After you have structured your ideas, you will want to start writing your extended essay. The blank page might look intimidating. But there is a way to write your paragraphs coherently, which will help your essay 'flow'. This method of paragraphing
is known as the PEEL method:
Point - Make a statement, claim, point or comment
Evidence - Include a quotation, illustration, example or test result
Evaluate - What is the significance/relevance of this quotation, illustration, example or test result in relation to the statement, claim, point or comment? Analyse, explain, evaluate or argue.
Link - Link the evidence and evaluation back to the paragraph's main point and the essay's thesis statement (see The introduction).
Coherent writing often follows this PEEL pattern. Notice from the example below how you can successfully include several examples and evaluations to support a point within one paragraph.
Research Question: How did Henrik Ibsen write for the stage as a means of commenting critically the role of men and women in his time and place in history?
In A Doll’s House Ibsen uses music as a device to establish the atmosphere and convey his message to the audience. The audience sees and hears Nora dance to the Tarantella, which adds to the tension of the play. The audience of the time would have known the dance and the myth of tarantism. The song is named after the tarantula spider, whose bite would make victims dance wildly. In actuality many women in the 19th century suffered from hysteria because they were under so much social pressure. They were encouraged to dance this dance until exhaustion, as a kind of ‘cure’ for hysteria.The dance, however, is meant to be danced in pairs. Since Torvald shuts himself in his office, Nora must dance it alone. She begs him to watch her dance wildly, so that he is distracted and cannot read the blackmail letter from Krogstad, which would ruin her life and expose her secret. In fact she is dancing to save her life, and, in the context of 19 thcentury Norway, the audience would have realized this. Ibsen included this music as a social criticism of his times, where women were driven to hysteria by the men in power.
Find a paragraph from a good Extended Essay and use four different-coloured highlighter pens to indicate which sentences are points, evidences, evaluations and links (to the thesis). Discuss your findings with a colleague or classmate. Try writing your own Extended Essay with PEEL paragraphs.
Criterion C: Critical thinking is worth 12 of the 34 marks for the EE. What does critical thinking look like? See the example paragraph on this page! PEEL paragraphs read coherently because they express critical thinking!
An IB learner is a communicator. What does it mean to communicate effectively? In brief, it means to state your points before giving illustrations and explaining (evaluating) their significance or relevance to your topic. In other words, the PEEL method can be used for all kinds of forms of communication, from essays to everyday conversation.