Developing P.I.E. Paragraphs

These Writing Skills homework assignments are practice for writing our final research paper in this class and college-level writing in general. Remember, these assignments are just practice, you will receive full credit as long as you follow the directions as well as you can.

I would strongly suggest creating a Google Doc (Links to an external site.) where you can collect all of your Writing Skills homework assignments throughout the quarter. You will be expected to remember and use these skills, so it’s a good idea to be able to reference what we’ve learned before.

P.I.E. paragraphs are a useful way of organizing body paragraphs in academic essays.

1. First, read this PowerPoint. This is a simplified document describing how a P.I.E. Paragraph is set up, too.

2. Annotate the two sample student P.I.E. paragraphs below. Mark up the P., the I., and the E. sections of each. If you want to print the paragraphs, mark them up, and take pictures, that’s fine. Or you can use Track Changes in Microsoft Word Links to an external site.or Google Docs to make your notes Links to an external site..

3. Based on what you found, answer the following questions:

How many sentences should your point (P) be?

What kinds of information did these paragraphs include in their illustration (I) sections?

How does the explanation (E) section of each paragraph relate to its point (P)?

If you had to guess, what would you guess the overall argument of the essay was? (Make sure to consider the final sentence(s) of the explanation (E) for clues).


1. Subconscious decisions may be beneficial, yet there are many teens who are affected by social expectations without recognition. One way teens are affected is by following the Rule of Expectations. In his research paper, “The Rules of Expectations–The Impact of Suggestion,” Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe claims, “The rule of expectations uses expectations to influence reality and create results”. Goethe reasons that we are aware of how others view ourselves so we carry out choices based on how others expect us to perform. For example, I see more than a few students at my high school who are constantly influenced by peers though they are unaware of it. One particular situation teens are most likely to be influence, is during the Junior year of high school; the time to decide which college teens want to go to. As a current Junior, I thought my plans were set on going to UW Seattle. Later on, I realized that I had no real reason why I specifically chose this school, however, I’ve been making decisions based on what my previous senior friends chose and others expectations of me–to go to UW. This was the start to my ongoing series of questions of whether or not I have been making decisions based on choices I want to make or decisions based on others want me to make. This is harmful in teens since they are living their lives according to someone else’s desires and those that are affected are not aware of it. They are walking a path they did not choose to take. Later on they will realize their mistake and by then it could be too late. This can lead to regret.

2. Pressure for success, as well as comparison within his family demonstrate the effect a surrounding community can incur. The article “Risk Factors of Suicidal Phenomenon: Prevention and Intervention” by Lisa Meyer describes that “those who enjoy close relationships with others cope better with various stresses, including…job loss…physical illness, and enjoy better physiological and physical health”(4). Throughout the play, Willy shows his great attachment to his sons and wife, however Biff and Willy have a terribly strained relationship, which according to Meyer, is the opposite of what would be considered a coping mechanism for suicidal inclinations. In the play it becomes clear just how difficult it had become for Biff and Willy to get along when Linda, Willy’s wife and Biff’s mom, demands “What happened to the love you had for him? You were such pals! How you used to talk to him on the phone every night! How lonely he was till he could come home to you!” and again, when Biff reminds Linda that Willy threw him out of the house because “I know he’s a fake and he doesn’t like anybody around who knows”(1259). It is then clear that as a result of the lacking relationship, Willy, according to Meyer’s article, cannot enjoy the support which includes a positive influence on his phycological and physical health. The love that appears to have dissolved between Biff and Willy as well as the time they spent together being long forgotten, is justified by Biff in his accusations towards Willy of being a fake, someone uncaring and self-absorbed in this case.

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