Academic Writing

Exemplification Essay Demystified

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If you’ve found our website, then you must have been assigned an exemplification essay. It might seem challenging to tackle, but our comprehensive guide should give you a good start. Although an exemplification essay is not the most common type of assignment to receive, it’s not that difficult as it may sound. The chances are that you’ve already written an argumentative essay or two. In that case, you already have a general idea of what’s expected of you – you need to prove something providing solid arguments for your position or claim. The purpose and characteristics of exemplification essays are very similar with only one exception, which is - you need to use examples, facts, and statistics to support your claim. This way, an exemplification essay is a more detailed, comprehensive, and substantial argumentative essay.

The Answer to Your “What is Exemplification?” Question

What does exemplification mean exactly? Exemplification means to give readers examples that demonstrate a larger point. Exemplification writing uses clear and memorable examples that support arguments, persuade, define, or illustrate a general idea in a way that provides strong evidence to prove your main statement.

By giving specific examples, you add crucial information to elaborate on the main idea of your exemplification essay. Great examples should be logically related to the topic and provide the needed details so that your reader can follow your argument to its logical conclusion.

The examples you provide must be vivid and catchy. This will help your reader make the necessary connection between the examples you provide and your point, ensuring that new concepts or ideas are clearly understood.

Exemplification in Writing. How and When We Use it

Wondering “what is exemplification in writing”? It’s a rhetorical strategy we use when we are giving examples or cases in point to support our arguments and claims. This technique allows you to support what you are saying using examples, allowing you to be persuasive for your audience. In general, exemplification can be different in types, including statistics, facts, quotes, and personal experiences that you encounter throughout your life. By providing examples, you can use deductive or inductive reasoning.

For instance, if you argue that Beyoncé is the most popular singer of our time, you can use the number of awards and top charts she has. The statistics will be effective in supporting your claim. Using this strategy, you can become a better critical thinker because you will need to evaluate which evidence is better to argue your case. To effectively apply exemplification in your essay, make sure to use transitional words and phrases like “for example”, “namely”, “specifically”, “to illustrate” to get a good flow of your writing.

Ultimately, there is no better rhetorical technique to persuade your readers, thus, be sure to master it.

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Exemplification Essay Format. How to Mix it up

An exemplification essay tends to have the same structure and format as any other essay. Yet, there are ways for you to be creative. As the essay’s main feature is examples that you need to provide for your arguments, you have some liberty of how to use and arrange them.

Here are some options for how you to manage your body paragraphs. You can state your arguments in a different order:

  • Ascending (arrange your ideas from the least important argument to the most important one)
  • Descending (the reverse of the previous version)
  • Chronological (organize your arguments in chronological order if there is timeliness)

There are also various ways you can use your examples. You can support your points in 3 different ways:

  1. By several brief examples
  2. By just one comprehensive example
  3. By a separate aspect of one comprehensive example, if you have a multi-level one

Exemplification Essay Outline. The Right Way to Do it

There are no specific outlines for exemplification essay. It usually follows the classical essay structure where you have an introduction, several body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Here’s a broad example:

Introduction. Here’s where you start with the hook sentence and state your thesis

Body. Here’s where you justify your thesis with examples. Use the “sandwich” method (topic sentence, example, conclusion sentence)

  1. Point 1
  2. Point 2
  3. Point 3

Conclusion. Here’s where you restate your thesis and the main idea.

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How to Write an Exemplification Essay: Step-by-Step Instruction

Wondering how to start an exemplification essay? You’ll need to do some prewriting first to jot down some ideas so that you can flesh them out later. Follow these steps to write an exemplification essay that keeps your reader engaged to the end.

  1. Choose your topic

Coming up with a great topic sets you up for further success. Take your time to choose the perfect one for you. A good topic should be original, neither too broad nor too narrow.

  1. Do some brainstorming

Now that you have your topic, it’s time to settle on your opinion on it. See what ideas or points best support your stance. If you don’t have a stance on the topic, here is where you can figure out what it is.

