Answered By: Rachel Willard Last Updated: Jul 07, 2016 Views: 11015
The MEAL plan, a title coined by Duke University, is a way to organize your paragraphs as you write; it helps writers create strong, thorough paragraphs. The letters, M-E-A-L, form an acronym that stands for the following:
- M—Main idea: This is usually expressed in a strong topic sentence.
- E—Evidence: Once your readers are clear what the main topic of your paragraph is, you can use source material as evidence to discuss your topic and promote your academic argument. The word evidence is another way to say source citations.
- A—Analysis: After giving the evidence, you’ll want to explain, incorporate, and integrate that evidence by providing some analysis. Analysis is where you can compare, contrast, and provide explanations for the source material, why it is important, and how it relates to your main idea.
- L—Lead out: The lead-out sentence or sentences are where you will sum up what the paragraph discussed and then preview what is coming in the next paragraph so that the reader can smoothly move from one idea to the next.
Duke University Thompson Writing Program. (n.d.). Paragraphing: The MEAL plan. Retrieved from http://twp.duke.edu/uploads/assets/meal_plan.pdf
- View the Writing Center's paragraphs webpage and subsequent subpages for more tips on writing effective paragraphs.
- Review the recorded webinar "Writing Effective Academic Paragraphs" for further examples of scholarly paragraph writing.
Do you have other general writing questions? E-mail the Writing Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other questions about your doctoral capstone or the Form & Style review? E-mail the Dissertation Editors at email@example.com.
Want to peruse other writing resources? Go to the Writing Center’s homepage.