Instructional Materials

Simpson WAC

Sample Assignment:  Organization


  • The following assignment sheet could be used as either a peer review or personal revision activity. The purpose is to help students conduct analytical reading rather than the superficial reading they are accustomed to.
  • This assignment focuses on revising for organization, and it should be combined with editing activities or assignments to help students identify and edit sentence-level errors like grammar


Feel free to adapt this for your class. The worksheet is divided into three parts which could be used as separate activities/assignments or as one super-long out-of-class assignment.


Goals: Students read a paper to analyze the overall organization.

Advantages: Students practice analytical reading and reflection.


Paragraph Development: As Easy As PIEcherrypie

What is PIE?

PIE is a writing tool that can help you identify a paragraph’s main POINT and develop that POINT by using ILLUSTRATION and EXPLANATION.



  • The POINT might be called a claim or a topic sentence.
  • The POINT might be the first sentence of the paragraph.
  • The POINT might be an argument.
  • The POINT might take a stand for or against something.


  • An ILLUSTRATION might be a quotation from a literary text.
  • An ILLUSTRATION might be a summary of a visual, audible, or literary text.
  • An ILLUSTRATION might be a paraphrase of any type of text.
  • An ILLUSTRATION is a piece of evidence


  • An EXPLANATION describes the meaning of the ILLUSTRATION.
  • An EXPLANATION describes how the ILLUSTRATION proves the POINT.
  • An EXPLANATION answers questions like “How?” and “Why?” about the ILLUSTRATION.
  • An EXPLANATION links the ILLUSTRATION back to the POINT.


 Read the paragraph below, and identify the PIE parts. Draw a line under the

POINT. Circle the  ILLUSTRATION. Place a check mark on the EXPLANATION.

Fans have filled various online message boards with angry words directed towards both Disney and Pixar in regards to Dean Hardscrabble, ranting against the studios for portraying such a negative female character. However, this reviewer thinks they are missing the point entirely. Dean Hardscrabble is possibly the most fleshed out character in the entire film. She is given a background—she was a scarer who holds an unbeatable record—which explains the mindset in which she rules the Scare program at her college—that the best scarers are only seen in one type of monster—and, when she is proven wrong, she is big enough to admit her mistake.

 Heather Macy, writer for The Crimson at Florida Tech


 Thanks to Compassionate Action for Animals ( for the pie image.