Creating a mind map can be crucial for the process, and listing all ideas you have in a creative manner can help. As soon as you establish your view of the topic, you’ll have your statement thesis ready.

  1. Select illustrative examples

Now that you have your thesis statement, get to the research! Analyze your topic to become more than familiar with it. After that, choose the strongest examples that support your stance on the topic. Remember that your examples should be backed up by quality research and come from credible sources!

  1. Draw up your outline

Your outline is the skeleton of your essay, so it’s important to have it before you delve into writing. Based on its structure, you’ll know what to add to it later thanks to the research you’ve conducted previously. If you decide to follow the classical 5 paragraph format, it should look like this:

  • Introduction
  • Body paragraph 1 (your example 1)
  • Body paragraph 2 (your example 2)
  • Body paragraph 3 (your example 3)
  • Conclusion

Try to come up with one or two summarizing phrases for each step to know what to focus on in each of the paragraphs.

  1. Write your introduction paragraph

Make sure to start with a hook (an interesting fact, a quote, or an anecdote) to get your reader’s attention right off the bat. After catching your reader’s interest, briefly explain the background of the topic and why it’s so controversial, for example. This will help your audience to grasp the value of your exemplification essay. Lastly, mention your thesis statement, which should provide the necessary flow for your arguments in the main body part of the essay.

  1. Write the body paragraphs

Here is where you state your opinion on the topic and provide examples to support it. If you follow the outline we mentioned earlier, you should have at least three paragraphs in this section. Be sure to start each paragraph with a topic sentence and finish it with a concluding sentence, so that your paragraphs are neatly written and help your reader follow your arguments. Use transitions like “for instance”, “in particular”, “this is illustrated by” to ensure a good and logical flow of your paper.

  1. Write the conclusion paragraph

Your goal in this part of the essay is to provide a persuasive text that makes the reader agree with your points. Here is where you reiterate your thesis statement. Then, present your solution for the essay’s issue and support it with the necessary information from your body paragraphs. Tie it all together with a concluding sentence that leaves no doubt of your argument’s rightness.

  1. Ask someone to proofread your draft and edit it

Giving someone your essay to read provides you with a set of fresh eyes. That person might find weak spots in your arguments as well as notice any mechanical errors you’ve made. If you don’t have anyone like that, just read through your essay yourself (reading it out loud helps a lot as well) and try to find any parts you think need editing. Edit your paper until you are happy with the end result.

What to Write an Exemplification Essay on. Choose Your Topic Wisely

Feeling lost with exemplification essay ideas? If your teacher didn’t give you a list of topics to choose from and you have no idea where to start, check for any helpful details in your instructions or the grading rubric, if you have one. That should steer you in the right direction and help you get a general idea of what’s required of you. It will also help you understand the basic expectations of your tutor or professor.

After that, you need to keep in mind several features your topic needs to have:

  • It should mention an issue that you need to take a stand on
  • It should be well-researched, which means you have the sources to support your examples
  • It should be original and relevant to the current events

Exemplification Essay Topics to Grab Your Reader’s Attention

If you’re still not sure what topic to choose, or you just need to explore some examples to see what direction you’d like to go in, here are some good topics for an exemplification essay:

  1. Are streaming services replacing cinema theaters?
  2. Does being a vegetarian impact climate change?
  3. Is YouTube bad for your attention span?
  4. Is paid education better than a free one?
  5. Will gun control laws help lower school shootings?
  6. Will working from home replace the in-office option?
  7. Is commuting bad for your mental health?
  8. Is GDPR working for our data protection?
  9. Will self-driving vehicles replace human drivers?
  10. Does positive thinking help your well-being?
  11. What is the difference between free speech and hate speech?
  12. Does multi-tasking destroy your concentration?
  13. Do homeschooled kids have lower socialization skills?
  14. Should medical services be free for everyone?
  15. Can social media presence impact a business’ revenue?

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