The ‘TEE’ formula for paragraphs & the Exit Exam

‘TEE’ paragraphs


Explanation/Elaboration (or “development”)
The characters [in fables] are flat, with no inner life.
analysis, development)
They personify virtues and vices, such as courage and cowardice, honesty and dishonesty, patience and impatience, humility and boastfulness, kindness and cruelty, sincerity and flattery, cunning and artlessness, and the like.
Explanation The characters are generally types.
Examples They are meant to represent aspects of human nature: the proud peacock, the clever crow, the defiant donkey, the oracular owl, the plodding turtle, the cocky hare, the greedy pig.

Paragraph drawn from:
D’Angelo, Frank J. Composition in the Classical Tradition. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon, 2000. Print. (60).

My impression is that published paragraphs often have just a single ‘E’: some paragraphs offer examples while other paragraphs offer elaboration, analysis, and explanation. However, this is just an impression. I may be wrong.

I’ll come back to this post later when I have a better sense of how academic authors distribute elaboration and example throughout their work.

The graders for the Exit Examination will be looking for paragraphs that include a topic sentence, development (elaboration), and examples, which is as it should be. A 5-paragraph essay is a highly compressed form, so elaboration and examples must reside together within the same paragraph.

The “T.E.E.” formula for paragraphs and the exit exam
An exemplary paragraph by Frank D’Angelo
Terrific explanation of a stand-alone paragraph
NV’s perfect paragraph