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How to Use PEEL Writing in Your Assignments

Being a lecturer at the university means I often supervise a lot of master's students from all over the world. One of the common issues I always seem to face while reading countless drafts of their work, however, is that almost all students face challenges in mastering academic writing.

Then one morning while I was having my freshly brewed coffee in the spring sunshine in the garden with my wife, I asked her if I should write about academic writing styles. My wife is also an academic and is currently undertaking her doctoral research at the university, and she thought it was a great idea, encouraging me by saying, "Of course, you should, after all, isn’t that what a lecturer should do, make innovative ways of helping students?" I fully agreed with her.

To give you more insight, below I discuss the PEEL paragraph method of academic writing. Read on to find out how you can improve your writing style without much effort - all you need is a bit of thought and planning.


Pen And Paper

What is the PEEL paragraph method of writing?

PEEL stands for Point, Evidence, Explain and Link

Put simply, it’s a method of writing where students can construct their writing assignments in an easy, structured and comprehensive way which allows them to link opinions and facts with evidence.

Ultimately when you're undertaking academic writing, you want to put your points across so that the reader can clearly understand what you're trying to say, why you are saying it, and how you came to a certain viewpoint. It cuts away the waffle and keeps your writing specific, to the point, and engaging. 


Looking at the PEEL framework in your opening paragraph you start with the ‘P’, or POINT. The key here is to make your point by being specific and concise. 

This could be your opening sentence (i.e., the topic sentence), for instance, where you're telling the reader what you're pointing, or rather, what the paragraph they're about to read will be about. 


At this stage, it's important to use evidence and examples to support your point. Academic writing is all about the evidence and supporting references to your statements.

You want to gain the trust of your reader while establishing the validity of your point, and adding evidence to your writing is one of the easiest ways to achieve this. At the end of the day, you want your reader to see that your points are based on quantifiable evidence.


Once you've added your evidence (or examples) into your writing, you'll then want to elaborate. While any evidence is great to add and often makes your point clear, supplying evidence without then further explaining is like looking at a glass half full.

In other words, when you add evidence you need to explain it so that your reader gets a look at the full picture by explaining what the evidence means and why that information is valuable. 

While every reader will have their own perspective and may even disagree with your stance on a topic, explaining what the evidence you provided means and how it supports your point so that the reader can see it from your viewpoint is imperative. 

Keep in mind that you can also switch around Evidence and Explain with the PEEL method if it makes more sense for you. 


Finally, it's time to complete your paragraph.

If you've followed what I have mentioned above, all you'll have to do is to link your current paragraph's point to the next point in the following paragraph. Alternatively, you can circle back to your main point or this is where you could introduce the opposing argument.

Think of linking as a bridge between all the key points that you would like to talk about. Linking happens right at the end of a paragraph because it acts as a gateway to your next point where the entire PEEL process will start once again.

Hands Typing Laptop

Example of PEEL writing

Now that I have given you a quick overview of what the PEEL writing method is, below I've provided a working example.

POINT – Organisational leaders should always lead with fairness within the organisational culture. 

EVIDENCE – A recent experiment with ICS Learn showed that when senior-level management was seen to be fair in their day-to-day dealings with all levels of company employees, this was directly linked with improving employee motivation. This allowed the employees to perform their duties better. In essence, this study clearly shows... 

EXPLAIN – When employees see that everyone is treated fairly by the leadership team it motivates them more to go the extra mile as they feel more supported and understood, and are willing to work harder for a business that works hard for them too. 

LINK – While it's very clear why the leadership level management should be seen as being fair in their day to dealings, it could also be argued that...

POINT (next paragraph) – Fairness alone is not enough to improve employee motivation this is because >> Evidence >> Explain >> Link and the process carries on.

Final thoughts

So now that you have a better idea of the PEEL writing framework, I hope this will help you structure your writing better and also give you direction with your writing. 

If you’re an ICS Learn student, you can find more resources for essay writing within the Student Community, or get in touch with your tutor for advice! 

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