As we start week 5, let us first review some of the key tools we’ve shared so far


As we start week 5, let us first review some of the key tools we’ve shared so far:

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MEAL plan –the paragraph plan we use to outline and organize our body paragraphsLinks to an external site.

Signal phrases–those phrases that ‘signal’ a source is being used in the ‘evidence’ space of a body paragraph–or in the intro and conclusionLinks to an external site.

This week, we’ll work on a revision tool that involves color coding the elements of a body paragraph.

Imagine you are beign asked to write a 5-paragraph on three words that describe you.

For this discussion, we want to complete the paragraph development phrase of the writing process that yields a thesis.

1. select the three words that best describe you

2. build a paragraph plan (MEAL PLAN) around those words–but here, instead of using cited evidence, you may use examples.

…and just as you are encouraged to plug in the ‘evidence’ in a fact-based MEAL plan, you are encouraged to plug in the example first–then return to put the main idea and analysis around that example.

3. once you have written the three body paragraphs, mine the main ideas to form that thesis:

X is important because of main idea 1, 2, 3.

Here, we see how we might take that basic format and translate it to the task at hand:

The three words that describe me are word 1 because of x, word 2 because of y, and word 3 because of z.


A completed version of this task will have 3 body paragraphs and the thesis that you formulated by mining the main idea for the body paragraphs.


mark each element of your body paragraphs–

you may use colors to show which is the main idea (yellow, for example), example (blue, for example), analysis (green, for example), or you can just use words at the end of each sentence to label each part of the paragraph plan.

*this final step, the color coding/marking, might seem tedious, Team, but this step is a huge part of the writing and revision process. 

If we write a body paragraph, then color code each element of the paragraph, we can see if we have a clear main idea–too much evidence or not enough–missing analysis…for example.

The color-coding method helps us be sure that we have all the required pieces of the paragraph in place–and we can be certain that we are writing in that academic, MLA voice.

As always, should come in at about 200-250 words.

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