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How to Write an Exemplification Essay: Definition, Outline & Samples

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An exemplification essay is a type of essay that uses specific examples to support the writer's main ideas. The examples used in an exemplification essay are usually real-life situations or experiences that reinforce a thesis statement.

Exemplification essays can be challenging to write because they require a significant amount of research and critical thinking. You should carefully select relevant anexamples that both support your argument and effectively communicate your message.

Read along and learn how to write an exemplification essay and what examples to use to illustrate your point. We will further provide exemplification essay samples to reinforce your knowledge of this form of writing.

What Is an Exemplification Essay: Definition

An exemplification essay is a mode of analytical or argumentative writing that uses vivid and specific examples as a way of illustrating, defining, persuading, or explaining a topic. Its goal is to show an idea using evidence, as this helps an audience understand the main message or point. Exemplification essays can include diverse examples such as personal anecdotes, current events, historical occurrences, statistics, scientific studies, and analogies.

Writing an exemplification essay effectively necessitates being more convincing with the evidence and accompanying details to enhance your credibility. For instance, if your intention is to prove that people must engage in physical exercise to lose weight, stating “exercising is good for your health” is not sufficient. Instead, you must elaborate on your statement with facts or clear examples.

Exemplification Examples

The first step towards writing effectively is choosing an idea that will be exemplified. There are many examples of exemplification issues in different subjects that you can select. However, if you still need further clarification regarding potential themes, pick an example of exemplification topic from this list:

  1. Reasons cars are stolen.
  2. How missionaries influenced various cultures.
  3. Why banning cigarettes is right due to the negative effect of tobacco on smokers.
  4. How extensive conversation, writing, and reading practice help strengthen a grasp of the English language for foreign students.
  5. Discussing the theme of deceit in a work of literature such as Shakespeare’s plays.
  6. How to support the mission of an organization financially.

Exemplification Essay Outline

It is essential to compose a rough exemplification essay outline before beginning the writing process. This will not only help a student save time later when writing but also assist in reviewing all examples before using them. You will see which evidence is suitable for your thesis and discard weak evidence.

Consider this exemplification essay outline example:

  • Introduction
    • Hook
    • Context
    • Thesis
  • Body
    • Body Paragraph 1
      • Topic sentence
      • Example 1
      • Explanation
    • Body Paragraph 2
      • Topic sentence
      • Example 2
      • Explanation
    • Body Paragraph 3
      • Topic sentence
      • Example 3
      • Explanation
  • Conclusion

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Exemplification Essay Introduction

An introduction to an exemplification essay is the first part of your writing task. This section provides readers with a clear view of what you will cover. Begin the introduction by giving a general or broad overview of the topic before narrowing it to a specific focus. The introduction of an exemplification essay does three crucial things:

  • Gets the attention of the audience, as this keeps them interested in reading further. You should be engaging and focus on an original and fresh angle. Use stories, statistics, fascinating quotes, etc.
  • Provides relevant background on the aim of your essay, as this helps readers see why you picked that topic and simplifies the transition toward your main point.
  • Ends with a clear thesis statement.

Exemplification Essay Thesis Statement

The exemplification essay thesis is where you state the topic and aim of your paper in a sentence. A good thesis statement for exemplification essay will show the structure of your work and help readers understand the points to be discussed throughout the body.

While your thesis is usually a single sentence, breaking it into two parts might be essential for complex topics. However, declare your thesis by stating your stand, and why you took that position.

Ensure that the statement is specific and answers the question of your paper. A good thesis should make a debatable point, which means a point people might argue against and disagree with. Keep in mind that you cannot write an exemplification essay without a thesis, as the rest of your paper will lack clear structure and focus. If you make any changes in your essay during the writing process, make sure that the thesis is revised to reflect exactly what is discussed.

Exemplification Essay Body

The body of an exemplification essay is where you develop the main ideas fully. Each body paragraph must contain one key claim or idea, which you should support with relevant exemplification essay examples. Use specific evidence to clarify meanings without adding other generalizations. Ensure that all the examples are organized to generate maximum outcome. The information in the body forms the basis of your exemplification paper by helping you prove your thesis. A simple thesis statement requires a short body, while complex or long one requires a longer body.

Structure each exemplification paragraph in the body of your paper in a way that establishes a vivid relationship between examples and points. Additionally, use appropriate transitional phrases or words such as “a case in point”, “in addition”, “for instance”, or “specifically”. Unimaginative transitions like “this is my first example” should be avoided.

Examples of Exemplification in Writing

Your writing will be more appealing and interesting if you provide a specific exemplification essay example. You can use different types of exemplification essay examples based on this list:

  1. Brief examples Include several examples to support the main claim completely. For instance, if a literature assignment requires you to discuss the theme of love in Shakespeare’s work, you will consider several examples from different plays.
  2. Extended examples Focus on one main example and discuss all the fine details associated with it. For instance, if your thesis is about how diversity should be practiced in an organization, using an example of a specific organization instead of focusing on several different ones is more useful.
  3. Personal examples You can recount your past personal experiences and incorporate them to support your ideas or claims.
  4. Hypothetical examples It is possible to create examples by observing events or looking at different facts. For instance, you can include a hypothetical example of what might happen in 2030 based on your overall argument.

