration. 5. Choosing the Administrator: "Administrator" means the American Arbitration Association ("AAA"), 000 Xxxxxxxx, 00xx Xxxxx, Xxx Xxxx, XX 00000, xxx.xxx.xxx; JAMS, 000 Xxxxxx Xxxxxx, 00xx Xxxxx, Xxx Xxxx, XX 00000, xxx.xxxxxxx.xxx; or any other company selected by mutual agreement of the parties. If both AAA and JAMS cannot or will not serve and the parties are unable to select an Administrator by mutual consent, the Administrator will be selected by a court. The arbitrator will be appointed by the Administrator in accordance with the rules of the Administrator. However, the arbitrator must be a retired or former judge or a lawyer with at least 10 years of experience. You get to select the Administrator if you give us written notice of your selection with your notice that you are electing to arbitrate any Claim or within 20 days after we give you notice that we are electing to arbitrate any Claim (or, if you dispute our right to require arbitration of the Claim, within 20 days after that dispute is finally resolved). If you do not select the Administrator on time, we may do it. Notwithstanding any language in this Arbitration Provision to the contrary, no arbitration may be administered, without the consent of all parties to the arbitration, by any Administrator that has in place a formal or informal policy that is inconsistent with the Class Action Waiver. 6.

Insured Claims means those Liabilities that, individually or in the aggregate, are covered within the terms and conditions of any of the Company Policies, whether or not subject to deductibles, co-insurance, uncollectability or retrospectively-rated premium adjustments, but only to the extent that such Liabilities are within applicable Company Policy limits, including aggregates.

Employee Claims means any claims (including all fines, judgments, penalties, costs, litigation and/or arbitration expenses, attorneys’ fees and expenses, and costs of settlement with respect to any such claim) made by or in respect of an employee or potential hire of Manager against Manager and/or Lessee which are based on a violation or alleged violation of the Employment Laws or alleged contractual obligations.

Claim for Benefits means a request for a Plan benefit or benefits made by a Member in accordance with the Plan’s Appeals Procedures, including any Pre-Service Claims (requests for Prior Authorization) and Post-Service Claims (requests for benefit payment).

Administrative Claims means Claims that have been timely filed before the Administrative Bar Date, pursuant to the deadline and procedure set forth herein (except as otherwise provided herein or by a separate order of the Bankruptcy Court), for costs and expenses of administration under Sections 503(b), 507(b) or 1114(e)(2) of the Bankruptcy Code, including, without limitation: (a) the actual and necessary costs and expenses incurred after the Petition Date and prior to the Effective Date of preserving the Estates and operating the businesses of the Debtors and Reorganized Debtors (such as wages, salaries or commissions for services and payments for goods and other services); and (b) all fees and charges assessed against the Estates under 28 U.S.C. §1930; provided, however, that the U.S. Trustee shall not be required to file a request for payment of fees and charges assessed against the Estates under 28 U.S.C. § 1930 before the Administrative Bar Date; provided, further, that all requests of Governmental Units for payment of Administrative Tax Claims shall not be subject to the Administrative Bar Date. As used herein, the term “Administrative Claims” shall exclude Professional Compensation Claims.

substantiating documentation means copies of bills or invoices for costs incurred by or for Indemnitee, or copies of court or agency orders or decrees or settlement agreements, as the case may be, accompanied by a sworn statement from Indemnitee that such bills, invoices, court or agency orders or decrees or settlement agreements, represent costs or liabilities meeting the definition of “Expenses” herein.

Authorized Claimant means any Class Member whose claim for recovery has been allowed pursuant to the terms of the Stipulation.

General Administrative Claim means any Administrative Claim, other than a Professional Fee Claim.

Administrative Claim Bar Date means the deadline for filing requests for payment of Administrative Claims, which shall be 30 days after the Effective Date.

Agreed Claims shall have the meaning set forth in Section 8.6(c).

Reasonable Expenses means the reasonable expenses of Employees or Personnel, as the case may be, for which those Employees or Personnel may be reimbursed under the Operator’s usual expense account practice, as accepted by the Management Committee; including without limiting generality, any relocation expenses necessarily incurred in order to properly staff the Mining Operations if the relocation is approved by the Management Committee.

