MEAL Plan Duke University’s Thompson Writing Program (n.d.) recommends that you organize the material within a paragraph according to the MEAL plan:

To complete:

The Week 2 Assignment should be written in correct APA style and should include the following:

  • A title—a sample problem statement
  • A few sentences to introduce the problem and provide background
  • Straightforward and unambiguous sentences (1–2) that clearly state the problem (Note: Make it specific and precise.)
  • About 2–3 paragraphs that synthesize the evidence from research literature that this is a current, meaningful problem in the educational discipline
  • Statements substantiated by evidence from research (Note: Every statement mustbe substantiated by evidence from research.)
  • A short paragraph describing who would benefit from addressing this problem and in what ways they might benefit
  • Reference list of literature, in APA format, supporting this proposed study
  • Should be 3–6 pages in length, not including the title or reference pages


  1. I must use the Meal Plan for my paragraphs, see below.


Duke University’s Thompson Writing Program (n.d.) recommends that you organize the material within a paragraph according to the MEAL plan:

Main Idea: Your topic sentence stating the concrete claim the paragraph is advancing.

Evidence: Paraphrase or direct quotations from the source material you are using to support your topic sentence’s claim.

Analysis: Your explanation and evaluation of the evidence; explaining the evidence you provided and its relevance in your own words.

Lead Out: Concluding; preparing your reader to transition to the next paragraph (and the next claim).

The MEAL plan matches the general format of academic writing on many levels: that of assertion, evidence, and explanation.  Many students make the mistake of writing toward a topic sentence or claim, rather than from one; keeping the MEAL plan in mind as you write will help you begin your paragraphs strongly and develop your analysis thoroughly.

Duke University Thompson Writing Program. (n.d.). Paragraphing: The MEAL plan. Retrieved from



  1. Writing a problem statement informaton
  2. A problem is clearly stated in the first sentence (no citations necessary).
  3. Two or more sentences that provide evidence of the problem (citations required–can be local evidence, evidence from public sources, or even personal communication with authorities who are familiar with the problem).
  4. Two or more sentences that provide possible sources or factors that may be causing or exacerbating the problem (citations required).
  5. Context for the problem. Answer the question: What is the worst-case scenario of not addressing the problem (citations are great here, but you can get away without them).

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