What is TEEL Structure?
Students who have had experience in preparing various kinds of essays and academic papers might have already used TEEL structure. However, some people may be hearing this word for the first time in their lives.
TEEL is actually an abbreviation for Topic Sentence, Explanation, Evidence, and Link. This is a writing technique that can be applied in the process of constructing a paragraph. TEEL makes paragraphs more structured, helps to form the essay, and enhance the quality of your writing.
T- Topic Sentence
As you can see, every letter indicates the characteristic of the sentences in your paragraph. Your first step is to introduce the topic. Then you explain what it is, its importance, and why it was chosen. The next step is to present evidence to the arguments. Lastly, you provide the final statements which are linked to the previous sentences and give a certain outcome.
TEEL structure is not the same as rules or standards you need to follow. You can use this technique apart from the rules to give your writing value and make it more structured. Nevertheless, there are some common rules you should follow along with applying the TEEL structure:
- There can’t be more than one topic in a paragraph
- Your essay should be composed of approximately three to five paragraphs
- Include nearly four to six sentences in one paragraph
- The single paragraph should occupy around half a page
- Every paragraph should form the TEEL structure
It is better to start working with TEEL structure after you are finished with the initial draft or preliminary research. TEEL structure should come along thorough proofreading. Let us determine what each element of the TEEL abbreviation implies.
The first sentence usually clarifies the content of the coming paragraph. That is why a topic sentence should provide sufficient information and intrigue the reader. A topic should arouse a question in the reader’s mind and make them want to find answers in the next part of the paragraph.
This part includes a topic sentence overview, provides more details. Ask yourself: what am I trying to say, and what exactly do I mean? The explanation should enable the reader to get a full understanding of the presented topic. Here you can introduce your claims and arguments. Try to make your sentences relatively short but informative and relevant to the topic at the same time.
In this part, you should provide convincing evidence, which is crucial when it comes to supporting your argument introduced in the previous part. Evidence may be presented in the form of a quote, facts, and references from reliable sources. Provided evidence is supposed to prove that you are right, affect the reader, and solidify the impact of the paragraph.
This part is the most important. It brings all paragraphs together and connects them to the general topic of your paper. At this point, you should present a brief overview of the other paragraph parts in a subtle way. This section not only concludes the paragraph but also proves the significance of the discussed topic. Linking sentence can begin with “This shows that,” “Thus,” “Therefore,” and so on.
Put all these elements together in the correct order, and you will get a complete and well-structured body paragraph.
The following examples will illustrate the practical use of the TEEL structure:
- Mandy maintains her neutral position when it comes to constant fights ‘between the boys in the class, which shows her inability to be courageous and compassionate. Though she is very polite to Mike, Mandy has never shown any signs of friendship to him. Mandy usually greets Mike by waving her hand, but they have never had a meaningful conversation, and she never sits next to him. Yesterday Mandy nodded at Mike and went on to take a seat in the back row. Two days ago, when she asked about the fights between the boys, Dave and Oliver, she looked nervous and was checking if anyone was looking. Mike had a persistent feeling that Mandy was trying to avoid him. She could have support Mike if she intended to. If Mandy had expressed some compassion, he would have felt more confident. This shows that Mandy did not intend to be friends, despite waving and nodding, and did not feel any compassion towards Mike.
- Conformity impedes originality and uniqueness in social structures. There are a vast number of rules and norms people are required to follow. Regulations govern every movement, every word, every second of their existence. Societal standards, with the support of discipline, supervision, and punishment, demonstrate how thinking or behaving in a different way, results in a feeling of guilt for being a nonconformist. For example, there was a rule which prohibited kids from riding bicycles until they turn ten years old. Such conformity criteria result in continuous monitoring for the purpose of ensuring that people comply with regulations. In another case, Grace rejects the rules and brings home a few mangos. She faces a justification that food ought not to be brought from its original location and that she should consume fruits instead of accumulating them in her room. This announcement seems demeaning to Grace. Thereby, people ought to follow the norms and traditions. Otherwise, they receive punishment. Conformity does not empower people to be unique.
