PEEL paragraph Essay writing strategy

When properly applied, the PEEL paragraph writing strategy can help you achieve better essay performance. The approach provides the correct structure and depth for each of your points.

Interestingly, students who overlook the PEEL strategy lack clarity in their essays. This is according to research findings by Smith and Smith. They end up turning to custom essay writing service providers for help

The study, which analyzed 500 essays found that four of every five papers that followed the PEEL formula were deemed logical. Furthermore, the essays were a grade higher than the non-PEEL partners.

Conversely, only one in five papers that did not follow the PEEL paragraph technique had a discernible logical order. As a result, students lost up to 20% of their marks.

As you can see, the research findings prove the effectiveness of using PEEL paragraphs in essay writing.

So, what is the meaning of PEEL paragraphs? 

To start with, a paragraph is a series of well-organized, coherent sentences that are related to a single idea.

On the other hand, a sentence is a grammatical unit bearing a single piece of information. It forms the basic element of information. Several sentences merge to convey a specific idea in a paragraph.

To write an essay, you need a combination of several or many paragraphs. Using the PEEL strategy enables you to convincingly present the ideas in your essay paragraphs.

A PEEL paragraph is a writing technique that gives structure to paragraphs. The strategy helps you present a clear and focused argument that links back to your essay topic or thesis statement.

The acronym stands for:

P – Point

E – Evidence/Example

E – Elaborate/Explanation

L – Link

i. Point

The first objective in PEEL entails formulating your topic (first) sentence, and ensuring it relates to your main idea.

Asking yourself the following questions makes it easier:

  • Which point of view needs sharing?

  • Do you need to define any particular term?

  • Is there an essential aspect of your puzzle you want to share?

In PEEL, all paragraphs should make one point. In other words, your essay points should combine and provide a relevant answer to your essay problem.

To achieve this, you need to identify your main idea and elaborate it – the best approach is to use the words in your essay question to structure your topic sentence.

Also, improve your essay's quality by incorporating sentence starters such as 'to begin with,' 'as well as,' 'moving on to '… and so forth in the topic sentence.

Be sure to use different starters for your topic sentences to kill boredom in your essay. You can find more examples of starters towards the end of this article.


"One way in which salary cuts is an ideal strategy for a market leader facing competition from highly innovative competitors is..."

"An important way in which new leaders can implement change programs quickly is..."

"A principal reason why contingency planning is important to multinational organizations operating in a highly dynamic external environment is..."

"One way in which external factors are unfavorable to UK wholesalers at the moment is..."

ii. Evidence/Example

Secondly, give examples or evidence to support your main idea. Dedicate two or three sentences to present research findings, statistics, facts, empirical findings, primary text, or quotes from reliable scholarly sources as evidence.

Make this step more effective by using the stepping stone approach – assume your tutor is tired, and you are explaining something to them. However, be concise.

Questions to assist you here include:

  • Which information will you use to support your evidence?

  • Do you have relevant quotes you can use to illustrate your point?

  • Do you have examples that can help you to elaborate on your idea?

When giving examples, you can use starters such as 'this is shown in,' 'for example,' 'such as,' 'for instance'… et cetera.

iii. Explain/Elaborate

The third part of your paragraph should explain the link between the idea in the first sentence and the example provided in the next sentence or sentences.

You need to elaborate the evidence for your readers using as much detail as possible. However, avoid irrelevant information and repetition of ideas.

A critical or analytical approach will help you explain how and why you chose the examples to support your point.

Also, compare and contrast to check whether your examples support the point you presented.

Relevant questions to help you here are:

  • What is the effect of this evidence?

  • How substantial is the evidence or example I have given?

You can use words such as 'this caused,' 'as a result of,' or 'this means that...'

iv. Link

Lastly, the last part of your paragraph should link back to the thesis statement. It helps ensure that you remain relevant throughout your paragraph. It would be best if you use the same words as those in your title. While reinforcing your main idea, be sure to link to the next paragraph.

