Density of evidence.

"Density of Evidence" refers to how much detail we put in. For our writing we could interpret this as something like “the number of pieces of evidence per 100 words.”

A good analogy is a sporting match like football. At your son’s under 15 football match the crowd is likely to not be very dense. There will be some parents and some siblings (who would probably rather not be there ;-) ) around the football pitch. However at the final of the national football competition’s season the same size pitch will have maybe 100,000 people around it. This is obviously a very dense crowd.

So, for a student's report or essay; the teacher is looking for a certain density of evidence. For example, if we are asked to give the key environmental issues concerning koalas we need to work out how many different issues we should give. How many is enough? How many will get a great mark? Have we included enough detail?

We could write 200 words on 1 environmental issue or we could write 200 words covering up to, say, 8 environmental issues. Students need to work out how many will get them a great mark.

In reports and essays teachers generally like to see more examples rather than less. This means the writing is denser as there is more evidence per 100 words. Here, the student has not just answered that section, but has answered it well.

There is obviously a trade-off between the number of examples we can give and the amount that we write about each example.

This density technique also applies to the number of theories used in our analysis. As discussed in the section “The Theory and the Analysis” there are often a lot of theories or models taught in the class. In our assignment we will be expected to use these to do our analysis. So, in 500 words of writing a student may use 2 of the models or they may be able to use, say, 6. This more dense writing will generally get better marks.

Exceeding expectations - Just a Little Bit more.

In marketing we use the technique of "Exceeding Expectations." If a customer needs something from us, we could give them more than they were expecting. In certain situations this will make a very big impression on them and will help ensure that they come back to us.

It can be difficult to know how dense to make each section of our assignment. If a student is after a great mark they can use the technique “Just a little more for good measure.” This means if they have given one example to explain something, they could add another example just to make sure.

If a student is unsure about how much density is needed for a great mark, they should check with their teacher.