Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 178 | Writing Skill | Commenting On Sources

When you include a source in your work, you should always comment on it. You need to say how the source relates to the point you are trying to make. You can use a mixture of cautious and assertive language, but you should only use more assertive phrases when the quotation shows something clearly. For example:

  • Based on the evidence, it is clear that a switch to a vegetarian or even vegan diet would dramatically reduce the amount of water used.
  • It is also important to show the limitations of something:
  • However, in virtually every country, apart from India, the percentage of vegetarians equates to under 10% of the total population. This casts some doubt as to whether this solution could work as there would need to be huge cultural shifts in the attitude to diets.
could mean         it is certain       this clearly indicates      which implies
which may suggest        which means

Underline the comment in each extract. Then add the cautious and assertive language to the table above.

  1. There is increasing scientific evidence that the process of climate change is accelerating (Hedger, 2017). This is likely to result in a higher risk of flooding and droughts across different regions.
  2. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the World Weather Attribution Group (2016), climate change has increased the chances of flooding in areas such as Louisiana by up to 50%. While arguably only a contributory factor, it is clear that it is a significant one.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.