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Paragraph Organization - images.pcmac.org

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Paragraph Organization
TheSIEL Method
Key to Idea Organization
S = State your argumentI = Illustrate your argument with aquote/exampleE = Explain in detail how thequote/example backsup yourargumentL = Link to the next argument
S = State it!
Stating it!means 1) giving your reader the main idea of the paragraph, and/or 2) answering the prompt.Example prompt: Analyze what characteristics are required to be a hero based on Rikki-tikki’sbehavior in “Rikki-tikki-tavi.”In “Rikki-tikki-tavi,” Rikki proves that in order to be a hero, one must have courage, intelligence, prowess, and righteousness.
I = Illustrate it!
To illustrate your point or idea, you must give examples from the text to support your point of view.Example:Rikki-tikkiclearly shows that one must have courage to be a hero. For example at the end of the story, Rikki followsNaginainto her hole. The narrator tells us that “very few mongooses, however wise and old they may be, care to follow a cobra into its hole” (27).Using “for example” is a great way to include transitions!!!!!
Our paragraph so far….

In“Rikki-tikki-tavi” Rikki proves that in order to be a hero, one must have courage, intelligence, prowess, and righteousness.Rikki-tikkiclearly shows that one must have courage to be a hero. For example at the end of the story, Rikki followsNaginainto her hole. The narrator tells us that “very few mongooses, however wise and old they may be, care to follow a cobra into its hole” (27).So we have ourState it!and ourIllustrate it!Let’smove onto our longest and trickiest part….
E = Explain it!
In the explanation part, you must explain to your reader how the quote (Illustrate it!)proves your idea (State it!).This should be twice as long as yourIllustrate it!.Example:This quote shows that even if a mongoose is smart and has the experience of a lifetime, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will follow a cobra into its hole. It takes something more than wisdom or experience; it takes courage. This point is proven when Rikki’s trip down the cobra’s hole ends with his triumph.
L = Link it!
NowLink it!is the very last part of your answer or paragraph.So you must decide…are you finished, or do you need to include more examples?The answer is in your prompt and yourState it!
Look at yourState it!
YourState it!said:In “Rikki-tikki-tavi” Rikki proves that in order to be a hero, one must havecourage,intelligence,prowess, andrighteousness.Are you done? Have you given examples and explanation for intelligence? Prowess? Righteousness?If not…go back toState it!
Your paragraph so far…
In “Rikki-tikki-tavi” Rikki proves that in order to be a hero, one must have courage, intelligence, prowess, and righteousness.Rikki-tikki clearly shows that one must have courage to be a hero. For example at the end of the story, Rikki follows Nagina into her hole. The narrator tells us that “very few mongooses, however wise and old they may be, care to follow a cobra into its hole” (27).This quote shows that even if a mongoose is smart and has the experience of a lifetime, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will follow a cobra into it’s hole. It take something more than wisdom or experience; it takes courage. This point is proven when Rikki’s trip down the cobra’s hole ends with his triumph.Another characteristic a hero must have is intelligence.For example, Rikki-tikki is smart because he thinks before he acts. When he is about to attack Nag, he tells himself he must bite “the head above the hood; and when I am once there, I must not let go” (22).What comes next? Can you complete the next part on your own? (Hint: The next part is green!!!)
Explain it!
Another characteristic a hero must have is intelligence.For example, Rikki-tikkiis smart because he thinks before he acts. When he is about to attack Nag, he tells himself he must bite “the head above the hood; and when I am once there, I must not let go” (22).This quote shows that Rikki-tikkiplans out what he is going to do before he goes into the cobra’s hole. Because he thinks before he acts, he is able to successfully conquer the cobra once he goes into its hole. If he had not planned ahead, he might not have come out alive.What comes next? Are we done with this paragraph?
State it!
A third characteristic a hero must possess is prowess.Illustrate how he shows prowess by using a quote from the story.Explain the quote.A final characteristic a hero must posses is righteousness.Illustrate how he shows righteousness in the story.Explain the quote.
Lastly…Link it!
When you have completed all the necessaryState it!,Illustrate it!,andExplain it!,then you need to link your paragraph back to the main idea.Example:All of the passages above from “Rikki-tikki-tavi” prove that according toRikki’sbehavior, one must possess the qualities of courage, intelligence, prowess, and righteousness to be a hero.
Helpful Hint
Whether you are proving one characteristic or four, you need to be sure to always include as many examples as possible. If you are proving four characteristics, you need at least one example for each. If you are proving one characteristic, it is always a good idea to give your readers at least three or four examples (illustrations) of that characteristic!!!
Remember When You Are Writing to…
SIELthe deal!!!

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Paragraph Organization - images.pcmac.org