Exemplification Essay Conclusion

Knowing how to write an exemplification essay is insufficient without understanding how the conclusion is written. The conclusion of an exemplification essay summarizes the main claims analyzed in the body of your work. Nevertheless, you should do more than this. You can reflect on the wider importance of your topic, explain why it is challenging to find a decisive stand on the posed question, raise another issue that can be analyzed later, or recommend or predict what will happen to the topic.

When writing an exemplification essay concluding paragraph, start with general statements before being more specific towards the end. Initiate your conclusion essay by re-emphasizing your thesis before summarizing your key ideas, and finish off by highlighting the importance of your topic or recommending ideas to address the issue.

How to Write an Exemplification Essay Step-By-Step?

Up to this section, you understand what this type of writing is and have seen examples of topics and ways of structuring your work. Let us focus on the actual process of writing an exemplification essay. As with any task, you cannot just start doing it. Even though some people may try, it is not an effective way of composing a good paper. You need a plan as this makes your writing easier, faster, and with a better flow. Below are the eight steps on how to write a good exemplification essay.

1. Brainstorm Ideas

There is a high chance that you have a lot of ideas, thoughts, issues, and solutions you may want to analyze. Brainstorming helps extract an endless number of concepts for your exemplification essay by writing them down. Start with prompts, sentences, or words related to a specific subject area or focus, such as the environment, drugs, or technology, before jotting all phrases and words popping into your mind. You do not have to adhere to grammar, sentence structure, or spelling rules at this step. Brainstorm for about ten minutes, review your list, consider compelling exemplification essay topics, and select the one to focus on. This will help you write an exemplary essay later.

2. Conduct Research

Now that you have a topic for your exemplification essay, you must still decide on a specific matter that you can support with evidence. Therefore, conducting research is essential as it enables you to identify diverse angles and issues about your topic and determine a clear purpose for your writing task. Then, focus your research on this purpose, which will lead to taking a stand on the subject and choosing examples for your exemplification essay.

Remember to use only credible sources during your investigation. Consider evidence such as published books by reliable authors, peer-reviewed journal articles from trustworthy databases such as ERIC or PUBMED, and primary sources such as newspaper articles, original speeches, and pieces of art.

3. Choose Relevant Examples

At this stage, create a list of material evidence related to the purpose of your paper. Begin by listing all examples passing through your mind. You will develop a narrow list later. Be sure to select only relevant pieces of evidence that align with your purpose and support your stand.

You cannot select illustrations that contradict your objective. There are no rules to assist you in deciding the type of source that can be used in your work. Nonetheless, it is common for exemplification essays to combine several best sources and link them together fittingly. Consider an example of exemplification essay provided later in this blog for further clarification.

4. Create an Outline for Exemplification Essay

Once you have fully understood all the aspects of your writing task, identified your purpose, and collected enough examples, you can create a skeleton of your work or an outline. This involves organizing the details in a suitable structure, which will be used to write your exemplification essay.

It is also the time in the writing process when you consider your position or thesis statement, which enables you to arrange the introduction, body, and conclusion sections for your main claim. Look at the example of an exemplification essay outline offered earlier. Use the provided information and structure to create your essay outline.

5. Come Up With an Exemplification Essay Thesis

Your exemplification writing will be incomplete without a thesis statement. It is what tells readers the theme you are exemplifying. But how do you write a thesis for an exemplification essay? If you have a topic, consider what you would say about it in your paper. Start with a general statement before specifying your main claim. Ensure your thesis is arguable. It should also tell your audience what they can expect in the body of your paper. Moreover, choose your words wisely by avoiding general and boring expressions such as good and cheap. Consider this exemplification essay thesis example:

Diversity within organizations drives innovation because of a variety of opinions, cultural backgrounds, and worldviews.

6. Write Exemplification Essay Body Paragraphs

Now that you have everything you need for the task, understanding how to write an exemplification essay body is essential in support of your main claim. The number of paragraphs in this section depends on the task instructions or points in your thesis. Each paragraph must be related to your main claim directly and contain at least one exemplification example.

Arrange your paragraphs logically to avoid any confusion. Also, use transitional phrases and words to direct your readers throughout your exemplification essay. Your outline is useful at this stage as you can just fill in the sections. Consider these exemplification paragraph examples:

Example of the 1st body paragraph

The convenience of technology affects face-to-face communication negatively. Studies have found that participating in interpersonal interactions using the internet, such as through short messages, e-mails, social media, and chats, results in shallow exchanges, challenges establishing social support and impersonality (citation). This is because virtual communication lacks warmth, non-verbal cues, and does not require engagement.

Example of the 2nd body paragraph

One of the reasons cars are stolen is driver forgetfulness. For example, failure to lock car doors or leaving the engine running while the car keys are in the ignition give thieves an opening to steal easily. In turn, this shows that stupid mistakes increase the likelihood of car thefts.

