Paragraph Organization and Development

THE P.I.E. PARAGRAPH

 

 

Read the following paragraph and answer the questions that follow.

 

Body Paragraph, Example 1

 

For example, those of us who communicate in standard English are often praised unduly for how well we speak This is, I might add, an experience all too familiar to Asian-Americans, including those born and bred in the U.S.A. And we know what it is like to be feared, pitied, admired, and scorned on account of our race, before we even have a chance to say boo! We, in turn, view White people through the prism of our own race based expectations. I honestly am surprised every time I see a White man who can play basketball above the rim, just as Puerto Ricans and Cubans tend to be surprised to discover “Americans” who salsa truly well.

 

What is the writer’s argument (in the paragraph and in the essay to which this paragraph belongs)?

What is the writer trying to prove (in the paragraph and in the essay to which this paragraph belongs)?

Is there anything to contextualize this information? For example, is there a main point holding the information together?

 

What did the writer learn from this information?

What does the writer think about these findings?

What is the writer’s reaction to this data?

How did the writer react to this experience?

 

 

The P.I.E. Paragraph:

 

P

=

Point

What is the point of this paragraph?

What claim is being made?

Often, the point is the TOPIC SENTENCE.

 

I

=

Information

How is the point supported with specific data, experiences, or other factual material?

The information is the evidence used to support/develop the point.

 

E

=

Explanation

What does the provided information mean?

The explanation is the writer’s analysis, elaboration, evaluation of the point and information given, connecting the information with the point (topic sentence) and the thesis.

 

 

Body Paragraph, Example 1, Revised

 

POINT

(topic sentence)

 

 

 

 

 

 

INFORMATION

(topic sentence support)

 

 

 

EXPLANATION (relevance portion)

 

Black folk also know what it is like to be underestimated because of the color of their skin. For example, those of us who communicate in standard English are often praised unduly for how well we speak. This is, I might add, an experience all too familiar to Asian-Americans, including those born and bred in the U.S.A. And we know what it is like to be feared, pitied, admired, and scorned on account of our race, before we even have a chance to say boo! We, in turn, view White people through the prism of our own race based expectations. I honestly am surprised every time I see a White man who can play basketball above the rim, just as Puerto Ricans and Cubans tend to be surprised to discover “Americans” who salsa truly well. All of which is to say that the notion that every individual is judged solely on personal merit, without regard for sociological wrapping, is mythical at best.

 

 

P.I.E. Strategies:

 

Ideas for making a POINT:

Decide what you want to say to support your thesis based on your reaction to the text

Try categorizing your ideas and make a comment on a recurring theme you’ve found

 

Ideas for INFORMATION/support:

Information from the readings or class discussions (paraphrases or, occasionally, short quotes)

Personal experience (stories, anecdotes, examples from your life)

Representations in mass media (newspapers, magazines, television)

Elements from popular culture (song lyrics, movie lines, TV characters, celebrities)

Definitions (from the dictionary, the readings, or another source)

Statistics (polls, percentages, data from research studies)

 

Ideas for EXPLANATION:

Interpret, analyze, explain the information, opinion or quote you’ve included

Comment on the accuracy (or inaccuracy) of the quote, fact, data, information, etc.

Decipher the meaning or try to better your understanding of your observation, findings or experience

Suggest to your reader how the information you’ve included relates to your THESIS.