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English | How to Structure Your Answers

Updated: Feb 6, 2021

When answering questions about a fictional text, you will be expected to give detailed answers by responding with specific details from the text and providing an analysis. It is helpful to have a formula for structuring your paragraphs.

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Common Formulas for Structuring Paragraphs

Here are just a few common formulas to be aware of:

  • PEE - point/evidence/explain

  • PEEL - point/evidence/explain/link to point

  • PEA - point/evidence/analysis

  • SEAL - state your point/evidence/analysis/link

Using the Formula PEE to Structure Your Paragraphs


Make your point in the opening sentence of your paragraph. You should make sure you link to the focus of the question and try to use the key word or phrase from the question.


After making your point, you will need to find evidence from the text to support your answer. Remember to keep your quotations short and to the point. Remember that the quotations need to be relevant to the point you are making. If you are looking to gain higher marks, try putting the quotation inside your own sentence, rather than putting it in the middle of a page and then commenting on it.


Explain how the quotation supports your point. You may need to analyse word choices, connotations, atmosphere or literary devices. Remember to name the literary devices and explain the effect they have on the reader. We have included some of the most important literary devices below. Try using the following sentence openers: this shows that, this implies, this gives us the impression that or this makes the reader feel.

Literary Devices

  • Hyperbole- This is exaggerating for a purpose and it is not meant to be taken literally.

  • Imagery- This is where strong pictures or ideas are created in the mind of the reader.

  • Irony- This is where words or ideas are used humorously or sarcastically, to imply the opposite of what they mean.

  • Metaphor-This is where a word or phrase is used to imply figurative resemblance, not a literal or 'actual' one.

  • Personification-This is where a human quality is attributed to a thing or idea.

  • Tone- Tone is the creation of mood in a text, such as sadness, gloom, celebration, joy, anxiety, dissatisfaction, regret or anger.

How to Link Your Paragraphs

It is more than likely that you will be required to write more than one paragraph in response to a question, especially if the question is worth multiple marks. Remember that each paragraph should make a different point. To ensure that your writing is cohesive, you will need to link your paragraphs. Try using words like furthermore, on the one hand, on the other hand, alternatively, in contrast or however.


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