Making an attempt to answer the question "what is the relationship between my last point and my thesis statement or essay question?" can help you accomplish this last step.

Common phrases you can use include 'this tells us,' 'This helps answer the question because,' or 'in conclusion...'


"This point indicates that the external environment is quite unfavorable for most wholesalers at the moment…"

This point illustrates how important it is for change programs to be decisively implemented with total commitment from the institution's leadership…"

PEEL Paragraph Examples

Topic - Should we keep wild animals in Zoos?

P – Point: To begin with, it is cruel to remove wild animals from their natural habitat.          

E – Evidence: According to WWF, when animals are held captive, they usually become lonely and bored, often resulting in a condition called zoochosis. The condition is characterized by anxiety, which makes an animal to perform repetitive actions like swaying, rocking back and forth, vomiting, and extreme grooming by the wild animal.

E – Explain: Conditions like zoochosis clearly indicate that wild animals do not belong to prison-like enclosure like zoos, but instead, they enjoy the wilderness.

L – Link: This tells that animals must be freed from zoos to end the suffering; unless the reason for confinement is rehabilitation or to treat sick animals.

Topic – Why is volcanic activity common in the Pacific Ring of Fire?

P – Point: The key reason behind the volcanic activity in the Pacific Ring is the presence of numerous destructive plate boundaries.          

E – Evidence: An example is the destructive plate boundary between the continental South American plate and the oceanic Pacific plate, which forms the Andes Mountain. 

E – Explain: The more dense oceanic plate gets subducted beneath the continental plate and melts upon getting into contact with the hot mantle. As magma rises through the plates, it erupts as volcanoes on the surface. 

L – Link: In conclusion, the destructive plate boundaries found around the Pacific Ring of Fire are the reason behind the frequent volcanic activities.

Topic – Should school uniforms be made mandatory?

P – Point: Supporters of uniforms in learning institutions argue that school uniforms give learners an identity and foster discipline. The anti-school uniform group insists that uniforms indicate a lack of creativity and are uncomfortable. 

E – Evidence: However, school uniforms help to differentiate students from non-students, foster discipline, and assist students in developing social identity.

E – Explain: Uniforms also save students', teachers', and administrators' time and provide a cheaper consistent alternative to regular clothes.

L – Link: Although many arguments support and oppose the idea of making school uniforms mandatory, supporters say that uniforms result in discipline, save costs, and enhance socio-economic equality among learners.

Topic – Can the US have a civil war?

P – Point: The US does not have ideal conditions that can result in a civil war.

E – Evidence: In 2003, researchers found that "countries that are more likely to have civil wars have three major things in common: 1. they are poor 2. their population is actually not diverse; and 3.the government is weak, dishonest, and brutal. "(Bass 1) 

E – Explain: The US lacks any of the mentioned conditions. Even though there are poor people in the US, it is still among the world's wealthiest nations. The population is diverse, and the government a strong one with outstanding checks and balances.

L – Link: These points indicate that chances of a civil war in the US are minimal in the present day.

Tip: Be sure to consistently evaluate your points as you formulate your PEEL paragraphs. Evaluation should take place from the beginning to the end, not after writing your paper.

For example, you can evaluate by stating, "however, the stated point will depend on…"

You can also evaluate your points by gauging how important your argument is to the main idea. If it is crucial, note the same and if you have reservations, explain them.

PEEL paragraph

Advantages of the PEEL Paragraph Writing Strategy

The PEEL paragraph technique is the best way to present your essay because:

  • It helps you to avoid bias in your paper.

  • It enables you to use evidence correctly.

  • The technique is an effective method of convincing your readers, including your tutor!

  • It is the preferred method when writing academic papers.

  • The strategy helps you to remain focused on the main essay idea.

  • It helps you utilize your arguments in a balanced way.

  • PEEL is a great way to present facts.

  • The method improves the effectiveness of your essay.