Exculpated Claim means, except as provided herein, any Claim related to any act or omission arising from and after the Petition Date in connection with, relating to or arising out of the Plan Debtors’ postpetition restructuring efforts, the Plan Debtors’ Chapter 11 Cases, the Mediation, the Settled Mediation Causes of Action and other related settlement discussions, the formulation, preparation,dissemination, negotiation, filing, confirmation, approval, implementation or administration of the Disclosure Statement, the Plan (and all previous disclosure statements and plans), the property to be distributed under the Plan or any contract, instrument, release or other agreement or document created or entered into in connection with the Disclosure Statement or the Plan, the filing of the Plan Debtors’ Chapter 11 Cases (including the Mediation and the Mediation Settlement), the pursuit of Confirmation, the issuance of Liquidation Trust Interests, or the distribution of property under the Plan or any other related agreement; provided, however, that Exculpated Claims shall not include any act or omission that is determined in a Final Order to have constituted actual fraud or criminal misconduct. For the avoidance of doubt, no Claim, Cause of Action, obligation or liability expressly set forth in or preserved by the Plan constitutes an Exculpated Claim.

Claims Bar Date means the applicable bar date by which Proofs of Claim must be Filed, as established by: (a) the Bar Date Order; (b) a Final Order of the Bankruptcy Court; or (c) the Plan.

Disputed Claim means any Claim, proof of which was timely and properly filed, and (a) which is listed on the Schedules as unliquidated, disputed, or contingent, and which has not been resolved by written agreement between the Debtors and the Claimant or by an order of the Bankruptcy Court, (b) which is subject to a dispute to the extent that the Debtors or the Reorganized Debtors have asserted a claim against the holder of the Disputed Claim, or (c) as to which the Debtors have interposed a timely objection or request for estimation in accordance with the Bankruptcy Code and the Bankruptcy Rules, which objection or request for estimation has not been withdrawn or determined by a Final Order. Prior to the filing of an objection to a Claim, or the expiration of the time within which to object to such Claim set forth in the Plan or otherwise established by order of the Bankruptcy Court, for purposes of the Plan, a Claim shall be considered a Disputed Claim if (x) the amount of the Claim specified in the proof of Claim exceeds the amount of the Claim scheduled by the Debtors as other than disputed, contingent or unliquidated, or (y) the Claim is not listed on the Schedules.

Allowed Administrative Claim means all or that portion of an Administrative Claim which is an Allowed Claim.

Released Claims means any and all claims, debts, demands, rights or causes of action, suits, matters, and issues or liabilities whatsoever (including, but not limited to, any claims for damages, interest, attorneys’ fees, expert or consulting fees, and any other costs, expenses or liability whatsoever), whether based on federal, state, local, statutory or common law or any other law, rule or regulation, whether fixed or contingent, accrued or unaccrued, liquidated or unliquidated, at law or in equity, matured or unmatured, whether class, derivative, or individual in nature (collectively, “Claims”), including both known Claims and Unknown Claims, against any of the Chicago Releasees and Defendant’s Counsel (i) that have been asserted in this litigation or which could have been asserted in this litigation, or (ii) that in any way arise out of, relate to, are based on, or have any connection with the Plans’ management and administration, including, but not limited to any fees, expenses, investment option performance, monitoring of investment options, or Plan loans, or (iii) that would have been barred by res judicata had the Action been fully litigated to a final judgment. The Released Claims do not include (a) claims pertaining to errors in individual benefit calculations of failure to follow participant instructions or (b) any claims asserted against TIAA in Haley v. Teachers Investment and Annuity Association, 1:17-cv-00855-JPO (S.D.N.Y.).

Unresolved Claims has the meaning set forth in Section 3.3(b)(ii).

Notice and Claims Agent means Prime Clerk LLC.

Approved Claims means complete and timely claims, submitted by Settlement Class Members, that have been approved for payment by the Settlement Administrator.

Claimant means a person or entity who or which submits a Claim Form to the Claims Administrator seeking to be eligible to share in the proceeds of the Settlement Fund.

