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Academic writing

How to write in an evidenced based formal style

PEEL Paragraphs

Academic writing can feel tricky sometimes; having to include all the information required and to analyse it fully. One writing tool which can be used to make sure you are hitting all your requirements is a PEEL paragraph.

PEEL stands for Point, Evidence, Explanation, Link. 

When writing a paragraph ask yourself, does it PEEL?

  • POINT - Make and introduce the reader to your point.
  • EVIDENCE - Back it up, support the point you are making with examples or evidence. Typically with academic sources such as textbooks, journals or specialist products.
  • EXPLANATION - Explain how the evidence or examples support your point. Critically analyse what would happen if the theory was or was not applied.
  • LINK - Link this point to the next point that you will be making in the following paragraph, or link it back to the main point.


Once you have perfected the PEEL paragraph, add a C to make a PEELC paragraph! 

PEELC stands for Point, Evidence, Explanation, Link, Critical Point

Apply your critical thinking skills to the literature / evidence you have used and make a point about it. This does not necessarily need to be at the end of the paragraph.

Some ideas of critical points you can make:

  • comment on how recently research was carried out
  • consider the methods that were used in research
  • point out limitations to the research
  • identify barriers to implementing recommendations made by the researchers

See the Critical Thinking guide to see how you can develop this skill.

For more information on assignment types, check out the  Types of Assignments Library guide!