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Transcript of Paragraph Organization
Start with the overall argument (working thesis) of the essay
Example: We need to see the wizard because of the wonderful things he can do for people.
P is for Point
Each of your body paragraphs should focus on a single point that works to support the overall argument (thesis).
The point of a paragraph is stated in that paragraph's topic sentence.
Multiple paragraphs can share the same point. (Just use a transition.)
Example: Each of us needs a particular thing that we can't get except with the wizard's help.
I is for Illustration
Other words that mean the same thing as illustration in this case are evidence and example.
Your illustration can be information from a source, perhaps a quote, summary, or paraphrase. It can also come from your own knowledge and experience. A balance of the two is best, depending on the purpose of the essay.
Example: Dorothy, in particular, is desperate to get back to Kansas from Oz. She doesn't know how to do so, but she has heard that if anyone can help her it's the wizard.
E is for Explanation
Don't assume that the reader will understand why you've included a certain illustration and how it supports the overall argument. Spell it out with explanation.
Think: How does this illustration connect back to the paper's thesis?
Example: Dorothy trusts that she will be able to get back home if only she seeks the wizard's help. Since the wizard has a "wonderful" reputation, she has no reason to believe that he won't be able to help.
Consider the P.I.E. organizational strategy when you're planning for your paper.
When you have a rough draft of the paper, look at the body paragraphs. Label the parts of the paragraph that correspond to the P.I.E. categories. If a paragraph is missing any one of the P.I.E. categories, add it now.
OR write a new body paragraph, making use of the P.I.E. strategy in ways that you did not with the first draft of the paper.
OR if you have multiple paragraphs that connect to a single supporting point, work on adding transition words/phrases/sentences to show the reader the relationship between them.