Indemnified Claims means any and all claims, demands, actions, causes of action, judgments, obligations, liabilities, losses, damages and consequential damages, penalties, fines, costs, fees, expenses and disbursements (including without limitation, fees and expenses of attorneys and other professional consultants and experts in connection with investigation or defense) of every kind, known or unknown, existing or hereafter arising, foreseeable or unforeseeable, which may be imposed upon, threatened or asserted against, or incurred or paid by, any Assignment Estate Indemnified Person or Assignee Indemnified Person, as applicable, at any time and from time to time, because of, resulting from, in connection with, or arising out of this Assignment, the transactions contemplated hereby, including but not limited to economic loss, property damage, personal injury or death in connection with, or occurring on or in the vicinity of, any assets of the Assignment Estate through any cause whatsoever, any act performed or omitted to be performed under this Assignment, the transactions contemplated hereby, or any breach by Assignor or Assignee, as applicable, of any representation, warranty, covenant, agreement or condition contained herein.


Community medicine for academics and lay learners.

claim in written text needs to be substantiated

How to ‘substantiate with reasons’

Disclaimer: This article is primarily intended for my students, but may be useful to others as well.

Background Information:

One of the question types in Kerala University of Health Sciences (KUHS) examinations is the ‘substantiate’ type (example below).

‘Substantiate your answer with reasons:

The World Health Organization establishes and promotes international standards in the field of health.’ (February 2018)

The dictionary meaning of substantiate is to ‘justify’, or ‘provide supporting evidence in favour of something’.

Step 1: Understand what you are supposed to do

Here, the student is supposed to take a stand for or against the given statement, and defend that position.

In the example above, students may either agree or disagree with the statement that the WHO promotes international standards in health.

Step 2: Understand the statement (motion/ thesis)

One of the main reasons students struggle with such questions is that they misunderstand or misinterpret the statement. Therefore, this step is crucial.

While it is desirable to have better proficiency in English, it is impractical to devote time towards that just before a university examination. Therefore, I suggest that students try to determine the meaning (or at least guess it) by breaking the statement into its key words.

Here, the key words are: WHO, establishes, promotes, international standards, health.

Even if a student is unfamiliar with the term ‘establishes’, the other words should enable an educated guess: the WHO promotes international standards in health.

Step 3: Take a position (for or against the statement)

Although the easiest option is to agree with the statement, this is not mandatory. As long as a reasonable justification is provided, learners can take any position- for or against the statement.

The choice of position will depend upon the following factors:

Note that it is more important to have a credible argument in support of your position, than stating your actual viewpoint- you are being assessed on your ability to take a position and defend it successfully.

Step 4: State your position

By now, you must be sure of your position and supporting arguments. The most important task at this juncture is stating your position clearly, and succinctly.

Avoid using words that are ambiguous, and check your sentences for clarity and meaning.

Tip #1: If you are in doubt, agree with the statement- usually it is expected that you will do so.

Tip #2: If your English language skills are poor, use the statement provided to begin your answer:- ‘Yes, the WHO establishes and promotes international standards in health’.

Step 5: Justify your position

This is the most critical aspect of the answer- merely agreeing with the statement without providing any reasons for agreeing will result in a much lower score.

You must present the various points in favour of your position in a clear, point-wise manner. Doing so will make it easier for the examiner to spot your argument(s), and often yields higher scores than unstructured paragraphs (because paragraphs are more difficult to read quickly; and the points are often buried therein- this increases the chance that the examiner will not spot the points made).

Take care to present points based on facts, not personal opinions. For instance, if you dislike the WHO for some reason, don’t write:

‘The World Health Organization does not establish and promote international standards in the field of health. It is simply an organization that implements western standards in the rest of the world.’

The above argument is based on opinion, not facts. Therefore, the argument is weak.

On the contrary, if the response was based on facts, one might write:

‘Yes, the World Health Organization establishes and promotes international standards in the field of health. It does so by

The above points are present in the textbook, and can be independently verified as well for accuracy. Therefore, these make for a strong argument in support of your position.

Step #6: Restate your position and conclude

After justifying your position, you must draw the attention of the examiner back to the original position- either for or against the statement. This is best done by restating your position in conclusion.

Here, one could conclude by stating:

‘Thus, the WHO establishes and promotes international standards in health.’

Additional considerations:

The minimum number of points in support of your position depend upon the statement, and marks available for the question under consideration. Since the assigned mark for such questions is two, you should ideally aim for four points (minimum two points).

