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March 08, 2021, 08:33:45 pm

Author Topic: English paragraph structure  (Read 239 times)

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English paragraph structure
« on: January 24, 2021, 09:32:22 pm »
Heyall, I just recently attended the recent English advanced January lectures (Shoutout to Bella that was awesome!!!!!)

After seeing some of the exemplar paragraphs in that, I am a bit overwhelmed with an overall paragraph structure, because I guess I have never really written so sophisticatedly, and I know I am not the first at all to post this, but:

What is the generally recommended paragraph structure? I know I have the information, but I just really need something that will be able to help me in that regard and encompass a sophisticated analysis. As in is there an acronym to remember and would anyone be able to give an example?

Thank you!!

Cameron Drake


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Re: English paragraph structure
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2021, 03:29:13 pm »
Hi Cameron, big welcome to the forums!

I didn’t study the current English syllabus and I’m not aware of the January lecture content, but here’s a few structures that I know of/used when I did HSC English:

- PETAL (Point, example, technique, analysis, link [to intro main idea/thesis statement] ).

Or a little simpler:
- PEEL (Point, example, evidence, link).

Hopefully these may provide a bit more clarity to your paragraphs. :)
2018: HSC

2019: Gap Year

2020-2024: B Science / M Nutrition & Dietetics @ USYD


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Re: English paragraph structure
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2021, 06:55:14 pm »
Hey Cameron! I'm so glad you found the lecture helpful ;D

The first thing I need to address; don't feel too put off by the exemplar paragraphs! They were written towards the end of my HSC journey (maybe around Trials?), so of course my ability to write in a sophisticated way was definitely developed over time, and you'll develop those skills too.

As Katie mentioned, PEEL/PETAL are two great acronyms to keep in mind when analysing, but to elevate your sophistication and ensure you're packing all your amazing ideas in, you can think of you paragraphs as made up of 'PEEL sentences'. Each piece of analysis (one to two sentences, four-ish in a paragraph) should contain a point, example, evidence, explanation and a link to audience understanding.

The colourful breakdowns of analysis I included towards the beginning of the lecture should hopefully demonstrate this - you can use the smaller version to start off, and when you're more confident, start to include elements of context, purpose or audience impact :)

So, at a base level, each piece of analysis should incorporate this:


Some examples of incorporating these elements, and not going any further;

  • The poem challenges the singularity of cultural experiences (1) through its use of repeated mundane rhetorical questions (3), such as “where do you live?” (2), which seemingly mirror an application process (4), the sinister ‘responses’ describing death and destruction thus highlighting the way different lived experiences impacts interpretation (5).
  • Yeats exposes the intense societal degradation in the wake of conflict (1) through “the ceremony of innocence is drowned” (2), which employs a discordant religious allusion to the sacrament of Baptism, suggesting that even traditional purifying rituals (4) have no power, and indeed, cannot exist in his current world order (5).

Hopefully this helps clarify things a bit! A slight exception to the rule in Year 12 might be Module A, in which successful essays will really need to push context and the comparative aspect of things, but, as I mentioned in the lecture, you have to start with your foundation first, and then add all the pizzazz on!

Please let me know if I can explain anything further or if you have any more questions :D
HSC 2019:
- English Advanced (96) - English Extension I (48) - Ancient History (97) - Modern History (95) - History Extension (47) - Mathematics (88) - SOR I (49)

ATAR: 99.45

University 2020-2025:
- Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics @ UNSW - UNSW Law Equity Scholarship Recipient -


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Re: English paragraph structure
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2021, 06:53:08 pm »
I am sorry this is widly late, but THANKYOU SO MUCH!

So helpful!