Axes Method

AXES Method

Supporting Paragraphs using AXES
A.X.E.S. is an acronym for Assertion, EXample, Explanation, and Significance. This word can help you remember the types of elements that generally belong in body paragraphs.
A Assertion (“topic sentence” or the main point of the paragraph)
Assertions are like mini-thesis statements for your body paragraphs. They are usually single sentences. They make a specific main point. They are not summaries or general statements. The assertion directs the reader toward where the paragraph is going or what the paragraph is about to show.
X Example (sometimes called “concrete detail”)
The example is just as it sounds. It is the evidence that you will use to support your assertion. Examples can be direct quotes or a brief paraphrase of the text you are using. If you are quoting, make sure you quote only the most important information. Remember to introduce both summaries and direct quotation examples with signal phrases such as “according to” or “the author suggests.” All examples need to be cited in some way using APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.
E Explanation (sometimes called “commentary” or “development”)
Explanations show the reader how the example supports the assertion. THIS IS YOUR ANALYSIS. If you use a long quote, make sure that you explain all of it. The explanation section needs to be several sentences long and should be what the majority of your writing is devoted to.
S Significance (Who cares? Why is this relevant to the paper?)
The significance of the paragraph explains how everything you just proved in your specific example is still related back to the overall thesis of your paper.
Throughout your paper, each sentence should relate back to your thesis statement to prove, argue, or otherwise support your claims. Information compiled from Mira Costa Community College resources