Along with other useful composition acronyms, the PEEL (point, evidence, explanation, link) format is often introduced in English and or writing courses to improve students' paragraph structuring and formatting capabilities. The results of mastering this technique will be quite visible in the writing that is produced. This is because a well-crafted paper is one that pays careful attention to the format and structure of each paragraph, ensuring the adequate delivery of all major points addressed.
Strong paragraphs make for strong papers; so any advice in this area should be considered when formulating popular paragraphical writings such as essays and term papers.
Is PEEL limited to one form of writing?
The simple elements that comprise the PEEL format are the main ingredients of all great paragraphs. Regardless of whether you are writing a research paper
, personal, expository, or argumentative essay
, in most respects, your paragraph should model the PEEL design. Exceptions may occur for special paragraphs that are small and not fully developed, for instance short transition paragraphs or those that are simply added for emphasis and so on (in these cases the PEEL formula would simply be unnecessary). *Though should definitely decide if these types of paragraphs are really warranted or not as too many of them can definitely take away from the quality and efficiency of your work.
So what is PEEL all about?
Each element in the PEEL format
is a common one; known to writers and teachers alike. They help to strengthen your argument by allowing you to produce overall effective paragraphs that complement and connect to one another. Brief descriptions of each element can be seen below.
Your topic sentence is extremely important for providing fluidity and unity within your paper. Therefore the the first sentence of each paragraph should clearly state the point of the paragraph which in turn should be directly connected to the overall argument of the paper. When crafting your opening sentence (or two in some cases) be sure to be precise and clear about what you will be discussing so that the main idea can easily be extracted with little or no effort.
The evidence presented should be consistent with the type of work being written. For academic writings
, such as term papers and expository essays, the evidence provided should be credible and verifiable such as statistics, concrete examples, illustrations as well as the results or findings of empirical studies. For more informal writings such as personal essays, or blogs, personal experience can be used as a evidence to support a particular point.
This portion of your paragraph may be the largest one as it involves interpreting, evaluating as well as providing additional details to accompany your main idea. By interpreting the evidence you will be analysing its strengths and weaknesses as well as examining the information that can be derived from it. Similarly this section may also include a judgment or claim being made in which you explicitly state an assumption based on the evidence provided.
When providing the link sentence at the end of your paragraph you are not only linking back to the bulk of the paragraph and the main idea but you are also allowing for a transition to the next topic or paragraph. In some cases, people may consider the link sentence to actually be the first sentence of the next paragraph. This can easily be perceived in this manner as all of the topic sentences in a paper or essay
should relate to one another in some way to provide unity and coherence to the work.
Sample PEEL paragraph: Education and technology
In today's society, more than ever, technology has greatly impacted the ways in which we learn and teach a multitude of topics. Among those making the most of e-learning platforms are topics which address employee performance. (POINT) According to a list of the top ten most popular e-learning courses, project management, time management, and customer service skills were among the top three listed.*(EVIDENCE) This can tell us many things about what e-learning has to offer. One is that the convenience it provides is ideal for continuous learning, short term courses as well as self-paced classes. Similarly, this platform works very well when the education needs of many people must be met in a time efficient and orderly manner (as is required by many large corporations and businesses). (EXPLANATION) With these and many other benefits, such as cost efficiency and time flexibility, we can expect to see many more courses presented in this manner as the advent of e-learning alters the way we learn; not only in the workforce, but also in academic and recreational pursuits. (LINK)
*The evidence you present should come from reputable sources and be cited accordingly. Therefore a foot or endnote may be entered here as well as parenthetical citations.
A breakdown of the above sample
In this sample paragraph we can see the implementation of each aspect of the PEEL writing format.
- The point of the paragraph here is explained in two sentences and goes from the broad to the specific; by first starting off with the impact of technology overall and then mentioning its specific influence on employee training and performance.
- The evidence of the main topic is presented in the form of a statistical report that supports the point of employee performance courses being in the greatest demand as well as provide an example of how education has been greatly impacted by technology.
- Afterwards an explanation is given that indicates exactly what can be deduced from the evidence provided. It incorporates interpretation by attempting to explain why e-learning is so popular with businesses. In the meantime it also evaluates it to be a positive means of educating others by highlighting its benefits.
- Lastly, the link sentence takes you back to the main point by reiterating that 'e-learning alters the way we learn' and it also summarizes and provides closure to the entirety of the paragraph. And though a second paragraph is not visible, this last link sentence also opens the door for a new paragraph that deals with e-learning's connection to 'academic and recreational pursuits.'