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Ron Cooley, English Faculty

Paragraph Technique

What is the paragraphing technique: "Point, evidence, commentary sandwich"?

The key thing is a kind of point/evidence/commentary sandwich structure. You make a point that is evidentially related to your thesis. You introduce evidence that can be a short or long quotation, or in essays other than English it's often not so much a quotation than a piece of factual material. In English it's more often than not a quotation, so you follow up your point with evidence from the text that illustrates that point. Then you always, always, always go on to explain in what way -- how -- that evidence substantiates or illustrates the point that you just made. It seems self-evident to you as a writer; it's very seldom self-evident to your reader why that evidence shows what you're claiming.