P1 Paragraphing

After you have annotated your stimulus text, written a thesis statement and mind mapped your thesis statement, it's time to write your analysis? This page presents a 5-paragraph method for writing an analysis of an unseen text. It is not presented as a 'formula' for guaranteed success on your Paper 1. Rather it is a method that can be applied to different degrees of success, depending on the quality of your ideas. 

  1. Study the first paragraph 1 and 2 below. They are taken from an analysis of the 'Man on the Left' stimulus text, which was explored in the previous mind mapping activity. The thesis statement of this analysis reads: "Text 1 borrows visual structures from a wanted poster, such as font, colour and layout, to make its readers more aware of the problems of racial profiling in America." What is the function of the sentences in bold, the sentences in italics, the underlined sentences and the sentences without formatting in paragraphs 1 and 2?

  2. The layout of this advertisement is essential in constructing meaning and making its audience aware of the problem of racial profiling. The “man on the left” is Dr. Martin Luther King. Even though he is a good man, who has fought peacefully for civil rights, he is “75 times more likely to be stopped by the police while driving” than the white, serial killer, Charles Manson, on the right, only because King is black. The reader senses that this is not fairThe two black and white headshots, the weathered edges of the poster and the nails, make the poster look like something from a Wild West scene, such as a ‘wanted’ poster. To suggest that Martin Luther King is a criminal is a false accusation, and this is what shocks the readers. In effect the layout makes readers think more about the injustice of the police stopping black and Hispanic people without reason.

    Secondly, the poster uses the same fonts and font sizes as a wanted poster, which makes readers intrigued by its message. The heading, which includes a statistic, captures the reader’s attention in the same way that a sensational heading of a wanted poster would. It uses a serif font that is similar to those of the Wild West days, which makes the reader think that the men in the pictures are criminals who are wanted ‘dead or alive’. The black lines above and below the heading add gravitas to its meaning and reinforce the ‘wanted poster’ analogy. The very small font under the photographs suggests that the copy of this advertisement will be detailed. The problem of racial profiling in the context of Florida is explained here in detail: “Police stop people based on their skin color, rather than for the way they are driving.” It is shocking to learn that 80% of people pulled over are black or Hispanic, even though they constitute only 5% of all drivers. There is a call to action, in this text with the fine print, which recommends that readers send a fax to their Member of Congress. This call to action reminds readers of their responsibility as citizens in a democracy to stand up to the injustices of racial profiling. The fonts and fonts sizes are effective in capturing readers' attention, making them aware of racial profiling and encouraging them to make a difference. 

    The use of colour contributes further to the text’s purpose of making readers think about racism as a problem. The various shades of brown and the curled up corners make the poster appear as if it has been weathered and bleached by the sun. It suggests that the criminals in the poster have been at large for a long time. In effect it suggests that racial profiling has remained an unsolved problem in America for a very long time. The black and white headshots imitate those of a wanted poster as well, as these posters are cheaply made for mass production. This suggests that racial profiling is a widespread problem and crime. Ironically the text uses a text type commonly created by the police in order to be critical of the police. The colors of this wanted poster trigger a response from the reader that makes them think about justice and their rights.

  3. Did you notice a pattern in paragraphs 1 and 2? How do the bold, italics, underlined and non-formatted sentences follow the PEEL structure (Point, Evidence, Explain, Link) outlined in the table below? Make a copy of the text from paragraph 3 and apply bold, italics, underlining or no formatting to indicate which sentences are examples of points, evidence, evaluation or links. Share your formatting with others and discuss the function of each sentence in this paragraph.  

  4. Function Description Example
    Point  Topic sentence makes a point or claim about how a major stylistic feature contributes to the author's purpose. "The layout of this advertisement is essential in constructing meaning and making its audience aware of the problem of racial profiling."
    Evidence Quotations, descriptions of images or paraphrasing of the text help to prove the point.  "The two black and white headshots, the weathered edges of the poster and the nails..."
    Explain How effective are the author's choices in achieving his/her purpose?  "...make the poster look like something from a Wild West scene, such as a ‘wanted’ poster. To suggest that Martin Luther King is a criminal is a false accusation, and this is what shocks the readers."
    Link/evaluate Link back to the thesis statement and the paragraph's topic sentence (point). Evaluate the effectiveness of the author in achieving a purpose through language "In effect the layout makes readers think more about the injustice of the police stopping black and Hispanic people without reason." 
    A1 poster: PEEL

  5. Return to the mind map that was made in preparation for this analysis of the 'Man on the Left' poster. How does a mind map with this structure correspond to the PEEL structure? How does a mind map like this help prepare you to write PEEL paragraphs? 

  6. What verbs are used frequently to indicate evaluation and analysis in paragraphs 1-3? 

  7. Study the assessment criteria for Paper 1. How does the PEEL method correspond to the assessment criteria?

  8. In the previous activities, you wrote a thesis statement and mind map on the Politico stimulus text. Now write a Paper 1-style analysis of this texts, using the PEEL method. Notice that with the PEEL method, multiple examples (evidence) and analyses (evaluation) can be given in a single paragraph to prove a point. In other words, PEEL is often PEEEEEEL. Give your analysis an introduction, 3 body paragraphs and a conclusion (5 paragraphs in total). Write this mock Paper 1 analysis without time constraints, using text-editing software if desired. Mark your own analysis, using the assessment criteria for Paper 1, and ask your teacher for feedback on your analysis. If everyone in your class has written an analysis of the same stimulus text, ask your teacher to share the best few examples (anonymously) with everyone. 

Last modified: Wednesday, 7 October 2020, 1:16 PM