In any analytical essay that you write at BHS, your teacher will likely ask you to provide “PIE” support. What does this mean?
PIE is an acronym standing for Point, Illustration and Explanation, and these three steps indicate the depth of a fully proven argument. A good body paragraph starts off with a strong Topic Sentence – an argument or statement that the rest of the paragraph will set out to prove.Your topic sentence indicates a major argument that proves your thesis, or the main argument of your entire paper.
(Sample thesis: The Red Sox are the best team in baseball. Sample topic sentence: They are the best because of their strong pitching)
A point is one piece of evidence that you would use to support or prove that your topic sentence is valid or correct. (Sample: Boston’s starting pitching was among the best in the majors this year)
An illustration is a fact or a quote that you introduce that shows where your point comes from. A point that is not illustrated correctly feels like you are just making up reasons that prove your point. (Sample: Their 3.14 ERA was the second-lowest in the majors)
An explanation is when you show exactly how your illustration validates the original point. A common mistake is to leave out the explanation, because you presume that your illustration proves your point. Be clear. (Sample: Six of the eight best team ERAs last year made the playoffs – thus, a lower ERA means a better team)
Please note: A fully proven point may have multiple illustrations, and an illustration might be supported by several explanations.
Click here for introduction paragraph guidelines.