Essay Writing, VCE English

TEEL – everything you need to know

TEEL! What is this acronym your teen is so frustrated about?

If you have a teen who is writing essays for school, you have probably heard of this acronym! It stands for:

  • Topic sentence
  • Evidence
  • Explain
  • Link

This is the most common acronym teachers across Victoria use to teach their students how to structure a body paragraph. Of course, TEEL is not the only structure out there, so if your teen’s teacher uses a different acronym, don’t worry! Whatever acronym your teen’s teacher uses, the idea remains the same: start the paragraph with the main, overarching idea, provide some evidence and use it to support the paragraph’s idea, repeat, then wrap up the paragraph by connecting its idea with the argument of the whole essay.

In our experience, ‘explaining’ is always the hardest part for a student, and here at TSE Tuition, we’ve found that teaching our students to answer this question is super helpful:

‘How does the evidence prove the topic sentence is true?’

This question helps our students clarify the relationship between their quote (Evidence) and main idea (Topic sentence), and makes it easier for them to further develop their interpretation.

As a general rule, for Years 7-8, we expect 1-2 sets of evidence+explain.

For Years 9-10, we expect 2-3 sets of evidence+explain, while for Years 11-12, we expect 3+ sets of evidence+explain.

And as always, structures are there to help students gain confidence and skill, and students can definitely play with this structure once they have mastered it!

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