Essay Writing Skills pedal your Way to Better Grades p-e-d-a-l paragraphs



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Essay Writing Skills

  • PEDAL Your Way to Better Grades

P-E-D-A-L Paragraphs

  • P-E-D-A-L
  • Point – what is the point you are exploring?
  • Example – show an example that illustrates the point
  • Decipher – what does it mean?
  • Analyse – the effect on the reader (Writer-Reader Relationship)
  • Link – how does this point help to answer the essay question?

Make your Point

Prove it! Use Examples

  • You need to support your points with examples from the text in order to prove that what you have said is true.
  • Eg. When he first finds the money Damian thinks that it must have come from God as it “fell out of the sky”. This is largely due to Damian being a very religious person who wants to be a saint. It is important that we see the story from Damian’s perspective as at the beginning of the novel Damian says that the story would be different “if it was told by our Anthony”.

Decipher it – What does it mean?

  • The next step is to try and work out what this ‘tells’ the reader... What can the reader work out about the author’s message and what do we read between the lines?
  • Eg. The reader understands from this that Damian’s thoughts on how to spend the money are quite different to his brother’s. Damian believes that God would only have given them the money to do good deeds, while Anthony is interested in buying toys, shoes and sweets.

Analyse Beyond the Text

  • Explain and Expand the point to Analyse what is being suggested beyond the text? How does it relate to the real world? How does it tie in with the author’s message?
  • Eg. As the story moves forward, tension builds between the two brothers as they struggle to take responsibility for the money by themselves. Their relationship deteriorates as Damian tries to give the money to good causes and Anthony uses the money to bribe people and buy expensive goods.

Link your response back to show how it answers the question and achieves the author’s purpose

  • How does the point, example, deciphering and analysis actually answer the essay question that you set out to explore? How does it alter the overall tone, mood, and atmosphere of the text? What emotions does it raise and how should the reader respond?
  • Eg. As a result of the boys’ disagreements over the money, we start to see that money can become a curse. Instead of the money making life easier for Damian and his family, it in fact brings a lot of turmoil. We sympathise with Damian’s feelings because he is the narrator and we feel close to him as a character.

Completed P-E-D-A-L Paragraph

  • In the novel ‘Millions’ by Frank Cotterel Boyce, an important idea the author portrays is that having a lot of money can be a curse. Damian is the central character of the novel as the story is told from his perspective. The story follows Damian as he finds a bag filled with money in his backyard and then, along with his brother Anthony, he has to decide what to do with it. When he first finds the money Damian thinks that it must have come from God as it “fell out of the sky”. This is largely due to Damian being a very religious person who wants to be a saint. It is important that we see the story from Damian’s perspective as at the beginning of the novel Damian says that the story would be different “if it was told by our Anthony”. The reader understands from this that Damian’s thoughts on how to spend the money are quite different to his brother’s. Damian believes that God would only have given them the money to do good deeds, while Anthony is interested in buying toys, shoes and sweets. As a result of the boys’ disagreements over the money, we start to see that money can become a curse. Instead of the money making life easier for Damian and his family, it in fact brings a lot of turmoil. We sympathise with Damian’s feelings because he is the narrator and we feel close to him as a character.

Our next steps: paragraph two and beyond…

  • Your next paragraph is going to centre on the following technique:
  • Metaphor
  • You need to consider how you can link this technique to the main idea we are focusing on (having a lot of money can be a curse). You will need an example from the text that shows this technique in use.
  • For paragraph three you can choose one of the following techniques to write your body paragraph on. Remember you need to be able to effectively link it to the main idea we are explaining.
  • Structure (climax/resolution)
  • Dialogue


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