7. Summarize an Exemplification Paper

It is also necessary to write an exemplification conclusion. This section contains a summary of your major ideas. Restating your arguments for the audience is important. Nonetheless, do not forget to use different words than that in the introduction and body. A conclusion should not look like an introduction. Remember to clarify the key takeaway for your audience or the implications of your argument.

Look at this example of an exemplification essay conclusion:

The examples in this paper prove that technological advancements affect physical interactions between people adversely. People are increasingly reliant on tablets, phones, PCs, and other devices for communicating with family and friends while neglecting personal engagements. The long-term effect of technology on communication in society is still inconclusive. However, it is clear that the face-to-face interactions between people, as previously understood, have transformed for good.

8. Proofread Your Exemplification Essay

Feeling anxious about submitting your exemplification essay assignment is normal. Maybe you are not sure if you meet the task expectations. Understandably, you intend to deliver a perfect paper and avoid mistakes. Proofreading is an important phase as it helps correct blunders such as writing inconsistencies, vocabulary and sentence errors, the flow of points, and generalized errors. You can have your colleagues or friends do it for you but ensure that they are proficient in exemplification writing. Also, you need to verify your work personally to confirm that it is written clearly.

How to Structure an Exemplification Essay?

A major skill in writing exemplification essays is organization. Reflect on how you present the order of mini-points supporting your thesis statement. This is commonly called the order of importance, and you can organize an exemplification essay using one of the three techniques:

  1. Chronological Organize your ideas based on a time sequence.
  2. Ascending Arrange your points from the least important to the most important, as this leaves your audience with your strongest point. The ideas are developed gradually into a powerful message at the end of the paper.
  3. Descending Using this structure, you begin your main paragraphs in the body with stronger/compelling points and work down to the least important ideas gradually.

Be sure to check samples of exemplification essays and see how these structures are presented.

Exemplification Essay Examples

If you are still unsure of your knowledge of this kind of writing, it is a good practice to examine an exemplification essay sample and consider how perfectly written papers are composed. Nonetheless, ensure that any sample you access is written by a credible author and is approved by your instructor. Reading good examples of exemplification essay makes things easier during the writing process. A list of free exemplification essays examples is provided below.

Exemplification essay example 1

How Cell Phones Have Changed Communication
Paper type:
Essay (Any Type)
2.4 MB

Exemplification essay example 2

Meaning of Democracy
Government Studies
Paper type:
Essay (Any Type)
5.44 MB

Exemplification essay example 3

Crime and Social Control
Law and International Law
Paper type:
Essay (Any Type)
6.98 MB

Exemplification essay example 4

Border, Wall, Migration and Nationalism
Paper type:
Essay (Any Type)
1.64 MB

Exemplification Essay Writing Tips

At this point, you should have a good understanding of how to write exemplification essay. Here are additional tips:

  1. Consider your audience. Think about how they feel about your main argument.
  2. Avoid vague statements and extensive generalizations in your exemplification essays. Rather, focus on specific details, evidence, or examples.
  3. Regarding your exemplification essay format, ensure to use only the specified style, e.g. MLA, APA style paper, etc.
  4. When selecting exemplification writing examples, do not depend too much on personal experiences as they lack enough support from others to be reliable. Use them as an enhancement of other reliable sources. They should not be your first choice of evidence.

Exemplification Essay Checklist

The ideas discussed in this article aim to help you write an exemplification essay correctly. You can also learn more about the conventions and principles of an exemplification essay by looking at a sample of an exemplification essay provided earlier. Here is a checklist of other points to remember:

Bottom Line on Writing an Exemplification Essay

Reaching this far means that you know what is exemplification in writing and can comfortably compose a compelling and interesting paper. Other important points include structuring your essay and how to write a good exemplification essay. Grasping these ideas requires that you practice writing regularly and apply them throughout the entire process. But if you still find it challenging to start, you can find free exemplification essay example in pdf and observe how ideas in this article are applied. Be sure to use the information provided here as a reliable reference whenever you face difficulties or are stuck somewhere during the actual writing.

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FAQ About Exemplification Essays

1. What is exemplification?

Exemplification refers to the use of examples or evidence to make abstract concepts more concrete and broad statements more explicit. We do not believe others just because they said something. We want clarification or proof, and exemplification is how you offer the proof.

2. What is the purpose of exemplification writing?

The goal of exemplification writing is to demonstrate something using vivid and specific examples. This adds additional information to describe, define, persuade, or show a general concept. Examples enable audiences to understand the intended meaning clearly. The key is using enough details and relevant examples.

3. What are characteristics of an exemplification essay?

These are the exemplification essay characteristics:

  1. Generalization of an issue or statement of the controlling idea/thesis.
  2. Use of applicable and detailed examples to offer more explanation in support of the thesis.
  3. Examples should be enough and be organized logically.
  4. The generalization should be well-researched.

4. How to start an exemplification essay?

Start an exemplification essay with an attention grabber or a hook before introducing your topic and giving background information about it. The hook engages your audience and keeps them reading to find out more information. You should then state your generalization or thesis statement.

Article posted on:Jan 17, 2023
Article updated on:May 16, 2024


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