Writing Research Paragraphs

Remember Point - Quote - Comment (Make a point, support it with a quotation, and then explain how the quote reinforces the point you are making. )

Remember Point - Evidence - Explanation (PEE) PEE
Definition of PEE

The PEE Chain

PEE on WikiAnswers


How to write a research paragraph

Writing Research Paragraphs using PQC or TRIAC

Word Works
Learning through writing
at Boise State University
Number 75 October 1995
Published by the BSU Writing Center

The inside story:
Seeing the shape of development and content
One of the hardest parts of evaluating a piece of writing is knowing how to look at development and talk about what goes on inside the piece. As teachers reading student papers, as writers trying to improve our own drafts or give feedback on friends' drafts, many of us have a hard time focusing on content systematically.

To develop literally means "to unwrap." The metaphor of unwrapping works well in some endeavors. When a photographer develops a photograph or a police investigator develops a suspect, we can understand that in a sense they are unwrapping or finding information that's already there. It just needs to be revealed or made available. But with writing, it is more difficult to say that the content is already there. The content isn't there until the writer has thought up what to say and figured out how to put everything together.

This issue of Word Works will look at a set of strategies for examining and talking about content. We will be stressing ways to describe something already written, but we'll try to show how the same ideas can help a writer "put something there" when there was nothing "there" before. To begin, please read the following passage from Hugh B. Price's essay, "Multiculturalism: Myths and Realities."

Many scholars and educators are up in arms over demands that school curricula be revised and over denunciation of Western civilization courses as instruments of cultural imperialism. And, for that matter, many are upset over the rejection of the so- called canon (or list of essential books) as an instrumentality of the entrenched power structure. Advocates of the ascendancy of Western values argue that there is a disinterested Western cultural tradition that is rooted in a commitment to rational inquiry, that is governed by rigorous standards of evidence, and that has, over the centuries, converged on the truth. Yet minorities and women argue that history texts have not gone nearly far enough in portraying their cultures and contributions. They say the texts are rife with glaring omissions, cultural stereotypes, and misrepresentations of their histories.

These accusations ring true. I, for one, was an adult before I learned that Pushkin, the celebrated Russian poet, and Alexandre Dumas, the noted French author, were black. No one in secondary school or college taught me those salient facts. Why was there no mention in the standard literary anthologies?

This pattern of denial helps explain the deep- rooted suspicions among minorities and women about the accuracy of history as taught in the schools.

First look: levels of specificity
A helpful way to look at this passage is to examine the different levels of specificity in it — what is sometimes called the ladder of abstraction. Most good writing, except for specialized kinds in certain disciplines — keeps moving among different levels of specificity. Each paragraph or section begins with some kind of general theme statement, followed by comment on the theme, examples, and analysis or commentary. We will look at these kinds of statements in a moment, but first let's examine how our sample passage moves back and forth in specificity (or up and down the ladder of abstraction). We'll do this by arranging the parts of the passage to make the levels visual. The more general statements are placed to the left. As statements get more specific they move to the right.

Many scholars and educators are up in arms over demands that school curricula be revised and over denunciation of Western civilization courses as instruments of cultural imperialism.

And, for that matter, many are upset over the rejection of the so-called canon (or list of essential books) as an instrumentality of the entrenched power structure.

Advocates of the ascendancy of Western values argue that there is a disinterested Western cultural tradition that is rooted in a commitment to rational inquiry, that is governed by rigorous standards of evidence, and that has, over the centuries, converged on the truth.

Yet minorities and women argue that history texts have not gone nearly far enough in portraying their cultures and contributions.

They say the texts are rife with glaring omissions, cultural stereotypes, and misrepresentations of their histories.

These accusations ring true.

I, for one, was an adult before I learned that Pushkin, the celebrated Russian poet, and Alexandre Dumas, the noted French author, were black.

No one in secondary school or college taught me those salient facts.

Why was there no mention in the standard literary anthologies?

This pattern of denial helps explain the deep-rooted suspicions among minorities and women about the accuracy of history as taught in the schools.

The alternation between general and specific in this passage accomplishes at least two things. First, it makes the writing readable. Writing that stays all on the same level for long stretches is wearying for a reader. The changes in levels give the mind a rest. Second, it is essential for development, because sentences at different levels fill different roles in development. General claims are supported by more specific reasons and by even more specific evidence.

Second look: TRIAC
When we mentioned the different roles played by different statements — theme, examples, commentary — we were talking in a general way about a phenomenon which we'll now examine close-up. There are actually five categories of statements, whose interplay makes up what we call content or development. These categories are sometimes called the TRIAC. (This discussion of TRIAC in this issue owes a heavy debt to a book on writing by Chris Anderson called Free/Style.)

T: stating a thesis, topic, or theme

R: restating the theme, refining, restricting, reversing it

I: illustrating the theme or thesis, giving examples of it

A: analyzing the thesis or the examples

C: concluding, closing

TRIAC applied to our sample passage might look like this:

T Many scholars and educators are up in arms over demands that school curricula be revised and over denunciation of Western civilization courses as instruments of cultural imperialism.

(This is the theme statement. It indicates that there is a controversy, and states what the controversy is about.)

