Austin's Rules of Thumb

Support your claims.

Just because you say something doesn’t mean the reader needs to believe it. In most cases, whenever you make a point you need to support it. That means showing the reader why you know it’s true.

Usually this means offering evidence, which often takes the form of vivid, specific examples. If you say, “DKU students are overworked,” I could say, “Oh yeah? I don’t believe it!!”

If I said that, what facts could you tell me to convince me without a doubt that DKU students are overworked? You might start by telling me how many hours of homework you do every day, for example! Or how many hours of sleep you and your classmates get on average every night.


  • make empty, unsupported claims

  • write purely in generalities