The validity and clarity of your supporting arguments will determine  how many marks you receive on the answer. Therefore, resist the temptation of writing whatever comes to your mind first. Instead, write a carefully considered answer that best reflects your learning of the topic in question.

‘Substantiate your answer with reasons’ type questions require candidates to take a position (regarding a statement), and justify/ defend that position.

There are six steps in answering such questions:

One may choose to either oppose or support the original statement, but should provide clear, fact-based justification for doing so.

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Substantiation: Does it Matter?

Substantiation: Does it Matter?

Doug Kalman | Sep 07, 2017

by Douglas Kalman, Ph.D., R.D.

The word “substantiation" carries a lot of weight. In fact, substantiation itself is an action and the word is classified as a verb. An action verb. Therefore, we also can think of the word substantiation to be proactive, versus being reactive. The definition of substantiation includes three aspects, which underscore why this is so important of those who do business in the nutrition sector. (Although, one can argue, this is just as important for anyone who sells something in general or other commerce.)

Before we fully define substantiation, it is also good to know that the general term originated in the mid-1600’s from the Latin as the word, substantiātus .

Substantiation is essentially defined three ways:

Substantiation also can be thought as the backbone off of which a company bases its advertising and marketing. In the United States, under FTC and now even state laws, one must have what is believed to be competent and reliable evidence to support an overt marketing claim or inferred claim.

While most people understand substantiation through its literal definition, FTC actually published, way back in 1972, what are popularly known as the “Pfizer Factors." These factors helped to define how the agency viewed advertising and marketing as related to the product and potential impact on consumers. The Pfizer Factors are what also, in general, helps FTC decide if there is a reasonable basis for a claim. The Pfizer Factors are: 1) the type of product, 2) the type of claim, 3) the benefit of a truthful claim, 4) the ease of developing substantiation for the claim, 5) the consequences of a false claim, and 6) the amount of substantiation experts in the field would consider reasonable.

FDA and FTC work together, when appropriate, on “policing" the industry. This includes reviewing labels for claims, implied claims and substantiation. In 2008, FDA attempted to further define substantiation by releasing a well-read guidance document. In fact, FDA basically stated it views the following four parameters as the foundations of substantiation: 1) the meaning of the claim(s) being made; 2) the relationship of the evidence to the claim; 3) the quality of the evidence; and 4) the totality of the evidence. FDA’s guidance document attempted to further the understanding of what substantiation is by sharing examples that are typical in the supplement industry.

Defining what level of substantiation is adequate has become an issue that companies that want to be proactive are grappling with, considering the various takeaways from FDA’s and even FTC’s outreach to industry, as well as outcomes from litigation brought by FTC and other parties against natural products companies.

A successful business is one that generally minimizes its risks, while also making sure it runs efficiently. One way to be efficient, cost-conscious and smart, especially if you are a company that markets aggressively, is to have a substantiation assessment done prior to your product launch. This is sometimes called a “CARSE" assessment. In other words, one can prevent legal issues upfront by creating a live dossier that covers why your product and related claims are based on Competent and Reliable Scientific Evidence (CARSE).

There are several considerations for assessing the basis for your implied or direct claims. First, if you believe you have reasonable basis for your product claim based upon one published ingredient study, is that enough? Do you need studies at all if you have content area experts who “endorse" your claims as being reasonable? What happens if you are challenged on the quality of the data that you rely upon for your marketing and advertising? What about the cost of creating or obtaining substantiation, can you predetermine what it might cost versus what legal issues may cost you? And, is it acceptable to look for substantiation after you have been hit with a FTC issue or civil lawsuit?

As you can see, substantiation definitely is a verb, as it is about action.

Douglas Kalman, Ph.D., R.D., is a research scientist at QPS , a contract research organization that conducts clinical trials in the pharmaceutical, medical device and nutrition industries. In addition, Dr. Kalman is with Substantiation Sciences (SubstantiationSciences.com), a consultancy that helps companies realize their intellectual property and marketing substantiation goals.

Substantiation will be the focus of Doug Kalman’s presentation at SupplySide West, as part of the Sports Nutrition Workshop, scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 26, 1:30 to 4:30pm . This session will include education, guidance and actions you can take right now to be in the best position to have substantiated products.


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