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MAS 219 - Downtown (Sepulveda) Mexican-American Culture: Get Started Writing/ Paragraph structure

Structure of a Paragraph

A basic way of organizing paragraphs is the P.I.E structure: Point, Information, Explanation.  

Point= The main point, or idea, you are making in the paragraph. Also known as a Topic Sentence.

Information= The specific fact or example which supports the point you are trying to make. It must be specific and will usually be concrete (numbers, statistic, quote, etc.). Also known as Evidence.

Explanation= An explanation in your own words of how the example supports the point you are trying to make and how this idea supports the main idea of the essay as a whole. Also known as Analysis/ Evaluation.

This structure is most effective when the reader can tell the difference between these three parts.

Hartwig, Jennifer. "P.I.E. Recipe for Paragraphs." YouTube. YouTube, 02 Aug. 2013. Web. 14 Mar. 2016.

The Writing Process

Before You Write:

Know your purpose for writing. Is it to persuade, to compare, to describe?

Know your audience. Is it your peers or the instructor?  The tone and formality of the writing should reflect the audience you are trying to reach.  

Steps of the Writing Process:

Brainstorming- during this stage, you want to generate as many ideas as possible without critique.  This is the time to be creative and come up with many ideas. 

Drafting- it is important during drafting to be open to feedback and change.  Ask a peer or visit a writing tutor for objective feedback. Ask them to evaluate your writing in the following areas:  Ideas- are they clear and well-organized; thesis- is the main point you are making clear; evidence- do you have ample evidence that supports the point you are making; research- are your sources valid and authoritative, and do you cite them correctly; language/ word choice- is the work well edited and vocabulary appropriate to the topic and audience.

Revision- After seeking feedback and rereading your own work, rewrite your paper to address any areas of concern or expand on areas of strength.  Good writers revise many times, knowing this process improves the final quality of the work.

Editing- You should be editing throughout the writing process, but make sure you do a final edit.  It can help to read your work aloud.