  • It assists you in getting good grades.

Tips to Manage A PEEL Structured Essay

  • Allow yourself enough time to proofread.

  • Ensure you fully understand the PEEL structure.

  • Intellectualize before working on your paper.

  • Use formal language when outlining and writing your essay using PEEL paragraphs.

Formal Language in PEEL Paragraphs

Generally speaking, there are two types of writing - formal and informal. Academic writing, formal letter writing, and business writing fall under the formal category.

In the PEEL paragraph writing strategy, you should assume a formal tone throughout your essay.

Rules of formal writing

  1. Maintain a serious tone by avoiding metaphors, clinches, hyperboles, litotes, and phrases.

  2. Note that the brain efficiently retains short sentences. As a result, readers find short sentences easy to read and understand. Therefore, avoid long sentences. If you can explain an idea using four sentences instead of seven, the better.

iii. Be sure to place adjectives and descriptive phrases closer to nouns. It improves your essay's readability.

  1. Use active voice by using this format - noun performing an action + action/verb + object receiving the action. Example: Dad drove the carinstead of the car was driven by dad (noun receiving action + action/verb + optional indirect object), which is in the passive voice format.

  2. Use technical words, but they should be related to the topic or subject. For instance, nursing students can use technical terms related to their field of study.

  3. Write in the third person perspective (it, she, he, names/things), which means you should not use words such as I, we, me, my, mine, you, and so forth. See the below examples.




It could not be argued that…

I suppose that…

This can be seen when…

In my view…

The researcher’s words express that…

You observe this while…

An instance of this…

Let us focus on…

A vital change occurs when…

When we study…





vii. Avoid text message tone such as 'LOL' and slang but use the standard spelling of words.

viii. Write words in full. Do not use contractions whereby two words merge into one, and in most cases, an apostrophe replaces one letter. Here are some examples:



That is


Did not




They have


Is not/I am not/are not


It is



  1. Avoid repeating your ideas and repeatedly using specific sentence starters. It denies your readers the interest to continue reading your work. You can also reduce monotony by using different adjectives.

  2. Properly cite your sources and use appropriate references.

  3. Conversations assume an informal tone. Therefore, do not write your essay as if you are talking to someone. You could listen to a strict instructor or read textbooks, rulebooks, and reports to better understand the concept of formal tones.

Peel Paragraphs Sentence Starters

Incorporate various sentence starters to improve the effectiveness of your essay. Besides reducing repetition, using different starters gives your paper a professional touch; they rid your paragraphs of the simple subject-verb structure and help you to link your ideas effectively.

However, avoid random usage of starters. Ensure you fix the appropriate starter for sentences in your PEEL paragraphs.

Verify the sentence's purpose, for instance—is the sentence talking about a specific sequence, or is it about contrast? Are you adding more information, emphasizing, or concluding?

Below is a list of useful sentence starters you can incorporate in your PEEL paragraphs.

To present previous/background ideas

Traditionally, formerly, at the time of, in the past, previously, prior to this, initially, until now, conventionally, customarily, earlier, beforehand, historically, overtime, at first, originally, recently.

To show sequence:

At first, earlier, currently, during, first of all, to begin with, eventually, finally, in the first place, for now, immediately, in conclusion, in time, generally, in turn, next, soon, afterward.

To keep the first person 'I' out of your essay

However, arguably, it may be that, there are two sides to this argument…firstly…this paper will present the following point of view…one point of view is that…this assignment will attempt to show that…some theorists, notably Johnstone (1994) and John (1997) have argued…

For rare/common ideas

A few, rarely, on occasion, seldom, unusually, quite often…

To summarize

That is, all things considered, all in all, after all, in any case, lastly, by and large, in summary, overall, to sum up, to summarize, conclusively, finally, at the end, once and for all, in the final analysis, in the long run, therefore, in conclusion, on the whole, that is to say…

