SCIENTIFIC EXPLANATIONS Claim, Evidence, Reasoning

claim - what you know


  • A one or two sentence statement of your understanding of the question being asked.
  • The claim answers the original question by expressing what you want the audience to understand or believe.
  • A hypothesis about the results of an investigation describing the relationship between the independent and dependent variables.
  • A precise and clear, carefully constructed sentence, explaining your thoughts about the question being asked.
  • Use key words and ideas from the question as you write your claim.
evidence - How you know


  • Evidence is scientific data or facts used to support the claim.
  • Evidence supports the claim in order to convince someone else that the claim is true.
  • Data refers to all of your collected observations, evidence refers to data that is used to support your claim.
  • Evidence can come from readings, lectures, investigations, observations, or your own research.
  • Deciding which data to choose and how to present those data as evidence is a key step in constructing a scientific explanation.
  • Evidence can be qualitative or quantitative, but must be appropriate and sufficient.
reasoning - Why your evidence supports your claim


  • Your reasoning justifies why the evidence supports the claim.
  • Reasoning shows why the evidence you chose is the correct evidence.
  • Reasoning should demonstrate how scientific knowledge and theories connect the evidence to the claim.
  • Use logic, analogies, and examples to show the link from the evidence to the claim.

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