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Point, Evidence, Explanation. Objective. To remind you how to use the essential analytical skill of PEE: Point Evidence Explanation. AQA Assessment Objectives for Reading. The Assessment Objectives for the Reading section of the AQA GCSE English/English Language Unit 1 examination are:

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To remind you how to use the essential analytical skill of PEE:




aqa assessment objectives for reading
AQA Assessment Objectives for Reading

The Assessment Objectives for the Reading section of the AQA GCSE English/English Language Unit 1 examination are:

‘Read and understand texts, selecting material appropriate to purpose, collating from different sources and making comparisons and cross references as appropriate’

‘Develop/sustain interpretations of writers’ ideas/perspectives’

‘Explain and evaluate how writers use linguistic, grammatical, structural and presentational features to achieve effects and engage and influence the reader’


For Section A of the external examination paper ‘Unit 1: Understanding and producing non-fiction texts’, you will be awarded marks depending on how successfully you satisfy the three Assessment Objectives on the previous slide.

You will only be successful if you use the essential analytical tool of PEE (point, evidence, explanation).


The kind of points you should make are indicated by the examination question itself. Every point that you make should directly address that question.

If not, your answer is irrelevant and pointless.

Therefore, you must read the question carefully and ensure that you understand it fully before beginning to answer.


Evidence is essential as it enables you to prove whatever point you are trying to make. How would you feel if you were accused of a crime that you had not committed and nobody was interested in reviewing the evidence?

Relevant evidence tells the examiner that you understand the examination question and that you understand the extract that you have just read.

Irrelevant evidence — which is not really evidence at all — tells the examiner that you have just stuck in any old quotation and you don’t really know what you are doing.

pause for thought
Pause for thought

What types of evidence are there?

From your previous experience of responding to questions based on non-fiction texts, make a list of two or three types of evidence that you might use to support your points.


Your evidence can come in the following forms:

1. A quotation — preferably short.

2. A paraphrase — in which you use your own words to explain a relevant section of the passage or to describe some other feature, such as a photograph, in order to prove your point.

3. Facts, figures, statistics etc. that appear in the text and help you to prove your point.

pause for thought1
Pause for thought

Having made a point and supported it with evidence, what should you do next?


Add an explanation.

It is essential that you demonstrate to the examiner that you actually understand the evidence you have used to support your point by:

explaining the evidence in your own words

explaining how it proves your point

This is such a fundamental skill that the quality of your explanations will help to determine your overall grade.

are you feeling brave
Are you feeling brave?

Here is a controversial point: ‘There is too much pressure on teenagers these days, which is why some of them develop eating or other psychological disorders.’

In pairs or small groups, spend a few minutes deciding whether or not you agree with this statement and then quickly prepare a point, evidence and explanation in support of your viewpoint.

Are any groups/pairs willing to come to the front of the class to try to win the rest of the class over to their point of view through the power of argument?

escape from anorexia

Read Item 1 ‘Escape-from-Anorexia.com: a calorie-controlled recovery treatment programme for a complete cure from anorexia nervosa in just six months!’

This is part of a website account written by the parents of an anorexic teenage girl.

A typical AQA GCSE English/English Language Unit 1 question for reading is: ‘How does the title add to the effectiveness of the text?’

The points that you are expected to make are clearly decided for you by the question.

pee in action 1
PEE in action 1

You might begin your first point as follows:

‘The website domain name has clearly been designed to be dramatic as well as informative regarding the content of the site. It has also most likely been written to attract search engine users looking for information on anorexia.’

pee in action 2
PEE in action 2

The evidence is the domain name itself:


pee in action 3
PEE in action 3

Your explanation might be as follows:

The word ‘escape’ is particularly emotive and powerful because it implies that anorexia has trapped the young girl featured in the extract. It suggests that she is in a place or situation of danger and needs to be rescued. However, it is also very effective because it offers hope, which would be a powerful incentive for others affected by the illness to read the rest of the website.


This student is clearly heading for an A*.

The answer so far is concise, perceptive and very well written.

It thoroughly conforms to PEE.

It answers the question very directly and in a good degree of detail and so squarely addresses the three AQA Assessment Objectives for reading.

Presumably the student would now go on to develop a second point in answer to the same question, perhaps analysing the rest of the title in a similarly effective way.

your turn
Your turn

Skilled writers will readily adapt the PEE formula. For example, they might occasionally write: Point, Explanation, Evidence.

However, they would be most unlikely to ever write: Evidence, Explanation, Point.

With a partner, briefly consider why.


Without beginning with a relevant Point which introduces the next section of your essay, the reader will have no idea what you are trying to say until he/she reaches the end of that section. In effect, your writing will initially appear to be pointless!