R And, for that matter, many are upset over the rejection of the so-called canon (or list of essential books) as an instrumentality of the entrenched power structure.

(The theme is restricted; our attention is focused on one aspect of curriculum revision, the canon.)

A Advocates of the ascendancy of Western values argue that there is a disinterested Western cultural tradition that is rooted in a commitment to rational inquiry, that is governed by rigorous standards of evidence, and that has, over the centuries, converged on the truth.

(This sentence is Analysis in the sense that it gives the reasons used by those who uphold the traditional canon.)

R Yet minorities and women argue that history texts have not gone nearly far enough in portraying their cultures and contributions.

(A reversal: the position of the opposite side.)

A/I They say the texts are rife with glaring omissions, cultural stereotypes, and misrepresentations of their histories.

(Reasons given by the opposition. It also contains some generalized illustrations of the shortcomings of the traditional canon.)

A These accusations ring true.

(The author evaluates the opposition's reasons)

I I, for one, was an adult before I learned that Pushkin, the celebrated Russian poet, and Alexandre Dumas, the noted French author, were black.

I No one in secondary school or college taught me those salient facts.

(Two sentences of specific illustration.)

A Why was there no mention in the standard literary anthologies?

(Analysis. Although this is a question, the author implies the answer: There was no mention because the traditional canon suppressed all such knowledge.)

C This pattern of denial helps explain the deep- rooted suspicions among minorities and women about the accuracy of history as taught in the schools.

(Concluding statement, on the same level of generality as the theme statement.)

TRIAC works best if it's not applied too rigidly. There are a number of ways in which a person should be flexible. First, there is no "right" label for every statement. Readers will disagree on whether a certain statement is an R or an A, an A or an I. Some statements fill more than one slot (as seen above, where one statement is labelled A/I). Not everyone will agree with the levels of specificity we've assigned to the sentences of Price's passage, or the TRIAC labels we've put on them. One reader may want to label a certain statement as T, while another might want to call it an R because it seems to follow from a previous T. In the long run, fine distinctions don't really matter.

Second, not every paragraph, section, or piece of writing will have all the parts of the TRIAC and may not necessarily have them in T-R- I-A-C order. Most paragraphs do not have a C, or at least not one that can be distinguished from the A. Anderson points out that sometimes perfectly fine paragraphs or passages come in orders like IAC, IRT, AT, TAC, and so on.

Third, the conventions of different kinds of writing require writers to apply TRIAC in different ways. In technical communication and business writing, most documents begin with the C-statement, the summary, and then proceeds to the introduction, the T-statement. Descriptions, such as those used in many geology assignments, may use TI heavily with little R or A.

Sometimes TRIAC applies better to a whole piece of writing than to individual parts. In a sociological study, the Introduction corresponds to T, the Review of Research and Design of Study section to R, the Findings to I, the Discussion to A, and the Conclusion to C. Consequently the Findings section is likely to have mostly I statements, the Discussion mostly A statements.

Many BSU writing faculty, and all the assistants working in the Writing Center, use TRIAC to help student writers understand the shape of content. They find that it is easy to teach and provides a handy language for talking about the shape of content. In the Writing Center, it is not unusual for a student from E 101 or E 102 to start a tutoring session by saying, "I've TRIACed this already, but I want to see if it needs more."

Writing with TRIAC
Writers who learn to use TRIAC use it most often for revising finished drafts. But sometimes TRIAC is also useful for getting the first draft written. It helps answer questions like "Where can I go with this idea; how can I make it persuasive?" and "So what — what's significant about what I'm saying, or about this example?"

TRIAC helps writers remember that general statements usually need the support of more specific statements — and that one can't assume that an example will provide self-evident support for an idea without further explanation. It is true that some Theme statements are so clear they don't need restriction or refinement, and some Illustrative statements are so self-evident that any Analysis would seem redundant and possibly insulting to the reader's intelligence. But practice with TRIAC helps writers decide what needs more development and what doesn't.

TRIAC is especially helpful in research writing. Writers can use it to gain greater control over the material they've gathered. Students trying to write research papers can run into difficulty, ironically, if they have done a good job of researching. They have accumulated a rich stew of source materials, some contradictory with each other. They can feel overwhelmed.

The papers that result come out sounding thin and mechanical, strings of T and I statements, cut-and-paste work. When writers learn the value of R and A statements — and how to write them — they discover that these kinds of statements force them to think creatively about their material, figure out why it's important, what it means to them. They learn how to "put something there" that wasn't there before.

RL


**How to Write a Paragraph Using TRIAC

Contributor
By eHow Contributing Writer
Article Rating: (2 Ratings)

TRIAC (which stands for Topic, Research, Interpretation, Analysis and Conclusion) is a model for writing paragraphs that is often used for high school and lower-division college students. It is intended to teach students how to organize their thoughts into effective paragraphs. It is particularly useful for assignments in freshman composition classes, such as English 101 and 102. Please note that the statistics within the portions of the sample paragraph are fictional.

Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Instructions

1.
Step 1

Write a topic sentence that tells your readers what the rest of the paragraph will be about. In an argumentative essay, the topic of each body paragraph will state a reason that you think your argument is true. So your topic sentence could look like this: "Textbook prices take up an ever-increasing portion of students' budgets."
2.
Step 2

Integrate your research. Support your opening argument with facts and statistics. Cite your research to support your claim and cite your sources and use footnotes when necessary. For example: "Textbook prices have risen by 50% in the last 20 years (Smith 23). Meanwhile, average wages for college students have only risen 10% over the same period (Anderson 356)."
3.
Step 3

Interpret your research to demonstrate its importance. This is the only TRIAC step that is not always necessary, as some research will be self-explanatory. However, in the sample paragraph, you can make the statistics more concrete for your readers: "This means that a textbook which cost $100 in 1988 costs $150 today, while a job that payed $10/hr 20 years ago, only pays $11/hr today."
4.
Step 4

Analyze the research. Explain its importance and how it supports your argument. This is the most important step, as it ties together your research and your topic: "This research shows that paying for textbooks consumes a growing portion of students' budgets, leaving less money for other essentials with the result that some students cannot afford to pay for college."
5.
Step 5

Write a concluding sentence. Wrap up your paragraph and drive home your point to your reader: "This shows why rising textbook prices are a pressing problem that college administrators must address."
6.
Step 6

Put it all together: "Textbook prices consume an ever-increasing portion of students' budgets. These prices have risen by 50% in the last 20 years (Smith 23). Meanwhile, average wages for college students have only risen 10% over the same period (Anderson 356). This means that a textbook which cost $100 in 1988 costs $150 today, while a job that payed $10/hr 20 years ago only pays $11/hr today. This research shows that paying for textbooks consumes a larger portion of students' budgets, leaving less money for other essentials and making it difficult for some students to afford a college education. This shows why rising textbook prices are a pressing problem for college students that administrators must address."

Tips & Warnings

*
TRIAC is designed as a model to help writers organize their ideas, but that doesn't mean it is appropriate for all assignments. As your writing becomes more sophisticated, you probably will rely on it less.
*
Don't count sentences. Students often hear conflicting advice on how long paragraphs should be. The truth is that a paragraph should have as many sentences as is necessary to get your point across without repeating your ideas. If you follow the TRIAC model, you will know when to end a paragraph and when to start a new one.**

HERE IS STUDENT ADVICE ABOUT PEE AND PQC:

English, P.E.E? Point, Evidence, Explain?
For my assessment I have to write an essay, 'Compare the poems "The Ball Between Us" and "A Wooden Spoon for the WRU"'.

Instead of just telling us to write an essay they have given us a series of questions, which, if we answer in full sentences create an essay. One of the questions is, 'What are the emotions shown in the poems (Use P.E.E for the paragrah)'.

I was away when my teacher explained P.E.E and I have no idea how to use it. Can you please give me some examples of a good paragrah using P.E.E or explain to me how to use it?

Thanks (;

Best Answer - Chosen by Asker
Well I was taught to do it P.Q.C meaning point, quote, comment which is pretty much the same thing.
Anyway..
Point- you have to make the point such as these two poems are sad (have never read these poems so they probs arent sad, but you get my point)
Quote/Evidence- you have to say how you know, so what the poem says such as we can tell this by the way the poet says, '…….'
Comment/Explain- pretty simple just explain wat this tells you but it more depth.
Hope this helps! You might want to check it should be right!

PEE is basically how you write a paragraph

In an essay you do
Introduction (using TART - title, author, reference to question, techniques used by author)
6-8 paragraphs of evidence
conclusion - sum up

In the 6-8 paragraphs of evidence you use PEE
You start by using a topic sentence (point). Elaborate on this, i.e put it in reference to the poem - explain what is happening at this point in the poem
Then Evidence, insert a quote
Evaluation - analyse the quotation in detail
Finish of PEE by doing a summary sentence - mini conclusion - at the end of each paragraph- one sentence to sum up the points in para- like a topic sentence at the end

P=You make a point about one of the poems for example "It uses alliteration"
E=Then you give evidence from the poem by quoting it (I don't know the poems so couldn't give an example)
E=Then you explain it, what effect it creates, why the writer wrote it etc.

Point - Your first question is as you mentioned, "What are the emotions in these poems". English is all about opinions, making them and backing them up. You might start the question with "I think the emotions in these poems are…" go onto make your point, but be sure you have evidence such as quotes (a line or two from the poem) to back it up.
Evidence — As I mentioned about, you need evidence to back up your point ie., quotations.
Explain —
This will be your final part of the answer. This is basically just explaining the quotation you used to back up your point, and tying up your whole paragraph. You might have a sentence like this, "It is clear from this line of the poem that there is a significant amount of emotion in this poem"
Remember: if a poem asks you to talk about emotion and you think there is no emotion in the poem, you can say that, but you just need to be able to back up your point with clear and concise evidence from the piece.
You might find you're repeating yourself a bit in the question, because you'll be using a lot of the same words over again, "emotion" etc, but once you're sure to make your point, back it up with relevant evidence from the poem, and explain how this evidence relates to your point, you'll have answered it properly.

http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090416112942AAsmHAs

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