Using Outside Evidence

For a prompt abt railroads and empire building, and a document about building the trans siberian railroad, could my outside evidence be about the Great Wall of China and how it protected and expanded the dynasty’s empire, and relate that to how railroads could do the same thing?

Probably not. The prompt is asking specifically about railroads AND empire-building, and the Great Wall wouldn’t suffice (nor is it really technically within the time period, though it exists).

I’d consider instead:

  • Other nations and RR construction for the sake of imperialism that AREN’T in the docs
  • Other impacts of RR-building on empires beyond “it mades empires expand” - maybe how folks responded to the building of said RR.

Happy to give feedback if you want to bounce ideas around.


Analogies (which I believe is what you’re going for) don’t count. @ebisso has touched on alternatives but remember: outside evidence counts only if it’s related to the prompt (so RAILROADS or EMPIRE BUILDING/imperialism). That connection is the key for you to earn that point!

Would a better example be the transcontinental railroad in the US? I wrote a sample explanation but I’m still not sure if I’m connecting it enough/properly:

Like the Trans Siberian railroad in Russia, the transcontinental railroad in US promoted migration across the continent, and made governance and control of the rapidly expanding country much easier. Building railroads allowed for the growth and more effective management of the country, which enabled it to grow and build, same as how building railroads in colonial holdings allowed for imperial powers to have more control over them and thus, build their empires.

Yep! That would be a great example. Japan’s railroad-building would also work.

Question: Do you have to cite a source that you got your outside evidence from? What is an example of a sentence of outside evidence that doesn’t directly cite?

No, you don’t especially if you’re using your own words. Bring up a point of evidence, connect it to your argument, and move on

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