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Questions & Answers

How do I structure an A Level English paragraph?

There exist detailed instructions regarding structuring the entire essay that’d be acceptable, as per the Cambridge board standards; however, as a paragraph forms an essential part of the entire text, knowledge about its correct structure would be absolutely essential.

It’d be fruitful to develop knowledge about the PEEL method in order to structure the paragraphs well. 

According to this method, certains steps are followed to ensure that the paragraph is on point. The steps are clearly demonstrated by the acronym of PEEL:

P: Mention the point.

E: Add some evidence.

E: Add explanation.

L: Link it back to the main topic.

This acronym ensures that the writer does not stray away from the main point. The person is prevented from getting lost in unnecessary details that would further weaken the validity of the work, plus cost him/her a loss of points if the paper is to be graded.

There can be several multiple paragraphs and for each one this structure should be followed. For instance, if the topic is about the question of children’s safety, one of the body paragraphs could be arguing that since the crime rate has risen, children at all times should be escorted by their parents everywhere they go. Now, according to the PEEL method, this main point of the paragraph should be mentioned in the very first line of it (this first sentence is also known as the topic sentence), in order to ensure that the reader has a clear idea of what the writer has planned to discuss in that particular paragraph. Secondly, the writer should not expect the reader to simply take his/her word and believe it (that would account for a weak argument!). In order to strengthen the argument, the writer should instead give evidence immediately after the first sentence to ensure that the reader has the justification that boosts the argument’s validity. Any statistics, figures, percentages etc. could be mentioned to show that the crime rate is rising. Thirdly, the writer must explain the point in the light of the evidence further. And lastly, this entire theme in the body paragraph should be linked back to the main claim of the essay. This way, the writer would always stay in line with the main argument that has been initially made as a thesis statement.

The essay, as a whole, becomes a well-structured one if the paragraphs are structured using this method. Knowledge of the PEEL method not only makes one a better writer but also ensures that one succeeds academically. 

Apart from the body paragraphs, the introduction paragraph must also have a well-defined structure, where most of it gives the background on the topic - while employing devices to hook the reader, at the same time - and the end part gives away the thesis statement that provides the most important part of the essay: the claim.

Following the correct structure and the right kind of tips and tricks can guarantee an above average performance in the exam. In some cases, external help might still be required that one should not shy away from getting. Asking questions and seeking smart are smart ways of approaching a problem and we wish you very best of luck with approaching the work in the best possible manner!

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