Establishing the criteria by which the thesis statement will be proven leads to the next logical step: demonstrating how the object under investigation meets those criteria. Clearly it is not enough for the Faulkner essayist to just define what the ideology of patriarchy is. Their thesis is that Faulkner's work criticizes that ideology. As a result, they will have to point to specific things within the text and argue that they relate to those criteria IN A SPECIFIC WAYin this case through a process of criticism. This process of relating the object of investigation back to the established criteria is another fundamental component of the body of the essay. Without it, the proof is not complete. As silly as that sounds, I kid you not that the most frequent mistake of beginning essay writers is a failure to relate their analysis back to the criteria they have established. Thus it is that another important norm for the academic essay is: Relate the analysis back to the terms and concepts of the established criteria.
The provenance of a piece of information is not a direct clue to its quality. There is something called the ‘stable theory’, which suggests that academic work is often valued highly just because it emanates from a prestigious research group or is published in a prestigious journal. So we should judge information on its own merits. However, provenance can be an indirect clue to the reliability of information – a safety net that gives you the opportunity to check things out. Provenance can affect other people’s confidence in the sources you are citing.