To cite examples

In fact, especially, for example, as an example, such as, specifically, this can be seen in, in particular/particularly, markedly, including, namely, as an illustration, for instance, in this case, for one thing, as illustrated by…

To show contrast

Even though, however, conversely, although, in comparison, outside of, comparatively, yet, nevertheless, in contrast, instead, whereas, on the contrary, other than, on the other hand, different from, rather, still, besides, otherwise…

To emphasis

Above all, admittedly, assuredly, as a rule, as usual, certainly, especially, chiefly, granted, singularly, particularly, ordinarily, unquestionably, generally speaking, no doubt, in this situation, for most part, obviously, of course, usually…

For adding ideas

Furthermore, additionally, coupled with, moreover, correspondingly, as well as, another reason, in addition, for example, as well as, along with, also, indeed, likewise, identically, in fact, whereas, again, similarly, one other thing…

To show cause

As a result, because, for this purpose, due to, accordingly, for this reason, consequently, since, hence, otherwise, therefore, subsequently, following this, so then, thus, as you can see, thereupon, this is why, wherefore.

Topic Sentences in PEEL Paragraphs

A topic sentence is usually the first line in PEEL paragraphs. It introduces the main idea or the topic of the paragraph. The remaining part of the paragraph is always built on the topic sentence.

The easiest way to understand topic sentences is by visualizing a paragraph as a mini-essay.

An essay is made up of a thesis statement, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Under the PEEL technique, the topic sentence becomes the thesis statement, the supporting details or explanation equal the essay body paragraphs, while the conclusion corresponds to the wrap-up sentence or sentences in the paragraph.



Topic sentence

Thesis statement

Supporting details, explanation, analysis

Body paragraphs

Wrap-up sentence(s)



An effective essay comprises an introduction that presents the thesis statement, which in turn talks about the idea or argument around which the paper develops.

Similarly, the topic sentence introduces the main idea of a paragraph, which the other lines provide evidence to support. It works like a signpost meaning it clearly states what readers should expect from a paragraph but it is general enough to not disclose everything.

A strong topic sentence appears as the first line of a paragraph. It also focuses on a single idea and leaves room for more analysis within the same paragraph.

Sentence starters also make strong topic sentences, allow smooth flow of ideas, and create cohesion in an essay.

Note that you should avoid using quotations as topic sentences. However, you can incorporate direct quotes in your PEEL paragraph to support the topic sentence.

How to Write a Good Essay Using PEEL Paragraphs

Using PEEL technique can earn you better grades. However, there are various factors that can lower the quality of your paper.

Here are tips to help you write an excellent essay.

  1. Have your essay outlineready. It keeps you on track, which results in a great flow of ideas.

  2. Be sure to have an appropriate thesis statement in your introduction.

iii. Only refer from current credible scholarly sources.

  1. Each of your essay paragraphs should focus on a single idea. Introducing several essay ideas in the same paragraph makes your essay hard to follow.

  2. Avoid plagiarism by all means.

  3. Ensure you use good grammar, punctuation, and spelling.

vii. Have well-structured sentences and paragraphs throughout your paper.

viii. Be concise while using easy-to-understand sentences and professional language.


The PEEL paragraph writing strategy helps to improve the effectiveness of your paper. It not only assists you in structuring your assignment, but it also gives your reader an easy way to follow your essay. And, if the reader is your tutor, you are assured of better scores!

Furthermore, you can use PEEL paragraphs in different essays -- expository essays, analytical essays, persuasive/argumentative essays, descriptive essays, and essays about yourself. Sounds good?

However, do not panic if a paragraph sounds odd when you incorporate the PEEL technique. Some paragraphs never fit into the PEEL structure.

Lastly, remember to keep your paragraphs short, clear, and focused. You can engage an essay help service for editing and proofreading your work for spelling, grammar, and sentence flow. If any part of a paragraph sounds clunky, consider re-writing












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Published on: 03, Jan 2021
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