Scientific Explanations


Scientific explanation are different from everyday explanations because they are based on evidence. Science students need to explain conclusions that they reach, from taking data, in a clear way. Claim, Evidence and Reasoning is a format that makes writing very complex ideas, a little easier. When you are writing a paper, answering questions on a quiz or CSAP, you have a much greater chance of proving what you know if you use the CER format.

Claim:

This is the idea that you are trying to prove. In English class, you would call it a thesis statement. It could also be the introductory paragraph in a paper

Evidence:

This section will be very dry. You should describe graphs and outline evidence. Your own thoughts will go in the reasoning section. Evidence should include:
  • Studies that support your claim
  • Data
  • Analysis
  • Facts

Reasoning:

This is where you will put your ideas about what the evidence means. Reasoning explains why evidence came out the in the way that it did. Reasoning should include:
  • Your ideas on why graphs have a particular shape.
  • Your ideas on why your claim is true.
  • You should reach logical conclusions based on evidence.
  • Build your argument to prove your point.