For those who have been following this site for some time now, they will be used to being in school or college and having to use something called a PEE chain. For those who are used to this website and know it well, they will be used to PEED, where I argue that to get the higher grades, you need to add a more Developed idea after your explanation.
In other words, you link ideas from your life experience.
Thus, if the poem is about a break-up of a relationship and you have experience of that, as I do, you add in after the PEE bits, how there is usually pain involved in such a relationship ending. It makes your simple PEE chain into something far more detailed and developed and worthy of the higher grades.
Likewise, when students are taught another way to do this, it can get confusing, so here we are again to let you know that you need not worry when this happens. I use an example today given to me by a student of the law, who is in his Foundation year, the year before his degree begins.
He gave me this…
Identify, Analyse, Evaluate.
Now that sounds all too strange, to me, when I am used to PEED, but it is not meant to be confusing. Let’s have a look and see that there is little difference between this and my way of teaching this, how the two can be merged and how you, as a student, can also use either method for writing your essays.
Firstly, Identify means simply that the student using this method for writing has to find something in a piece of literature, or an extract in a Language exam. So, let’s say you are given Sonnet 18 as an unseen poem and you see the words, “the eye of heaven shines….” You have to ask what you can identify in that line. The answer is a metaphor, because “the eye of heaven” refers to the sun, but in a poetic, rather impressive [some would say ‘posh’] way.
So, you begin writing your usual PEE chain, as follows.
The poet is making a point about his love [point] by saying that “the eye of heaven shines,” [evidence] which signifies how beautiful he thinks the love of his life is, comparing her to the beauty and glory of the sun [explain] …
Then, you add the Development bit, by adding to your thought and using something from your life, so you can get this… [I have removed the brackets to show the final effect]
The poet is making a point about his love by saying that “the eye of heaven shines,” which signifies how beautiful he thinks the love of his life is, comparing her to the beauty and glory of the sun which suggests that this is a newly found love. Such love and infatuation is often short lived so it may be that the poet is feeling the pangs of sudden infatuation rather than love itself.
Can you see what I mean? There is a lot more detail there, even though there is only one comment made in the Development section. I would add two or three comments where possible to add depth to my ideas.
Then, using the method of writing in the picture above, we see the word, “analyse.”
Analysis is all about the language used and the effect it has on the reader. In the example above, from Sonnet 18, there is the beginning of this, but this IAE example goes one step further by suggesting that you write about effects, in their plural sense. This is where phrases like these come into play…
This signifies that, This implies that, Such a suggestion means…
When you get to the Development angle in the writing technique, the idea is to say that this means one thing but could also mean something else. If you have three ideas roaming around in your head, then you need to share them, especially in the exam, especially where you are analysing something. You simply need to get every idea down that you can.
Lastly, you see the word, evaluate, which means you can here add in alternative readings of something. For example, for centuries, people who write about literature have thought that Shakespeare was writing Sonnet 18 for a woman, like in the film, Shakespeare In Love, starring Joseph Fiennes, where he creates the poem for Lady Viola de Lessups, his new found muse [the woman he now fancies].
But more modern writers have changed their ways of thinking in this area and have suggested that there is no gender in the poem, so it could equally have been written to a man, either one that he loved, which means he would have been homosexual, or to another writer and poet, perhaps even one by the name of Marlowe. If this is the truth, then his writings can be seen in more than one way, to reflect a love that would no doubt have put him in prison in those days.
So, there you have it.
If in school, you are taught PEE, then add some Development ideas in there. Add detail to your writing. If you do so, especially in the examinations, then you will be able to guarantee one thing; you will never be sat in an exam again, with twenty minutes left, having nothing to do but sit there, twiddling your thumbs. You will improve your scores from an E to a C, or a 2 to a 5, and if you are there already, from a C, or a 5, to a 7 or 8, or a B or A grade.
If that is what you want to happen, this is the suggestion for today.
So, grab a poem from somewhere right this minute, that you have to write about and have a go using IAE, or PEED. The result will be the same.