Advice on Writing a TEEL Paragraph
These simple tips will guide your process of composing a TEEL paragraph.
As you already know, TEEL is not a rule set, but an effective writing technique that helps to structure the paragraphs. Jot down all important information that is relevant to the topic. Determine the expected outcome and consider the following:
- The topic of the particular paragraph
- Arguments you would like to make
- Explanations you can provide
- The most relevant evidence
- The importance of this topic with regard to the main subject of your essay
If you apply TEEL structure in academic writing, use formal language to add credibility to your essay and have a better influence on the reader. Take the following tips into account:
- Avoid using slang and colloquial expressions
- Do not use contracted words like “you’re,” “can’t,” etc.
- Avoid exaggerations or hyperbolism.
Using the Third Person Perspective
It is very important to use a third-person point of view. Writing in the first or second person usually makes any text-sound casual, which means that your essay’s credibility will be reduced. The third-person perspective made the reader focus on the context and presented facts, while the first or second-person narrative seems more like a personal opinion. Don’t forget about proper pronouns if you refer to someone.
The next crucial step in your writing process is checking the punctuation and formatting your essay properly. Follow the guidelines provided by your professor or tutor. Pay attention to references: cite them correctly, use the right quotation marks, and make sure that your work doesn’t have issues when it comes to plagiarism.
When you’re finished with the final draft, revise your essay. Make sure that the content is relevant to the topic and check if everything is written and formatted according to the assigned guidelines. Proofread and analyze every paragraph as a separate structure, check your flow of thought in each one of them. Is it composed in line with the TEEL structure? Then assess your essay as a whole: its consistency, coherence, writing style, and language. Check if all the paragraphs are logically linked, also eliminate possible typos and make sure you don’t have any grammar, punctuation or spelling mistakes.
How Can You Benefit from Using the TEEL Structure?
TEEL technique has the potential of bringing an ordinary essay to the highest standard. Using TEEL structure provides the following benefits:
- It adds credibility to your essay. If you apply the TEEL structure skillfully, your paragraphs will have a stronger effect on readers and make the whole essay impactful.
- This technique makes your writing more creative. The TEEL structure brings you one step closer to becoming a first-class writer.
- TEEL structure allows you to stay focused on a specific topic and avoid wandering off. With its help, you can present information in a better, more structured, and logical way.
- It enables you to provide evidence to the presented arguments, which strengthens the analytical aspect of your essay.
- The TEEL structure serves as a step-by-step guide, so you know exactly what you should write in each sentence of every paragraph. Most importantly, it helps you to enhance your essay’s value.
Things You Should Pay Attention to
- Topic sentence: briefly introduce the paragraph
- Explanation: provide the particulars, avoid unessential information
- Evidence: support each argument with reliable evidence and include citations where needed.
- Link: present a brief overview of the paragraph in relation to the main topic.
- Proofread: check your essay thoroughly and pay attention to every detail, such as formatting, grammar, punctuation, and so on.
Here are some frequently asked questions and answers to them:
Can I include several TEEL paragraphs in a single essay?
Sure, one essay can include as many TEEL paragraphs as you need. However, you should remember that every new paragraph presents a different topic. You shouldn’t include more than one topic in a single paragraph.
Can I use the topic sentence as an introduction?
It seems that the topic sentence is the same as the introduction, but this isn’t true. They are formed in different ways. The topic sentence laconically defines the paragraph’s tone, while the introduction provides specifics regarding the main subject.
Does the TEEL technique work only for essays?
No, you can apply TEEL structure in various types of articles. You can even compose poems with its help, but in this case, some additional parameters should be taken into account.
I hope you got a better understanding of the TEEL structure and found the answers to your questions. Now you are fully equipped with knowledge on how to use this technique wisely and make progress with your writing style.